The 2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E earned a Top Safety Pick from the IIHS, and it also took top marks in the independent safety bureau’s new side-impact crash test, the insurance-funded group announced Tuesday.
The electric crossover achieved the highest “Good” marks in all seven crash tests conducted by the IIHS, including the new test that better reflects the reality of today’s roads. The new side-impact test, which simulates a perpendicular crash, such as getting a T-bone at an intersection, uses a barrier that weighs 4200 lb and hits the test car at 60 mph.
Since 2003, that test has been conducted through a barrier weighing 3,300 lb and traveling at 50 mph. The IIHS said the new test — the first side-impact update in 20 years — reflects the predominance of heavier SUVs populating modern roads.
As more car manufacturers meet the criteria for a Top Safety Pick or Top Safety Pick+ award, the IIHS raises the safety bar. More than half of the more than 220 vehicles tested in 2022 achieved a TSP or TSP+ rating. The new side-impact test has been conducted on 2022 models, but the IIHS has given automakers time to respond and will not use the stricter criteria to earn a TSP until the 2023 model year.
So far, the results have been mixed. Ten of the 18 models tested received a “Good” rating in the new test.
The IIHS found the Mustang Mach-E protected the occupants’ heads, and the crash dummies showed a low risk of injury. The only problem was that the driver’s side rear door partially opened during the crash test. In theory, this could increase the risk of a passenger without a seat belt being thrown from the vehicle.