A Top Safety Pick+ award is even lost over the issue

The Ford F-150’s skin might be made from recycled beer cans, but the full-size pickup scored very well in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s barrage of testing. Since it debuted in 2015, the current F-150 has scored a “Good” in all crash tests. But, things aren’t all rainbows and butterflies for the half-ton pickup. The 2018 F-150 is too short-sighted to earn the IIHS’ Top Safety Pick+. The reason: it can’t see well in the dark.

The IIHS rates the F-150’s headlights as “Poor” in all five of its tests.

Both the base halogen headlights in the lower-trimmed F-150 and the LED headlights in the more expensive models scored a “Poor” in visibility testing. The halogen lights’ low and high beams fall short in straightaway visibility on the left and right sides of the road. The low beams only give 149 feet of visibility on the right, and 89 feet on the left and the high beams only shine 412 feet and 317, respectively. In curves, the headlights perform even worse, providing an average of only 102 feet of visibility with the low beams and 148 feet with the high beams in the four different curve tests done by the IIHS.

Jumping up to the LED headlights don’t help the situation, though they perform a tab bit better. The low beams shine 323 feet on the right and 168 feet on the left, while the high beams shine 544 feet on the right and 428 feet on the left. In turns, the LED low beams illuminate an average of 135 feet ahead, and the high beams shine an average of 163 feet ahead. The unfortunate trade-off for the better performance is excessive glare for oncoming traffic with the low beams. They exceed the IIHS’ glare threshold between 94.8 and 187.9 percent. That’s not good.

There’s more to this story below.

Safety Ratings Are Big For Customers

The 2018 F-150 Earns Big With IIHS Safety Ratings – Except For One Thing
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It’s odd why Ford didn’t do any better. The IIHS has been testing headlights since 2016, and the F-150’s new-for-2018 front-end styling should have accounted for the evaluation. Of course, Ford isn’t the only automaker scoring low on this new test, but Ford certainly had the chance to make it right with the F-150’s 2018 refresh.

Sadly, the headlights have cost the 2018 F-150 the IIHS’ coveted Top Safety Pick+ award. The F-150 would have earned this rating for 2018 thanks to its new Front Crash Prevention technology. The optional Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection and Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop-and-Go scored a “Superior” in the IIHS’ testing. The truck automatically and completely avoided rear-end crashes at 12 mph and 25 mph.

Still, the 2018 Ford F-150 earns the IIHS’ Top Safety Pick award, which is one level down from the Top Safety Pick+ award. And, aside from the headlights, the only other test criteria that didn’t meet a perfect score of “Good” was the ease-of-use of the rear-seat LATCH system, which earned a “Marginal.”

Headlights

The 2018 F-150 Earns Big With IIHS Safety Ratings – Except For One Thing
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Trim level(s) XL trim
XLT trim
Lariat trim
Low-beam headlight type Halogen reflector
High-beam headlight type Halogen reflector
Curve-adaptive? No
Automatically switches between low beams and high beams (high-beam assist)? No
Overall rating P
Trim level(s) Lariat trim equipped with 502A package
Raptor trim equipped with Raptor Technology package
King Ranch trim
Platinum trim
Low-beam headlight type LED reflector
High-beam headlight type LED reflector
Curve-adaptive? No
Automatically switches between low beams and high beams (high-beam assist)? Yes
Overall rating P
Trim level(s) Raptor trim
Low-beam headlight type LED reflector
High-beam headlight type LED reflector
Curve-adaptive? No
Automatically switches between low beams and high beams (high-beam assist)? No
Overall rating P

2015 Ford F-150 Crew Cab Small Overlap Crash Test

2015 Ford F-150 Crew Cab Side Impact Crash Test

References

Ford F-150

2018 Ford F-150 High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 Ford F-150.

Ford F-Series

2017 Ford Super Duty
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Read our full review on the 2017 Ford Super Duty.

Source: IIHS

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