2021 Ford F-150 joins Ram 1500 with Top Safety Pick

October 12, 2021

The redesigned 2021 Ford F-150 full-size pickup truck earned a Top Safety Pick from the IIHS, the insurance-industry funded safety agency announced Tuesday. The award applies for crew and extended cab models, but not the regular cab.

The bestselling vehicle in the U.S. earned top "Good" marks on all six crash tests conducted by the IIHS. The testing is considered more rigorous than the NHTSA's outdated crash-test criteria, but the 2021 F-150 earned the highest five-star safety rating from the feds. It earned four stars for the front driver side impact and for rollover risk, which is common for larger, taller vehicles such as trucks and SUVs.

The IIHS takes its testing further by assessing how well a vehicle avoids or mitigates a crash, which is especially important in large trucks that don't take on as much damage as they impact on other vehicles due to their size and weight. Ford's standard automatic emergency braking system earned "Superior" ratings in avoiding crashes with other vehicles and with pedestrians. Both the standard Co-Pilot360 Assist 2.0 system and the optional system that adds radar were able to stop in 12-mph and 25-mph tests. In the same tests but with a pedestrian dummy passing in front or at the side of the truck instead of a vehicle, the 2021 F-150 stopped itself or reduced its speed enough to avoid serious impact. 

The difference between a Top Safety Pick and a Top Safety Pick+, considered to be the safest recognition in the industry, comes down to headlights. All but the base XL and XLT models built after June 2021 would have earned a TSP+, but the halogen lights on those models received a "Poor" rating for inadequate side visibility going down the road and also on curves. Higher trim models and optional packages with LED projector lights earned a "Good" rating. 

The 2021 Ford F-150 joins the 2021 Ram 1500 as the only full-size pickup trucks to earn a TSP award. 

Read our comparison of the 2021 Ford F-150 and 2021 Ram 1500

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