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Ford Mustang Mach-E Looks To Earn Top IIHS Safety Scores Before Tesla Model Y

The Ford Mustang Mach-E is currently undergoing safety testing by the country's top auto safety agency. How will the Mustang Mach-E perform, and will it beat Tesla's Model Y to the podium?

The Ford Mustang Mach-E is presently undergoing testing by America’s most respected automotive safety testing agency, the Insurance Institute For Highway Safety (IIHS). The agency has already started to post teaser images, like the one above of the Mustang Mach-E’s roof crush test, on its social media feeds. Although the very similar Tesla Model Y beat the Mustang Mach-E to market by about nine months, it looks likely that the Mustang Mach-E’s ratings will be available before the Tesla Model Y’s. For background on why Tesla’s top-selling vehicle was not tested sooner, check out our focus story, Top-Selling Tesla Model Y Crossover Not Scheduled For Safety Testing By IIHS.

Related Story: Tesla Model Y vs. Ford Mustang Mach-E - Which EV Requires More Maintenance?

Reviewers Find Mustang Mach-E Tops Tesla Model Y In Multiple Ways
Ford’s Mustang Mach-E is one of today’s hottest new electric crossovers and is selling out everywhere inventory lands. We’ve tested the Mustang Mach-E twice already and have found that the Mustang Mach-E to be better in three important ways than its main peer in this segment, the Tesla Model Y. And we are not alone. Other testers, such as those at Consumer Reports and Edmunds both scored the Ford Mustang Mach-E higher in important ways than the Model Y in back-to-back comparisons. The results of IIHS’ testing could give this family crossover vehicle one more edge in the marketplace.

Why Does IIHS Testing Matter?
IIHS testing is more comprehensive than any other agency that rates cars for safety in North America. It conducts its crash tests at higher speeds, from more severe angles, and includes more detailed ratings on such things as active safety and headlights than any other agency. Many automotive safety experts consider the IIHS ratings the “varsity” and other ratings “junior varsity.”

Automakers and IIHS - Cooperation vs. Conflict
Like nearly every manufacturer, Ford works closely and cooperatively with IIHS, by contrast to Tesla whose relationship could be called “strained.” Tesla’s less than friendly past dealings with IIHS began when the Tesla Model S, marketed by Tesla as the "safest car in the world," failed - twice - to earn the same safety rating that a Toyota Camry or Honda Accord could easily earn. The Tesla Model 3 has since done well in IIHS testing, something Tesla seems proud if of you consider its social media feeds referencing the positive results.

Related Story: Tesla Model S At Bottom of IIHS Test Results – Again

Ford's IIHS Scores Are Mixed
Ford’s Edge crossover and Escape crossover, both similar in size to the Mustang Mach-E, have both earned the second-best rating from IIHS, the Top Safety Pick. They cannot earn the Top Safety Pick Plus rating, the industry’s highest, because their standard headlights are not up to snuff. The Ford Mustang coupe does not earn any IIHS awards because it does not score “Good” on every crash test performed. So there is no guarantee that the newly-designed Mustang Mach-E will earn the Top Safety Pick Plus rating sought after by automakers and family car shoppers.

What’s your prediction? Will the Mustang Mach-E earn the TSP+ rating, or a score somewhat lower?

John Goreham is a long-time New England Motor Press Association member and recovering engineer. Following his engineering program, John also completed a marketing program at Northeastern University and worked with automotive component manufacturers. In addition to Torque News, John's work has appeared in print in dozens of American newspapers and he provides reviews to many vehicle shopping sites. You can follow John on Twitter, and view his credentials at Linkedin


Jimmy Dinsmore    March 25, 2021 - 10:00AM

I'm interested in how the front crash will do without an engine to absorb impact. The old rear engine vehicles notoriously did horrible, so not sure how the Frunk will absorb a major hit.