The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tested the Ford Mustang Mach-E using the agency's new, more forceful side-impact evaluation. The EV received a Good rating – the top score possible.
The Mach-E showed good head protection for front and rear passengers in the side-impact test. There was generally a low risk of injury according to the sensors in the dummies. The driver's torso showed a "somewhat elevated risk" of harm, according to the IIHS.
However, the IIHS downgraded the Mach-E's score in the structural performance sub-category to Acceptable rather than the previous Good score. The left rear door partially opened during the test. This didn't affect the injuries to the dummy, but the agency said that an open door could allow an occupant's ejection in some situations.
The new side impact sends a barrier weighing 4,200 pounds (1,905 kilograms) going 37 miles per hour (60 kph) at a vehicle. The previous version used a 3,300-pound (1,497-kilogram) sled traveling 31 mph (50 kph). The change resulted in 82 percent more energy hitting a vehicle. The IIHS made the adjustment for a better simulation of a collision with a typical SUV.
A Good score in the tougher test is a strong result. When the IIHS tested seven vehicles in the updated side-impact evaluation, the Subaru Outback was the only one that got a Good score. The Hyundai Sonata and Volkswagen Jetta had Acceptable ratings. The Honda Accord was Marginal. The Chevrolet Malibu, Nissan Altima, and Toyota Camry received Poor scores – the lowest classification.
The agency has also tested 18 midsize SUVs. Ten received Good scores.
For 2023 model year vehicles, a Good or Acceptable rating in the revised side-impact crash test is necessary to receive the IIHS' Top Safety Pick award. A Good score is required to be a Top Safety Pick+.
The IIHS makes a few other tweaks for evaluating 2023 vehicles. There's a new nighttime pedestrian crash prevention test. An Advanced or Superior score is a requirement for a Top Safety Pick+.
Plus, the standard headlights need a Good or Acceptable score to be eligible for a Top Safety Pick.
Ford recently announced pricing and changes for the 2023 Mustang Mach-E. The vehicle's cost is between $3,200 and $8,675 higher than last year. They all now receive the Co-Pilot360 Driver Assist Technology. The Premium eAWD trim with the Extended Range battery gets an EPA-estimated range of 290 miles (466 kilometers), which is up 13 miles (20.92 kilometers).