Customers interested in the 2009 Ford Flex may have another reason to shop the vehicle: the funky pseudo-wagon just received five-star front- and side-impact crash ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
The frontal collision test involves running a vehicle at 35 mph into a fixed barrier, while the side impact test uses a rolling 3000-lb barrier, moving at 38 mph, striking the side of the vehicle.
According to NHTSA, the five-star front impact rating means that front-seat passengers (when using seat belts) have less than a 10 percent chance of being seriously injured.; Likewise, the five-star side rating implies occupants have, at most, a five percent chance of injury.
Ford attributes the crash performance to a widespread use of high-strength steel in the Flex's roof structure, specific side-impact beam placement, and the inclusion of side-curtain air bags as standard equipment.