European tests have demonstrated safety levels in the Tesla Model 3 beyond those yet tested in the U.S.

The European New Car Assessment Program announced results last week from its full round of testing on a 2019 Model 3, and it gave the Model 3 its highest overall score in 2019 for the full collection of tests—in crash protection for its own occupants and pedestrians, and in its crash avoidance technology.

In the U.S., the Model 3 earned a 5-star rating from the NHTSA in front, side, and rollover crashes. In a rare feat, it also achieved 5-star ratings in all tested passenger positions in all the federal tests. 

The Model 3 has not been tested in the more rigorous crash tests conducted by the IIHS, though the insurance-funded group did test the model's headlights and rated them as Good, or Acceptable (its two highest ratings out our four), depending on the individual car's build date. The IIHS also rated Tesla's Autopilot driver safety aids in a separate test, awarding the Model 3 three out of six points and giving it its highest Superior rating, though it said none of the systems it tested qualified as "self-driving" systems.

Euro NCAP adult crash test results for 2019 Tesla Model 3

Euro NCAP adult crash test results for 2019 Tesla Model 3

The Euro NCAP program tested the Model 3 in full-width and offset front crash tests, side tests being hit by another car and crashing into a pole, with adults and children; whiplash tests; and tests of its automatic emergency braking system with a car, bicycle, and pedestrian, and its active lane control system both with an oncoming car and one headed the same direction in an adjacent lane. They also tested the injury severity the Model 3 would inflict on a pedestrian it hit, both in the legs, pelvis, and head.

The Model 3 didn't perform perfectly, but no car yet has. It earned an Adult Occupant protection score of 96 percent, a Child Occupant Score of 86 percent, a score of 74 percent for "Vulnerable Road Users" (i.e. pedestrians), and its active safety systems earned a score of 94 percent.

The car stopped in time for all obstacles in the EuroNCAP tests.

On the Euro NCAP five-point scale of "Good," "Adequate," "Marginal," "Weak," and "Poor," the Model 3 earned all "Good" ratings in crash tests except for an "Acceptable" rating for rear-seat torso protection for adults in a full-width frontal crash (which mainly measures the effectiveness of seat belts), and a "Marginal" rating for driver torso injuries in the side pole crash test. It also delivered only "Marginal" performance for neck injuries to a 10-year-old child dummy in a booster seat in the side impact tests.

The IIHS is expected to release results of its moderate- and small-overlap front; and side impact, and rollover roof-crush tests for the Model 3 in the U.S. soon.