5 Most Viewed IIHS Crash Tests: Tesla Naturally Makes the Cut

Although range is the main factor in buying an electric vehicle, safety remains an important issue. In recent years, the IIHS has been responsible for ensuring the safety of all models introduced on the American market.
Highlighting Electric Car Safety in the Top 5 Most Viewed IIHS Crash Tests 6 photos
Photo: IIHS - YouTube
Highlighting Electric Car Safety in the Top 5 Most Viewed IIHS Crash TestsHighlighting Electric Car Safety in the Top 5 Most Viewed IIHS Crash TestsHighlighting Electric Car Safety in the Top 5 Most Viewed IIHS Crash TestsHighlighting Electric Car Safety in the Top 5 Most Viewed IIHS Crash TestsHighlighting Electric Car Safety in the Top 5 Most Viewed IIHS Crash Tests
To determine how safe they are, the cars are subjected to a series of crash tests. IIHS tests assess two aspects of safety. The first would be crashworthiness - how well a vehicle protects its occupants in the event of an accident, and the second would be how well the car avoids and mitigates impact, i.e. technology that can prevent an accident or lessen its severity.

The vehicles with the best results in the evaluations qualify for the TOP SAFETY PICK, an award that has been granted since 2006. In addition, the TOP SAFETY PICK+ award was introduced in 2013.

These awards identify the best vehicle choices in terms of safety in specific size categories. In general, larger and heavier vehicles offer more protection than smaller and lighter ones. However, a small car that takes an award may not protect passengers as well as a larger vehicle that does not receive the award.

Several videos of impact tests are posted on the IIHS YouTube page, and some videos get more views than others, a sign that people are interested in particular models.

1. 2022 Rivian R1T is the IIHS YouTube crash test champion

When it comes to electric models in the pickup category, the 2022 Rivian R1T has attracted the most interest. In less than two months since it was uploaded on YouTube, the video has already received over 242,700 views.

The Rivian R1T electric pickup received the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's (IIHS) highest rating, the Top Safety Pick+ designation, for the 2022 and 2023 model years, which is indeed a notable achievement.

The model targets between 200 and 400 miles of range, depending on the setup the customer chooses. The manufacturer grants the model with impressive performance: a 3.0-second run from 0 to 60 mph (97 kph) and up to 11,000 lbs (4,989 kilograms) towing capacity.

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2. Tesla customers want to see how tough the 2021 Model Y is before they buy it

The next car in terms of interest is the 2021 Tesla Model Y. It has just over 287,900 views. Though it beats the Rivian pickup truck, Elon Musk's SUV has racked up those numbers in a whole year. That's a pretty big difference in time from the two months since the R1T was tested.

In December 2022, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) awarded the Model Y their highest level of recognition, Top Safety Pick+ after the vehicle received the highest possible ratings in all of their crashworthiness and front crash avoidance tests.

The Institute conducts an evaluation program that includes three different types of offset frontal crash tests: moderate overlap, driver-side small overlap, and passenger-side small overlap. Driver-side small overlap crash test seems to interest a lot of potential Model Y customers.

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3. Overall evaluation: Good for 2021 Volvo XC40 Recharge

Even if it doesn't compare to the interest generated by the other two models above, the 2021 Volvo XC40 Recharge small Swedish SUV has racked up 101,068 views in a year and a half.

The Institute has awarded the 2021 Volvo XC40 Recharge, the first all-electric Volvo, with the Top Safety Pick+ award, designating it as one of the safest cars available on the market.

The Volvo XC40 Recharge has received a "Good" rating in all crash tests, and it also excels in crash avoidance and mitigation tests. The XC40 Recharge's results make Volvo the only car manufacturer to achieve this rating for all models in its range.

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4. Mustang's Mach-E crash test is less thrilling than Tesla's, according to viewers

Around 100,800 views have been gathered so far by the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E, which is less than the test of the Swedish model published at the same time. Which may demonstrate a low interest in an electric Mustang? That remains to be seen.

The electric Mustang received a "Good" rating in all major crashworthiness categories, including small overlap front crash, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength, and head restraints/seats, which qualifies it for the "Top Safety Pick" overall ranking, nearly the highest ranking possible.

The reason the SUV did not receive the "+" rating from the IIHS is due to its headlights. The headlamps for some trim levels received a Marginal rating and were considered "inadequate." To receive the Top Safety Pick+ rating, a headlight with an Acceptable or Good rating must be the standard. However, the most closely watched impact test was the one aimed at the driver-side small overlap.

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5. 2021 Volkswagen ID.4, Tesla Model Y's less-viewed rival

With only 51,062 views in our top is the 2021 Volkswagen ID.4, the German car is also considered the European rival to the Tesla Model Y.

The IIHS, which is the U.S. equivalent of Euro NCAP, has also tested the 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 and found the results to be favorable. The vehicle earned the highest possible rating, the TOP SAFETY PICK+.

As with the other videos mentioned above, the most watched was the driver-side small overlap crash test.

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About the author: Marius Visan
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Marius grew up in a family of truck drivers, so the love for cars and anything with an engine came naturally. After getting his journalism degree and an M.D. in Multimedia and Audio/Video Production he went right into covering the automotive industry for a news agency and a print magazine.
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