Ford Authority

Ford Explorer Named IIHS 2023 Top Safety Pick

The current-gen Ford Explorer has earned its fair share of praise from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) since its launch for the 2020 model year, including its highest honor – Top Safety Pick+ status – in 2020 and 2021, while also securing its highest possible rating of “good” in the recently revised side-impact evaluation test. Now, the accolades continue to roll in, as the Ford Explorer has received an IIHS Top Safety Pick award for 2023, too.

This achievement is even more notable given the fact that the IIHS revised its requirements for the Top Safety Pick and Top Safety Pick+ awards handed out this year, seeking better side crash protection and improved pedestrian crash prevention systems while also eliminating subpar headlights from the field of qualifying vehicles. That means that just 48 models qualified for one of the two awards in 2023, compared to 101 last year.

For this year’s awards, IIHS replaced its Top Safety Pick side crash test with an updated version that originally launched in 2021, which involves 82 percent more energy than the original test. The revised system also adds a new evaluation – the nighttime vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention test – while headlight requirements have become more stringent as well. Meanwhile, roof strength, head restraint, and vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention evaluations are no longer part of the award criteria.

As for the Ford Explorer, it earned “good” ratings in all seven crashworthiness tests, “acceptable” for its headlights and ease of child safety latch use, “superior” ratings for front crash prevention – save for vehicle to pedestrian nighttime results, which were rated “basic” – and “poor” for its seat belt reminders.

“The number of winners is smaller this year because we’re challenging automakers to build on the safety gains they’ve already achieved,” said IIHS President David Harkey. “These models are true standouts in both crashworthiness and crash prevention. It’s exciting that these manufacturers have been so swift to implement the substantial design changes and technological advancements that these new requirements demand. We’re confident that the number of winners will continue to grow throughout the year.”

We’ll have more on the Explorer soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for more Ford Explorer news and continuous Ford news coverage.

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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  1. Garry F Cobb

    After agreeing to take early delivery 5/2022) without SUV climate controls for rear passengers we have been told that the climate controls are not as of yet in production. Who do I need to contact at corporate that might be able to enlighten me on the subject. when I was contacted from a call center I was told that Ford Motor Company was ready to complete the assembly of my 2022 Explorer Platinum, but that doesn’t seem to be the case


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