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Consumer Reports Criticizes Ford F-150 For Lack Of Standard Active Safety Features

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Historically speaking, the Ford F-150 has always scored pretty highly in terms of crash ratings. Most of us think of the perennial best-selling pickup as being a fairly safe vehicle, too. But the truth is, the current Ford F-150 is a bit long in the tooth, having stayed pretty much the same since the all-new 13th-gen model was introduced in 2015. And as Consumer Reports recently pointed out, the F-150 lacks the level of standard active safety equipment that many other new vehicles have.

In the auto industry as a whole, more expensive models and trim levels are typically the first to receive new features and equipment before it trickles down to lesser ones later on. This is also true of the current F-150, which lacks a few key active safety features as standard equipment. CR believes that the all new vehicles should come with Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) with pedestrian detection, and blind spot warning as standard equipment.

The rag is so adamant about this, in fact, that it has decided to exclude vehicles that don’t have FCW and AEB as standard equipment across all trim levels from its “Top Pick” designation moving forward. Right now, of the 15 best-selling vehicles in the U.S., only three meet this criteria – the Nissan Rogue, Ford Escape, and Ford Explorer.

As one might’ve guessed by now, the Ford F-150 doesn’t fall into that category. The current model offers blind spot warning as an option, though pedestrian detection is standard. As far as competitors go, however, the Chevy Silverado offers both as an option while the Ram Pickup offers blind spot warning as an option, but pedestrian detection isn’t even available. Both of those models are all-new trucks, having been redesigned for the 2019 model year.

Problem is, buyers have to add a whopping $15,805 to the price of their Ford F-150 to get blind spot warning. That’s because it isn’t available as a standalone option, but rather comes as part of various packages, including grouped equipment on the higher-end Lariat, King Ranch, Platinum, and Limited trims. Those shopping the F-150 in base base XL trim are out of luck, while those shopping the XLT must opt for the Luxury Package to get it.

“Pickup trucks in particular should come with pedestrian detection standard because the tall hood reduces the field of vision, possibly increasing the chance of hitting a pedestrian,” argues Ethan Douglas, senior policy analyst for cars and product safety at Consumer Reports.

However, it should be noted that the revised 2021 Ford F-150 is on the verge of being unveiled, and might correct all of these issues by making blind spot warning either an inexpensive standalone option, if not standard. But we’ll have to wait just a few more weeks to find out, as the 14th-gen pickup is currently set to debut on June 25th.

We’ll continue reporting on all things F-150, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for the latest Ford F-Series newsFord F-150 news, and continuous Ford news coverage.

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Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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Comments

  1. Dave

    Attentive drivers don”t NEED the features that CR criticizes Ford for not having as standard.
    When I bought my 2019 Explorer last year, I selected one without the “nanny” features.
    I pride myself in that I have been driving 59 years without a chargeable accident. I’ve
    been hit from behind twice by people texting on their phones. I understand that Ford
    will be offering these “nanny” features as standard across all models from now on.
    Guess I’ll be keeping the Explorer much longer than I normally would.
    Besides, I have NEVER bought a vehicle based on recommendations from Consumer
    Reports. I believe they have an anti-domestic agenda.

    Reply
  2. KR

    I’m with you brother!

    Reply
    1. TS

      Thank you – you stated my view perfectly.

      Reply
  3. Bob Dobson

    While many of these features are not required if your an attentive driver some of these features help all drivers. The new vehicles have large blind spots especially the large A pillars. Pedestrian detection can help even the best driver. I dont care how good of a driver you are your brain cant process a vehicle braking ahead at highway speeds as fast as some of the Emergency Braking Systems that are calculating speed and distance in 10000th of a second. Sorry but your not that good.

    Regardless, these systems are not designed for good drivers they are required for poor drivers that may hit you or me. NHTSA stats clearly show how these features save lives so they will all become standard.

    Lastly, you can turn them off anytime you want.

    I do agree Consumer Reports is a very biaised publication, they rave about Toyota & Honda products yet the Toyota and Honda styling is some of the oldest and out of date you can buy. Consumer Reports has always been negative towards Ford, their grumpy old men who gripe about issues most of us dont really care about. Like when they couldnt figure out how to use SYNC3 and gave it negative reviews only because the test subjects were all senile.

    Reply
  4. DJT

    Nanny features? I disagree. I’ve been in the situation where a toddler got away from his parents and got behind me as I started to back out of a parking spot. I spotted him in the backup camera and stopped. The parents where very apologetic and hauled him away. Should they have had better control and know where their kid was, YES. Who would have been held responsible..ME. Because of the tall tailgate, anything that can warn drivers of hazards like small kids will save a lot of grief for everyone.

    I agree they should be standard, or at least low cost options. Personally I buy, at the minimum, a Lariat and rig it out with the option I want (BLIS, adaptive cruise, etc) because we haul a travel trailer. And I’ll take the discounts my insurance company allows for the additional safety items in the vehicle (several hundred $) which covers most of the costs over the life of the vehicle (normally 3 years).

    People are entitled to their views on if safety items should be or they need them on vehicles. I leave you with this…..brakes are overrated until you need to stop and insurance is a waste of money until you need it. But both are what you have on your vehicle. Do you want either removed?

    Reply
  5. Mark L Bedel

    Dave…I agree whole heartedly!

    Reply
  6. Galan

    As a 45 year certified collision tech, I can say these active collision avoidance systems are junk. I work on all models. More than half the time these systems do not work. They are costly to fix, and at times like this covid fakery, parts are hard as hell to get. I get vehicles in all the time where the systems didn’t avoid anything. These systems also add thousands to the cost of repairs resulting in skyrocketing insurance premiums. From what I have seen, FCM has the worst systems. Even if not damaged in a wreck, (no such thing as an accident) These systems are designed for drivers who shouldnt be driving anyway. Phones, talking, bluetooth devices, texting. All distracted drivers these systems are designed for. Sorry, from a professional collision tech, systems are junk. BTW, Consumers reports is the most biased liberal Marxist rag around when it come to vehicle reviews.

    Reply
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