Ford Explorer and Mustang Mach-E Surpass Rivals with ‘Good’ IIHS Rating

March 24th, 2023 by

NYE Ford 2023 Ford Explorer

Photo Source: Ford

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is gauging the results of its 2023 crash test, and both the Ford Explorer and the Ford Mustang Mach-E received Top Safety Pick ratings. Of note, only four of the midsize SUVs tested out of the thirteen eligible managed to garner overall ‘good’ ratings, and the Blue Oval vehicles were among them. The IIHS has claimed that the lineup of SUVs is found to have inadequate front crash protection for passengers seated in the rear. Also of consequence is that the Mustang Mach-E proved to be the only midsize SUV to earn top marks in every IIHS crash category. IIHS president David Harkey elaborated further on the matter: “While drivers receive the safest protections, only a handful extend that level of safety to the back seat.”

The Reason for More Demanding IIHS Safety Tests

Controlling weaknesses in rear seat safety grants an opportunity to gain much in a relatively short time because solutions that have already demonstrated success in the front seats can also quickly and efficiently be adjusted for the rear seats. Even though there were only four good ratings in the latest round of testing, those ratings display an awareness of security on the part of certain carmakers. For example, Jim Baumbick, vice president of Ford Product Development and Quality, clearly stated, “Safety and quality are two of our top priorities. This recognition from IIHS for Mustang Mach-E and Explorer has reaffirmed that we’re focused in the right places to help improve our customers’ lives.”

Recently, as evidenced by the rigorous requirements, the IIHS has been paying greater attention to rear passenger protection, going so far as to dub the newly fine-tuned assessment “IIHS 2.0.” For greater clarity on the hurdles that midsize SUVs now have to encounter, there are particular metric results that the IIHS is currently focusing on. They revolve around sensors housed in the test dummy’s head, neck, chest, abdomen, and thigh. 

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety testing has also included new tests for pedestrian crash prevention and side crash protection. Its headlight tests have grown more stringent, too. Favorably, however, the Ford Mustang Mach-E, when outfitted with specific headlights, and the Ford Explorer can both meet those conditions without a hitch. Essentially, part of the reason for the more stringent tests is that in 2022 traffic fatalities jumped the highest in 20 years. In addition, pedestrian crashes make up a more significant part of that increase than in the past. 

So far, the same good rating applies to all Mustang Mach-Es since it was introduced and the 2022-23 Ford Explorer. To accomplish these consistently exceptional evaluation outcomes, the manufacturer relies on seat belts with pretensioner and load limiting technology in both the first and second rows.

Comparing the Developments between the 2022 and 2023 Model Years

Ford has had no problem maintaining its status within the top-tier IIHS rating, but the same cannot be said for the automotive industry in general. For instance, the 2023 testing rated only twenty-eight vehicles with a Top Safety Pick+ rating. That number had dropped exponentially since 2022 when sixty-five vehicles were positioned in this category. Similarly, only twenty automobiles attained the Top Safety Pick rating, a significant dip from thirty-six in 2022. The IIHS is certainly fearless in limiting the number of winners if it means challenging car brands to improve upon the laudable successes they have already made.

Ford has been monitoring its strengths, as its SUV sales so far in 2023 have made it America’s top-selling SUV brand, with Explorer earning the title as America’s best-selling three-row midsize SUV. Furthermore, Mustang Mach-E was the second-best-selling electric SUV in 2022. If safety takes precedence for you, then NYE Ford is the place to be. Are you excited about getting a new car? So are we. In fact, we are more than excited to help our customers; we are thrilled. Are you looking for a new option to buy or lease? Take a look at our new vehicle inventory or our quality pre-owned vehicles.