The Tesla Model Y, 2020 CleanTechnica Car of the Year, has aced the NHTSA’s safety tests, scoring 5 stars in every category — like the Tesla Model 3, Tesla Model X, and Tesla Model S before it. In fact, when the Tesla Model 3 got this rating in 2018, Tesla announced that the 3, S, and X had the 3 best detailed scores in the history of NHTSA tests, in that order. (Technically, the NHTSA does not announce those more detailed scores.)
We can presume that the Model Y now fits on the podium itself — probably between the #1 Model 3 and #3 Model S. Perhaps Tesla will make an announcement about this soon, as it did with those other 3 vehicles around the time that their NHTSA ratings came out.
As noted above, the Model Y got 5 stars in every NHTSA category. Those categories are:
- Overall Front Star Rating
- Front Driver Side
- Front Passenger Side
- Overall Side Star Rating
- Combined Side Barrier and Pole Ratings — Front Seat
- Combined Side Barrier and Pole Ratings — Rear Seat
- Side Barrier — Driver
- Side Barrier — Rear Passenger
- Overall Side Pole Star Rating
- Rollover Star Rating
To repeat: the Model Y got 5 stars (the max) in every single one of those categories. It also got points for its standard driver-assist features: Forward Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning, Crash Imminent Braking, and Dynamic Brake Support.
When I bought a Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus (SR+) in 2019, I wrote about the top 4 reasons I bought the car (and later about 4 additional top reasons). Safety was one of those reasons, perhaps the #1 reason. Better safety, especially with two little girls, is a very compelling reason to buy one model over another. While no car can protect everyone from every potential accident, some cars clearly do much better than others, and that benefit is hard to quantify given the combination of probability and enormous potential consequences — but why take the chances if you have a choice?
Additionally, of course, the Model Y (or Model 3) leads on tech, infotainment, performance, handling, and style. (Okay, the last one is totally subjective — but come on.) Those various benefits combined with a relatively low cost of ownership make the Model Y or Model 3 (depending on the body type you prefer) the best option on the market. Hence our 2020 CleanTechnica Car of the Year award going to the Model Y (and the Model 3 winning our 2018 CleanTechnica Car of the Year award).
If you now want to buy a Tesla Model 3 (or Model Y, Model S, or Model X), feel free to use my referral code to get some free Supercharging miles with your purchase: https://ts.la/zachary63404.
You can also get a $100 discount on Tesla solar with that code, which would allow you to try your Tesla (or another electric car) on sunshine.