Ford Fusion earns top award from IIHS after improvements

June 14, 2016

A modified front-end structure and a new optional automatic braking system help the 2017 Ford Fusion qualify for a Top Safety Pick+ award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

The beefed-up front end improved the Fusion's performance in the small overlap front test from acceptable to good. Before the changes, the Fusion had maximum intrusion of 6 inches in the test, and the dummy's head barely contacted the front airbag before sliding off. In contrast, maximum intrusion in the 2017 model was less than 2 inches, and the airbags and safety belt worked well together to control the dummy's movement.

Like earlier Fusions, the 2017 model earns good ratings in the Institute's four other crashworthiness tests — moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraints.

The midsize car's front crash prevention rating improved from basic to superior with the addition of autobrake. In track tests at 12 mph and 25 mph, the Fusion avoided collisions. The optional system also includes a forward collision warning component that meets National Highway Traffic Safety Administration criteria.

To qualify for Top Safety Pick+, a vehicle must earn good ratings in all five crashworthiness tests and have an available front crash prevention system that earns an advanced or superior rating.

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