Many people write off electric vehicles (EV) after hearing about phenomena like thermal runaway. However, modern EVs are some of the safest cars in the world, and they’re getting even safer. For instance, the Tesla Model 3 boasts some of the best safety scores in the industry. The Model 3 was among the safest cars for 2021, and it hasn’t changed.
Is it worth buying a Tesla Model 3?
The Tesla Model 3 is the cheapest vehicle in the automaker’s lineup, but it’s not necessarily a bargain. Tesla’s prices have increased multiple times per year for a couple of years now, and the baby Tesla didn’t escape unscathed. Tesla bumped the 2022 model year prices from $54,490 to $57,990. However, the high-speed Model 3 Performance managed to elude the latest price bumps.
Gigafactory Shanghai | Getty Images
Still, buying a Model 3 is worth it if you want a reasonably affordable Tesla badge with top-tier safety credentials.
Is the baby Tesla the safest car on the market?
The Tesla Model 3 is very safe. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is a universally recognized authority on vehicle safety, and it gave the Model 3 top scores. Specifically, the 2022 Model 3 got a five-star overall crashworthiness rating from the NHTSA. Not just overall, though; the 2022 model year also earned five stars in every subcategory.
Furthermore, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found the baby Tesla to be exceedingly safe. The IIHS awarded the 2022 Model 3 its Top Safety Pick+ award, the agency’s highest rating. The little Tesla EV had to get “good” ratings in most categories to get that rating. The only blemishes on the Model 3’s IIHS report card were a couple of “acceptable” ratings in “child latch ease of use” and lower leg/foot driver injury prevention.
Tesla Model 3 | Tesla
Why is the Tesla Model 3 one of the safest cars?
The miniature Tesla is safe due mainly to its design. Its lack of an internal combustion engine (ICE) powerplant means no flammable liquids and space up front for structural enhancements. As a result, the Model 3 is resistant to kinetic front impacts and more fire resistant than many gas-powered competitors.
Also, the Model 3, like the larger Model Y, is resistant to rollover accidents. The battery placement keeps the vehicle’s center of gravity low, meaning side impacts can’t roll the EV over as easily as other vehicles. Also, in the event of a rollover, the Model 3 resisted more roof-focused crushing force than any other test vehicle, to the tune of 20,835 lbs.
The Tesla Model 3 in a showroom | Salwan Georges, The Washington Post via Getty Images
What can you buy instead?
If you would like a reasonably affordable EV with the now-sought-after T badge, the Model 3 is a solid prospect. In addition to being one of the safest cars on the market, the baby Tesla has some of the lowest depreciation on the market. However, if you want to save lots of money on your next EV purchase, consider the upcoming 2023 Chevrolet Bolt EV. It won’t be as posh or luxurious as the entry-level Tesla, but it will cost you less than half as much money.
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