A number of Blue Oval models have earned safety awards from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently, including the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E and its Top Safety Pick, the Ford Bronco Sport and its Top Safety Pick+, the Lincoln Nautilus and its Top Safety Pick, and the the 2021 Ford F-150, which also earned Top Safety Pick honors. However, all of these models feature standard or optional LED lighting that helped each earn those awards. The 2021 Ford Bronco four-door, on the other hand, fell a bit short because of its headlights, as well as inadequate head restraints.
According to the IIHS, four-door 2021 Ford Bronco headlights “provide inadequate illumination on curves,” while the head restraints “fail to provide good protection against whiplash injuries.” These factors prevented the Bronco from earning a Top Safety Pick award, but the off-road focused SUV did score a “good” rating in five out of six crashworthiness tests, at least. However, at least one good or acceptable headlight system must be available for a vehicle to earn a Top Safety Pick award, while Top Safety Pick+ honors require good or acceptable headlights must be standard across all trims.
IIHS notes that the Bronco’s standard and optional headlights “earn marginal ratings because their low beams do not illuminate the road to a far enough distance on curves.” Additionally, in a test simulating a stationary Bronco being struck from behind by a vehicle of the same weight traveling 20 miles-per-hour, the seat did not provide enough support for the occupant’s head and neck to earn a good rating.
Regardless, the Bronco did meet all other criteria, including its two available front crash prevention systems that earned superior and advanced ratings in vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian tests. The 2021 Ford Bronco also meets federal crash standards, even with its many removable components off the vehicle, as Ford Authority reported earlier this year.