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2019 Ford Ranger falls short of IIHS honors, still crashes commendably

It didn't receive the best rating in the Institute's latest crash test, but its headlights were the true limiting factor.

Something tells me this one won't end up on a used-car lot.
YouTube screencap via IIHS

In order to pick up one of the two major accolades from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, a vehicle must withstand not only a battery of typical crash tests, but it must also score well in evaluations of its headlights and safety systems. While the 2019 Ford Ranger fell short of such an award for the same reason that still plagues many automakers, its crash-test results still prove the new midsize pickup is plenty safe.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently published detailed evaluation results for the 2019 Ford Ranger. Sadly, it wasn't eligible for either Top Safety Pick or Top Safety Pick+, but that doesn't mean it didn't perform admirably.

When it came to crash tests, the Ranger received the top rating of Good in five of the six crash tests: Small overlap driver-side, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and seats including head restraints. The Ranger achieved the second-best Acceptable rating in the Institute's latest trial, the small overlap passenger-side test, which was instituted to ensure automakers gave both front-seat occupants the same level of protection. The Ranger's score in this test did not disqualify it from Top Safety Pick.

It's the headlights that did the Ranger in. The IIHS evaluated three different Ranger headlight configurations -- halogen reflectors, halogen reflectors with automatic high beams and LED reflectors -- and all three received a rating of Marginal. To qualify for TSP or TSP+, at least one headlight configuration requires an Acceptable rating. In the evaluation of its crash-avoidance system, the standard automatic braking setup received a rating of Superior.

As of this writing, no Ford vehicle has qualified for TSP or TSP+ during the IIHS' evaluations in 2019. But with several new vehicles on the horizon, including new versions of the popular Escape and Explorer crossovers, that's likely to change.

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