It’s currently in a class of two.
Tesla pitches its range of all-electric cars as the safest in the world thanks to their advanced technology and design. Today, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) announced the Tesla Model 3 picked up its first Top Safety Pick+ award, which does help cement the car’s reputation as a safe vehicle to own.
“There’s no need to trade away safety for a lower carbon footprint when choosing a vehicle,” said IIHS Chief Research Officer David Zuby. To wit, several other electric cars like the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Bolt score fairly well in crash tests, as did the Tesla Model S. However, one thing that held all those cars back were their headlights, which received poorer ratings due to glare or generally offering terrible illuminations. You wouldn’t think it, but headlights are still pretty bad at actually lighting things in a wide range of vehicles.
The Tesla Model 3, on the other hand, earned a Good rating for its headlights, which are standard across the range. It also scored Good on all its crashworthiness tests. Finally, its crash prevention systems completely averted accidents at both 12 mph and 25 mph in IIHS track tests. The Model 3 is the second all-electric car to earn the Top Safety Pick+ rating, after the Audi e-tron SUV. The hydrogen-powered Hyundai Nexo also earned the title with its standard equipment.
The IIHS has yet to publish test ratings for the Tesla Model X, the brand’s only current crossover. Only the Model S and Model 3 show up, at least for now. Check out the Model 3’s crash testing in the video below: