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SAFETY | 8 out of 10
"Good" in all tests performed
Four stars overall
Visibility is generally good in SuperCab and SuperCrew models, but the regular cab, which forfeits its former access door, has huge rear pillars that block a lot to the back corners.
With so many variants of the F-150 available, the two organizations that crash-test vehicles to assess their safety haven't gotten around to every version of the full-size truck. However, those scores that have been listed are solid ones, and the long list of safety features in the F-150 suggest that it's a good option for those looking for a safe truck.
Overall, the F-150 lineup is bristling with protective technology, and the list of safety features rivals that of any other pickup on the road—including side-curtain airbags, anti-lock brakes, and electronic stability control with Roll Stability Control. There's also Trailer Sway Control, which can take control of both braking effort and engine speed to help stay stable, while the F-150 lineup also gets Ford's first-ever Hill Descent Control, for safe descents down slippery slopes. A rearview camera is available, as are parking sensors and Bluetooth.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has updated its scores for last year, and it gives the F-150 four stars overall, with a mixed rating of three stars for front-impact protection and five stars for side-impact safety on Super Crew models, and four stars and five stars respectively for other body styles.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) had called the F-150 a Top Safety Pick, with top 'good' results in frontal, side, and rear impact tests. It's worth noting that the F-150 only manages 'acceptable' scores for foot injury in the frontal test. This year, since no small-overlap tests have been performed yet on the truck, and since it has no forward-collision prevention gear, it doesn't earn that award. However, the F-150 is the only one of the domestic full-size trucks to achieve 'good' scores in the important, rollover-related IIHS roof-strength test.
One of the problems with driving large trucks is poor visibility, but Ford has taken steps to improve sightlines from the driver's seat of the F-150. Some reviewers have pointed to the huge rear pillars, especially in Regular Cab models, as an issue. Power trailer mirrors are a new feature for the 2013 model year.
The IIHS has called the F-150 a Top Safety Pick, but its NHTSA crash-test scores are mixed.