Thinking of buying a Tesla Model 3? Well, apart from the rest of its advantages, you can now rest easy knowing that it’s got top-notch safety credentials too, as it was tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, who awarded it with the highest possible rating: Top Safety Pick+.
The electric sedan scored a ‘Good’ overall rating in all six crashworthiness tests, including the small overlap front driver- and passenger-side, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraints & seats. The standard front crash prevention system and ‘Good’ headlights helped it achieve the top score.
“Vehicles with alternative powertrains have come into their own”, said IIHS’ Chief Research Officer, David Zuby, referring to the top scores awarded to the Audi E-Tron electric SUV and Hyundai Nexo fuel cell vehicle. “There’s no need to trade away safety for a lower carbon footprint when choosing a vehicle.”
The Chevrolet Bolt was close to nabbing the award as well, as it earned ‘Good’ ratings in all crashworthiness tests, except for the passenger-side small overlap test. However, the safety specialists rated it ‘Acceptable’ after noticing that the passenger dummy’s head moved toward the gap between the two front airbags, becoming vulnerable to contact with hard parts.
GM’s electric hatchback would have qualified for the Top Safety Pick award when fitted with the optional front crash prevention system, but the headlights dragged it down. Because they cause excessive glare to incoming drivers they were rated as ‘Poor’, IIHS’ lowest possible rating, thus lowering the overall score.