The IIHS crash tests are in for the popular Ford Maverick compact pickup truck which has taken the market for a ride. And according to the latest and more stringent testing it’s a safe bet overall, though room for improvement for rear seat passengers.

It took a while but the IIHS finally released their crash test data and video of the Ford Maverick. It likely took them as long to get some for testing as many customers are waiting for theirs. None the less, tests for both the rigorous Moderate Overlap Front and Side Impacts show that the structural safety of the new Maverick good.

In the updated side impact testing takes into account the newest airbag design which was update in production after July 2022 and was replaced through a recall for earlier models. The Maverick earned a “Good” rating overall on the test which is the highest grade.

A close look at the post crash structure shows that the beefy widened lower connections between the B and C pillars and the rocker channel play a significant role in helping them resist intrusion into the passenger compartment.

The test earned “Good” ratings nearly across all of the individual metrics except for pelvis measurements for the driver which got “Marginal” and torso measurements for the rear passenger which were listed as “Marginal”. In all, the side curtain airbag provides to keep head injuries to a minimum.

In the well known moderate overlap front test the Maverick was given an “Acceptable” overall rating which is one level down from their top “Good”. But to understand the performance of the Maverick in this cruicial test one needs to look closer at the individual metrics.

The Maverick passenger compartment held up very well in the test, with very little if any significant crush into the driver’s space. The front wheel did not intrude into the passenger compartment in a way that would cause significant foot, ankle or leg injuries.

The IIHS just raised the bar on the the test last year by including measurements for a rear passenger in addition to the driver. This is important to note because as the test has for over a decade focused on front passengers the automakers have learned to design to the test.

This means not only are the crash structures better but features like seat belt pretensioners which can tighten your belt at point of impact and load limiters that can let some of the tension loose to limit stresses on the body have all made the front row safer. In many vehicles, the second row passengers haven’t been given as much of the technology and the new updated test from the IIHS aims to change that.

With the Ford Maverick, it’s testing showed that the rear passenger’s movements were not nearly as well controlled, allowing the dummy to move in ways that could result in more injuries. It’s rear passenger score of “Poor” outweighed all of the great work Ford has done to make the truck safe for front seat passengers.

So even though all of the other measurements and scoring came in with the highest levels of “Good” the poor rear seat performance in the new updated test means that the Maverick only gets and “Acceptable” rating as of today.