Is the 2015 F-150 SuperCrew Safer than the SuperCab or Regular Cab?

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We recently reported that the 2015 F-150 scored top marks from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in overall crashworthiness. That test should’ve put to bed any doubts that an aluminum truck can be just as safe for occupants as the equivalent steel truck. But that NHTSA test isn’t the only one out there.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) also tests vehicles, and in this author’s opinion, has a more stringent testing regime. The one that often makes news is the Small overlap front test, which is notoriously difficult to achieve a good score on. Getting a bad score often makes news, which is something every automaker wants to avoid.

According to Automotive News, the version of the F-150 that the IIHS would test is normally the SuperCrew version. However, according to research by the news organization, the SuperCrew has extra equipment around the front and rear axles that are missing on the other body styles.

2015 F-150 XLT Review - IMG_1762

The IIHS says that this extra equipment might help that truck crash better than the other body styles. Ford claims that the SuperCrew needs the extra equipment for structural reasons. It’s possible both could be right.

According to┬áthe IIHS, based on Automotive News‘ discovery, they are going to test all cab configurations of the 2015 F-150 to see if there are any differences. Starting next year, they’ll be doing the same on all pickup trucks.

Now here’s where I start to have issues with this whole thing. The implication is that Ford made changes to the SuperCrew for the sole purpose of doing better in IIHS testing.

I can say, with relative confidence, that ALL manufacturers, when designing a vehicle, consider the IIHS test at one point or another. The IIHS testing gets more and more difficult over time, demanding that manufacturers construct safer and safer vehicles in order to do well. A vehicle that received a Good rating a few years ago might crash the same now, but only get a Fair rating.

2015 Ford F-150 XL

What bothers me about the timing of the Automotive News article is that the results haven’t been shared. Not only do we not know how the SuperCrew did in the crash, but we also don’t know how the other cab configurations scored during their own independent testing.

The IIHS is working on a comprehensive safety report on the vehicle that’ll come out in July, which is when I’m assuming we’ll see the results of all the cab testing.

This story is only a story if the SuperCab and regular cab configurations score worse in the crash testing than the SuperCrew. If, in fact, it’s just extra support for the obviously larger vehicle, and all the trucks receive similar scores, then this rabble rousing article is a moot point.

Except, to tout that they helped the IIHS change their testing procedures?

What do you think? Be sure to check out the original Automotive News article and then let us know your thoughts over in the forums?

via [Automotive News]

Chad Kirchner is a regular contributor to Corvette Forum and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, among other auto sites.

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