Tesla Model 3 Clears the Unofficial Head-on Pole Crash Test

Speak to any safety expert - or any person with at least a touch of common sense - and their advice on buying a new car will be to get the safest one you can afford.
Tesla Model 3 crash 4 photos
Photo: YouTube screenshot
Tesla Model 3 pole crashTesla Model 3 pole crashTesla Model 3 pole crash
In Tesla's case, that was a bit of an issue. Sure, the electric powertrain setup ensures huge crumple zones at the front, making the vehicles extremely safe - as proven by the multitude of Model S and X crashes as well as their scores in the IIHS and NHTSA crash tests -, but there weren't that many people who were both ready to make the switch to EVs and afford one.

With the introduction of the Model 3, that last part seems to be changing, at least by a little bit. We don't have any official figures by we doubt the people getting their Model 3s so early opted for the base $35,000 version. As they were already Tesla owners, they clearly met the condition of affording the more expensive vehicles already, so they're not exactly the kind of people we're looking for.

However, what matters is that the price of the Model 3 will not influence the vehicle's safety rating, meaning those who spend $35,000 will get the same protection as those who wire $60,000 into Tesla's account. So the real question is "how safe is the Model 3?"

For a definite answer, we're going to have to wait for the official tests conducted by the organizations mentioned above (or EuroNCAP over in the EU), but in the meantime, we'll feed on any piece of information we get. Like, for instance, this very short footage of a blue Model 3 with the unmissable shape of a traffic light pole imprinted where the frunk used to be.

The accident was caught by a kid vlogging about whatever it is they talk about in their videos (usually nothing), so do skip the rest of the clip as it can best be described as cancer (the crash comes up at the 7:15 mark). The Model 3, on the other hand, appears to have cleared itself excellently of its duties to protect the occupants, with the passenger compartment suffering no visible deformation.

Of course, knowing the speed of the crash would help, but judging by how far back into the car the pole went, we'd say it was considerable. Based on this evidence and, more importantly, on Tesla's safety record, we're willing to bet the 3 will not disappoint. But what we would really want to know is whether it will set new records in its segment as the X did, or will it settle for less?

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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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