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Ford Explorer Earns 2021 IIHS Top Safety Pick+

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2021 Ford Explorer King Ranch | 2021 Explorer wins IIHS Top Safety Pick+
The 2021 Ford Explorer takes home the IIHS Top Safety Pick+
Photo: Ford

The 2021 Ford Explorer is one of 49 new vehicles to take home Top Safety Pick+ honors from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. IIHS handed out more than twice the number of TSP+ awards in February than it did last year. The Ford Explorer is one of the vehicles from this year’s list that earned the IIHS TSP+ award in 2020 and 2021.

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Edge, Escape repeat as 2021 IIHS TSP winners

In fact, Ford’s representation in the 2021 IIHS Top Safety Pick and Top Safety Pick+ awards is a mirror image of the 2020 field. The 2021 Explorer repeats as a Top Safety Pick+ while the Ford Edge and Ford Escape score Top Safety Pick recognition for the second straight year. On the Lincoln side, the Corsair and Aviator also repeated as Top Safety Picks.

The 2021 Ford Explorer, Edge, and Escape all earned the same scores in IIHS crash testing as they did last year. In order to receive the TSP or TSP+, vehicles must earn “Good” scores in six categories: driver- and passenger-side small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength, and head restraints.

Top Safety Pick and Top Safety Pick+ award-winners must also offer a front crash prevention technology that rates “Advanced” or “Superior.” IIHS also recently made headlight ratings a factor — a Top Safety Pick must have at least one set of headlights rated “Advanced,” and a TSP+ must have “Advanced” or “Good” headlights across the board.

IIHS says headlight standards driving better quality

IIHS says that the increasingly stringent safety standards are meant to push automakers to produce safer vehicles that are better equipped for drivers. The organization says that the increase from 23 Top Safety Pick+ winners in 2020 to 49 this year is evidence that its methods are working.

“With these awards, we want to make it easy for consumers to find vehicles that provide good protection in crashes, sufficient lighting and effective front crash protection,” said IIHS President David Harkey. “Manufacturers have stepped up to meet the challenge, and the list of great options has grown to an impressive size this year.”

The 2021 Ford Ranger missed earning a TSP due to “Marginal” headlight scores and an “Acceptable” rating in the passenger-side small overlap front test.

More on the IIHS Award-Winning Explorer: Ford continues to improve the bestselling SUV in American history