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SAFETY | 8 out of 10
Good," frontal offset test
Five stars, frontal impact protection; four stars, rollover rating
Unlike most of its competitors, F-150 does not offer side airbags or stability control
The 2008 Ford F-150 has a lot of promising safety credentials, but there are still a few noteworthy feature omissions that prospective buyers should be aware of.
The 2008 Ford F-150 has been crash-tested by both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), and each reports favorably on the Ford F-150. The NHTSA put the Ford F-150 through both of its frontal impact tests and awarded the 2008 Ford F-150 a perfect five stars for both driver and passenger side impacts. The NHTSA also awarded the Ford F-150 2008 four out of five possible stars in its rollover category for rear- and four-wheel-drive versions. The IIHS has also put the 2008 Ford F-150 through their frontal offset test, and they give the Ford F-150 the highest possible rating, "good" in this case, for occupant protection. No side impact tests were conducted by either agency, but this is likely due to the large variety of cab and bed options that would complicate issuing a safety rating.
When it comes to safety features, reviews read by TheCarConnection.com show that the Ford F-150 2008 has a curious mix of welcome safety features and glaring omissions. Edmunds writes that "antilock brakes are standard across the board" and "traction control is optional on 2WD V8 models," but "unlike most of its competitors, the F-150 does not offer side airbags or stability control--the latter a key feature for avoiding accidents in the first place." On the welcome features side of the safety equation, Cars.com says that "front seat belt pretensioners are standard" and the "dual-stage front airbags work with an occupant classification system sensor" that helps prevent the airbags from harming children in the front seat. The two optional safety features on the Ford F-150 2008 are a "rear-obstacle-detection system" and a "rearview camera," according to ConsumerGuide.
That rearview camera option might be nice to have, but it certainly isn't essential since the visibility from the Ford F-150's cab is pretty good to begin with. ConsumerGuide says that "outward visibility is unobstructed," even in the largest Ford F-150 models.
The 2008 Ford F-150 performs very well in the crash tests it has faced, but the lack of some key safety features is unfortunate.