When it comes to comparing one vehicle to another, I think there are a lot of crucial things, but in my opinion, the most important thing that you can consider is the safety of the vehicle.
After all, the most valuable thing in your vehicle is yourself and your family. Human life cannot be replaced; a car can. Let’s dive into the data and see which one of these two vehicles is the safest.
In the late summer of last year, there were articles like the one from TechCrunch, saying that the Audi E-Tron became the first all-electric vehicle to earn the IIHS Top Safety rating. While this headline is accurate, it is a little bit misleading.
The article says, “the 2019 Audi E-Tron has become the first battery-electric vehicle to earn a top safety rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
An achievement that Tesla and other electric models like the Chevy Volt have not been able to capture.”
The last part of this quote is especially misleading because, yes, the Model X does not have a top safety rating from the IIHS, but the IIHS has never tested it.
However, the Tesla Model 3 was tested the IIHS in 2019 and received the top safety pick+.
First of all, I think it’s essential to look at the Euro NCAP top ratings for three different categories.
The first one is the safest vehicle. You can see on the chart that based on the Euro NCAP overall rating, the Tesla Model 3 is number two on the list, and the Tesla Model X is number five on the list of the overall safest vehicles.
When it comes to the safety assist technology of Tesla’s vehicles, the Tesla Model 3 is number one, and the Tesla Model X is number two out of all the vehicles they have tested.
Regarding adult occupant safety, the Model X is number three on the list of all the vehicles they have tested.
As you can see, the Audi E-Tron does not appear on these top lists, but let’s look at it side by side compared to the Model X each one of these categories.
The Euro endcap organization tested the 2019 Audi E-Tron, giving it a 5-star overall rating.
The Euro endcap also tested the 2019 Tesla Model X, and it also achieved a 5-star rating. Now let’s dive into the details and percentages for each one of these categories and ratings.
When it comes to adult occupant safety, they award points in four different categories. The frontal offset deformable barrier, the front full-width rigid barrier test, the whiplash rear impact, and the lateral impact test.
As you can see, on the top row for both the passenger and the driver, the chest area was not as well protected as the legs and the head.
There was adequate protection in each one of these categories, including the driver, which had one of their legs which is not as protected as the other.
You can see as we move to the Tesla Model X, which got a better safety score in the adult occupant safety. You can see that the driver’s chest and leg went all green, meaning it is much safer for them in this vehicle.
Because of the increased safety for the chest and the leg area for the driver, the Tesla Model X achieved a higher score. Another significant thing that the Euro Ncap organization test is the child occupant safety.
For this particular category, the Audi E-Tron earned a rating of 85%. Still, when it comes to the frontal impact and the lateral impact, the Audi E-Tron does an excellent job protecting the child occupant.
For this particular rating, the Audi E-Tron earns 23.3 out of 24 possible points.
In the overall child occupant safety rating, the Model X tested 4% lower than the Audi E-Tron.
Within that, the frontal impact and lateral impact protection were excellent for the Model X. In this particular category, it earned 22.9 out of 24 points.
If you do the math, you will realize that 22.9 out of 24 is not 81%. The reason that each of these vehicles, the Audi E-Tron and the Model X, has a little lower score is that they rate it based on the child restraint systems built into the vehicle.
When we talk about child restraint systems, we’re talking about the ability to put car seats in the vehicle and the latch points and the different things that it has from making easy use of a car seat.
In the euro and cap testing, they rank these vehicles based on what they have in these three categories.
Whether or not they have an ISO fix seat connection, whether or not the vehicle can accommodate eyes-sized seats, and of course, where you can put a universal belted child restraint system.
Don’t let the 81% for the Tesla Model X and 85% for the E-Tron make you think that either of these vehicles is not safe for a child occupant.
They both are, they just don’t all have every single one of these child restraint systems latches that the Euro and cap would like to see.
Next, let’s dive into a really important category, and that is the safety assist features built into each of these vehicles.
The Audi E-Tron did struggle a little bit at nighttime with an adult crossing the road, and also during the day with a cyclist crossing the road.
Combined with the adequate rating on the emergency lane keeping and the human-machine interface, earned the Audi E-Tron a safety Cisco of 76%.
The Tesla Model X did very well in all these tests, and it earned a rating of 94%. You can see these same tests where the Audi E-Tron has some problems, and the Model X did very well.
The adult crossing the road at night, the cyclists crossing the road, the emergency lane keep assist.
The Tesla Model X achieved four of four points and got an excellent rating in each category.
We’re not going to dive into the vulnerable road users, or how the vehicle protects pedestrians, it collides with. I believe the safety assist features are more important than that, as they keep them from hitting pedestrians in the first place.
Here’s how these vehicles stack up in this side-by-side comparison. The Model X has a higher percentage of adult occupant safety, and the Audi E-Tron has a slightly higher percentage for child occupant safety.
The Model X does much better for their safety assist features at a 94% rating, over 76% for the Audi E-Tron.
Based on this Euro NCAP testing, the Model X is clearly a safer vehicle, but let’s dive into some further data from the NHTSA.
According to the NHTSA, the overall safety rating for the 2020 Audi E-Tron is a 5-star rating, but when it comes to the overall front star rating, it earned four out of five stars.
The NHTSA rating for the Tesla Model X is also a five-star rating, but on top of that for the frontal crash, it also achieved a five-star rating.
One other number that I’d like to look at that the NHTSA does list for each of these vehicles is the rollover percentage risk for these SUVs. As you can see from this chart, electric vehicles have an advantage over their gas-burning counterparts.
Because of the batteries found in these vehicles, both the Audi E-Tron and the Tesla Model X have a very low center of gravity, causing them to have a much lower rollover risk.
The Audi E-Tron and the Tesla Model X are virtually the same when it comes to rollover risk, but the Audi E-Tron does slightly edge out the Model X with a 9.2 percent over the 9.3%nine point three percent for the Model X.
When you pull all this data together, the Model X is a slightly safer vehicle than the Audi E-Tron. I believe if the IIHS were to test the Model X, and I believe they will at some point in the future, they will end up giving you a Top Safety Pick, and in my opinion, probably a top safety pick+.
One other thing that I like to emphasize is the fact that Tesla Model X has a much more robust and much better safety assist system built-in.
Based on these numbers, statistically, it appears the Model X will avoid more accidents than the Audi E-Tron. And of course, the best way to stay safe in a vehicle is to avoid an accident altogether.
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