X marks the spot where safety is concerned after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration awarded Tesla's all-new Model X SUV perfect scores across the board in crash tests. The 2017 Model X earned NHTSA's five-star safety rating for all five models, scoring five stars out of five in all three crashworthiness categories.
Testing areas include frontal, side and rollover crashes. Versions of the all-wheel-drive Model X earning the top safety honor include the 60D, 75D, 90D, P90D and P100D. The Model X has yet to be tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety for consideration as a Top Safety Pick or Top Safety Pick Plus designee.
For comparison, the 2017 Tesla Model S sedan earned five stars in rollover tests for the 60, 60D, 75, 75D, 90D, P90D and P100D models, but was not tested in frontal or side crash tests for an overall rating. It also fell short of a Top Safety Pick rating from IIHS due to its acceptable performance in the stringent small overlap front test and poor performance for headlights, the latter being a new edition to IIHS' battery of tests. Tesla's closest competitor in terms of all-electric range, the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV, has not yet been tested under either program.
Tesla wasted no time celebrating its safety milestone for the Model X.
"More than just resulting in a five-star rating, the data from NHTSA's testing shows that Model X has the lowest probability of injury of any SUV it has ever tested," Tesla stated on its website. "In fact, of all the cars NHTSA has every tested, Model X's overall probability of injury was second only to [the] Model S."
The luxury-electric automaker attributed the Model X's crashworthiness to its all-electric architecture and powertrain design, including its "rigid, fortified" battery pack mounted beneath the floor to create an uncommonly low center of gravity for an SUV, which helps prevent rollovers. Tesla boasted that in a serious crash, Model X occupants have an overall probability of walking away without serious injury of 93 percent.