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Tesla Model 3 crushes NHTSA's crash testing with a 5-star rating

The Model 3 received top scores in every category tested by NHTSA, including standard safety equipment.

2018 Tesla Model 3 Performance
The Model 3 isn't just great to drive, it's safe as h*ck too, according to NHTSA.
Nick Miotke/Roadshow

We've made no secret of being big fans of the Tesla Model 3, but one thing we've been curious about is how well it would fare in crash testing. It turns out that the answer is pretty well, thanks to results published this week by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). But that's only half the story.

Why is it only half the story? NHTSA is one of two institutions that do crash testing in the US, and while its tests are important, they're less stringent than those done by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Still, five-star ratings across the board from NHTSA is nothing to sneeze at.

While many vehicles get a five-star overall NHTSA score, it's not common for a car to ace every category with top marks across the board. NHTSA also called out the Model 3's safety technology as being top-shelf. The only safety equipment mentioned by NHTSA that the Model 3 doesn't offer is dynamic head restraints. Everything else is present as standard equipment.

It's also worth mentioning that while the IIHS hasn't published its crash test results, it has partially evaluated the Model 3 and it received a rating of Superior for its forward collision avoidance systems and an "A" rating for its headlights. Neither of which are especially easy to get.