The American National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has just given the Tesla Model X its highest-ever rating for any SUV style vehicle. In fact, the Model X, the biggest vehicle in the Tesla stable, scored 5/5 stars in every category evaluated by the Administration. Even more impressive is that the Model X is the second safest passenger vehicle they have tested to date. The safest? You probably already guessed… the Tesla Model S. This is a remarkable achievement for any manufacturer but all credit to the Tesla startup!

The Tesla Model X raises the bar in the SUV safety stakes!
The Tesla Model X raises the bar in the SUV safety stakes!

In the front, side, and rollover crash test, the Model X got perfect scores across the entire Model X range, from the 60D right up to the ‘top of the line’ P100D.

Fortunately, few of us will ever be in a collision like this test of the Tesla Model X.
Fortunately, few of us will ever be in a collision like this test of the Tesla Model X.

Tesla immediately hit the digital press, celebrating the rating:

“More than just resulting in a five-star rating, the data from NHTSA’s testing shows that Model X has the lowest probability of injury of any SUV it has ever tested. In fact, of all the cars NHTSA has every tested, Model X’s overall probability of injury was second only to [the] Model S.” – Tesla Inc.

Having the ‘strengthened by design’ battery pack mounted low in the floor has undoubtedly been a big factor. That weight and strength down so low, means that the vehicles centre of gravity is where conventional vehicle manufacturers can only dream about. Tesla claims that 93% of Model X occupants involved in a crash will walk away without serious injury.

It hurts to watch but Tesla claims that 93% of Model X passengers who become involved in an accident will walk away pretty much unscathed!
It hurts to watch but Tesla claims that 93% of Model X passengers who become involved in an accident will walk away pretty much unscathed!

The Model X redefines the SUV in more than just safety. Even the base 75D model pumps out a whopping 417hp while the top line 100D boosts that to 518hp yet still offers a range between charges of around 465 kilometres (290 miles). Car and Driver put it rather nicely when they commented:

“That neck-straining torque certainly gives the sensation of [521 kilowatts]. Or of falling off a tall building.”

All that while carrying up to six passengers or two and a seriously impressive 2.2 m3 (77 ft3) of luggage up back with room for the two golf bags or two strollers (who’s car is this?) up front where the engine isn’t!

The drawback for most of us is the price. This is not your typical Korean bargain. Prices start around AUD$130,000 and go all the way to AUD$225,000 (USD $85,000 – $145,000).

But if budget is not an issue, CarShowroom summed it up nicely when they wrote:
There may be better SUVs out there, but the Model X is regarded by many as more than just an SUV. It’s a statement of ones commitment to the future, it’s a symbol of forward-thought and new mobility. Thing is, if you’re not that hot on trends and reckon that EVs are just not quite there yet, the Model X simply will not appeal.

If you absolutely have to be on the cutting edge of new technology, then the Model X has little comparison. It’s a spacious, practical, comfortable family wagon that feels at home both in town and out on the open road, and offers a degree of technological sophistication that you simply cannot get anywhere else. Its distinctive styling and unique rear doors blend practicality and style perfectly, resulting in a car that’ll stand out no matter where you go.

Here’s what some of the other car mags are saying about the Model X:

WhatCar? – 4.0/5.0
“The electric Tesla Model X is a viable alternative to conventionally-powered SUVs, but it doesn’t come cheap.”

Car & Driver – 5.0/5.0
“There are no other electric SUVs at the moment. And even against fossil-fuel-fed SUVs, the Tesla’s effortless performance and efficiency can’t be matched. We should also note that there are no other SUVs with gullwing doors, but now we know there’s a good reason for that.”

Autocar – 4.0/5.0
“Tesla would do well to understand that the word ‘capable’ has an especially broad meaning in this segment: there are no superchargers in the wilderness that its rivals are better equipped to explore. However, it is necessary once again – even with qualifications – to acknowledge that there is nothing else quite like the Model X.”

Telegraph UK – 7.0/10
“The Model X is a desirable car, and offers useful additional space over the Model X for big families. However, while its electric range and performance impress, it is also expensive compared with rivals. It’s a good electric SUV, then, but the Model S remains Tesla’s best car.”

Car Magazine – 4.0/5.0
“The premium electric car market is getting ready for one almighty punch-up. Today, we can safely recommend the Tesla Model X. But it’s not going to have things all its own way for much longer… ”

AutoExpress – 4.0/5.0
“The Tesla Model X isn’t quite the revelation that the Model S was, but those who have the right lifestyle – and who can afford the high price tag – will find that this car is a perfect match. We prefer the Model S, with its more composed drive, more practical rear doors and more handsome looks, but for those who really want an electric SUV, then there’s little else like it.”

TopGear – 8.0/10
“Tesla Model X, Tesla’s second step along the path to world domination. Fear its Falcon doors!”

Motoring – 82/100
“As a long-range electric SUV the Tesla Model X is in a class of one, but in the burgeoning and highly competitive luxury performance SUV market, these quality issues are likely to detract from the appeal of the Tesla as a genuine luxury vehicle.”

Battery technology is continuing to improve almost daily. As uptake increases, production costs and then prices will fall making EV’s more affordable for all of us. I can see a Tesla or equivalent in my future. Can you, or will you always be glued to the rumple of the internal combustion engine… even if it’s running on hydrogen?