Heading into the 2020 model year and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's (IIHS) recent crash testing results, the Tesla Model 3 holds onto its coveted 2019 award. However, what's more important here is that the Tesla is the only EV that IIHS designated as a Top Safety Pick+. Moreover, it's the only American-made car to earn the honor across its entire fleet.


These awards are dominated by automakers like Mazda and Subaru. Though Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Genesis, Acura, and Audi take Top Safety Pick+ awards home, too. To be completely transparent here, it's important to note that the Cadillac XT6 also received a Top Safety Pick+ designation. However, it only applies to cars built during a select period of time. Meanwhile, every 2019 and 2020 Model 3 gets the IIHS designation.


Below is IIHS' 2020 Top Safety Pick+ criteria as compared to the 2019 criteria. As you can see, IIHS has made it even more difficult to get the award, which is common as each new model year arrives. To get the 2020 award, good headlights are required. This is something that keeps many vehicles off the list. In addition, IIHS has moved to include vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicles-to-pedestrian evaluations:


IIHS explains vehicle-to-vehicle evaluations:

IIHS evaluates the stopping capabilities of vehicles equipped with autobrake in two tests at 12 and 25 mph on the Vehicle Research Center test track. In each, an engineer drives the vehicle straight toward a stationary target designed to simulate the back of a car

Here's part of IIHS' explanation of vehicle-to-pedestrian evaluations:

Pedestrian crash prevention capabilities are evaluated using dummies that move across or stand in the roadway. Tests are conducted in these three scenarios:

i.e. Perpendicular adult, perpendicular child, and parallel adult. 

As in the vehicle-to-vehicle tests, a GPS system and sensors record data about the vehicle's speed and position, and an on-board camera captures any warnings from the system.

You can look at the whole report about how IIHS evaluates vehicles by clicking here.Check it all out and then leave us your thoughts in the comment section below.

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