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Tesla's Model 3 Is Racking Up More Accolades

By Daniel Sparks - Jul 10, 2019 at 11:03AM

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Could the positive reception of the Model 3 help the vehicle's sales keep rising?

Awards and praise are stacking up for Tesla's ( TSLA 5.09% ) Model 3. Last December, Detroit's own Detroit News crowned the Model 3 the "vehicle of the year." And earlier this month, Model 3 earned a five-star safety rating from the European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP), building on a five-star rating by U.S.-based National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) last September. Now the U.K.'s automotive website Auto Express is naming Tesla's Model 3 the "Car of the Year for 2019."

Impressive safety ratings and glowing reviews could help bolster demand for Tesla's Model 3 as the company aims for another round of record vehicle deliveries in Q3.

A red Model 3

Model 3. Image source: Tesla.

Safety

Last week, Euro NCAP awarded Model 3 not just a five-star all-around safety rating, but five stars in all four of the test's categories. The categories, Tesla said in a blog post, "evaluate a car's ability to protect adults, children, vulnerable road users like cyclists and pedestrians, as well as its safety assistance features."

The Euro NCAP's "safety assist" category is unique in that it is one of the few programs with comprehensive testing of the latest driver-assist technology, like Tesla's Autopilot. On this front, Euro NCAP had some good news for Tesla.

"In this latter 'Safety Assist' category, which evaluates a car's active safety features including its ability to avoid accidents, mitigate injuries and prevent drivers from unintentionally drifting out of their lane," Tesla said in a blog post, "Model 3 earned the highest score that Euro NCAP has awarded to date under their 2018/2019 testing protocols."

The Model 3 similarly passed NHTSA's safety tests with flying colors last year. The vehicle earned an overall five-star rating, a five-star rating in every category and sub-category, and bragging rights of having the lowest probability of injury of every car the agency has ever tested. 

Performance

This week, Auto Express weighed in on the Model 3's overall performance and specs, dubbing the vehicle the best car of 2019. The website praised the vehicle's range, torque, passenger capacity, simple design, handling, and support for 200-kilowatt-hour charging capacity.

"[The Model 3] distills the Tesla qualities we love into a smaller and more affordable package, and will cement its maker as a dominant force in the global car market," Auto Express tweeted on Tuesday.

Model 3 deliveries hit a record high in Q2, surging 320% year over year and 52% sequentially, helping total vehicle deliveries set a new record. Going into Q3, Tesla said it expects total deliveries to rise further. The Model 3, of course, will likely play a key role in this growth.

Not all feedback on the Model 3, however, has been positive. Consumer product rating agency Consumer Reports pulled its recommendation on the Model 3 earlier this year, citing reliability issues. But Tesla objected to CR's critique, saying the survey was based on Model 3 vehicles delivered no later than September of last year. "[T]he vast majority of these issues have already been corrected through design and manufacturing improvements, and we are already seeing a significant improvement in our field data," Tesla said in a statement to press. 

Whether CR recommends Model 3 in the future or not, consumers are eager to get their hands on the new vehicle, as well as Tesla's Models S and X. The company said total orders for its vehicles in Q2 were greater than its deliveries during the quarter, highlighting strong demand and setting Tesla up for a good shot at yet another record quarter.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis – even one of our own – helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.

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