The 2019 Audi e-tron quattro Premium Plus 4-door plug-in electric vehicle (EV) has become the first such vehicle to be conferred the “Top Safety Pick+” award by the the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

Along the way, this large SUV beat the older and more popular Tesla Model S for the honor.

The 2019 Audi e-tron Quattro received a score of “Good” in all six crashworthiness tests, and a “Superior” rating for front crash prevention. It was rated Good in the child-seat anchors, as well as its headlights.

The crashworthiness tests consisted of small overlap front: driver-side; small overlap front: passenger-side; moderate overlap front; side; roof strength; and head restraints and seats.

The Tesla Model S and Chevy Bolt were also tested by IIHS and failed to attain the same scores as the 2019 Audi e-tron Quattro, which is Audi’s first mass produced EV.

The Tesla 2017 Model S did well on most of the crashworthiness tests, but didn’t get Good ratings for all six. It was found wanting in the small overlap frontal and ranked as acceptable. The child seat anchors on the Model S were rated Moderate while the headlights were Poor.

The 2019 Chevy Bolt also scored a Moderate on child seat anchors and Poor on headlights.

IIHS said the e-tron fulfills the criteria that allowed it to earn its top safety rating with standard equipment. The the e-tron’s standard front crash prevention system was rated superior in IIHS track tests.

It avoided a collision in the 25 mph test and reduced its impact speed by an average of 11 mph in the 12 mph test. Its forward collision warning component meets U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) criteria.

On the downside, the e-tron was the subject of a recent voluntary recall in the U.S. due to the risk of battery fire.

IIHS is currently testing the Tesla Model 3. It has never tested the Tesla Model X.

Based in Arlington, Virginia, IIHS is a U.S. nonprofit organization that workd to reduce the number of motor vehicle traffic collisions, and the rate of injuries and amount of property damage in the crashes.

It carries out research and confers ratings for passenger vehicles, as well as for certain consumer products.

2019 Audi e-tron quattro being battered in IIHS test 2019 Audi e-tron quattro being battered in IIHS test Photo: IIHS