Crash Test 2000 - 2005 BMW 3 Series IIHS
BMW 3 series
2000-05 models mfg. after Nov. 1999
FRONTAL OFFSET TEST
OVERALL EVALUATION: Good
Structure/safety cage Injury measures Restraints/dummy kinematics
Head/neck Chest Leg/foot, left Leg/foot, right
Good Good Good Good Good Good
Important: Frontal crash test ratings can be compared only among vehicles of similar weight.
The BMW 3 Series was redesigned for the 1999 model year.
All 2000 and later 3 Series models manufactured after November 1999 include structural changes to improve occupant protection in frontal crashes (note: information about when a specific vehicle was manufactured is on the certification label typically affixed to the car on or near the driver door).
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has evaluated the crashworthiness of a BMW 328i with the structural changes in a 40 mph frontal offset crash test into a deformable barrier.
Restraints/dummy kinematics — Dummy movement was well controlled. During rebound, the dummy's head hit the roof rail.
Injury measures — Measures taken from the dummy indicate a low risk of any significant injuries in a crash of this severity. Head acceleration from the roof rail hit was low
Crash Test of 2001-2005 BMW 3 Series w/sab
Hand of driveLHD
Body type4-door saloon
Year of publication2001
VIN from which rating applies316i, model code: ER11, VIN: KC16362 318i, model code: AY71, VIN: FZ41627, CJ67330
Euro NCAP allowed BMW to retest the 3-series after it improved side impact protection and attended to a door latch release problem. Even so, the car only just did well enough to merit a four-star rating. The driver risked chest injury in the frontal impact, and protection for his legs was mediocre. In the side impact, he risked abdominal injury. Finally, protection for pedestrians was also disappointing.
The front seat belts were fitted with load limiters and pre-tensioners. But despite these the driver suffered a quite high chest loading. The knee impact area had hard points that could damage his knees and thighs. The centre rear belt was lap-only and provided inferior protection to that of a three-point belt. .
The drivers head and pelvis were well protected, but the load on his abdomen was high. The rear of the door-mounted thorax airbag did not fully deploy which allowed his two top ribs to be loaded by the side wing of the seat, while his abdomen was loaded by the thoracic airbag, supported by the seat wing. A head protection airbag tube is fitted as standard and this performed well in the pole test. A rear door latch released and Euro NCAP allowed a retest following a process change to correct this.
The 3-series has a passengers front airbag as standard, which poses a danger for a child placed in a rear-facing restraint on the front seat. There was no clear and permanent warning of this danger and BMW needs to take this matter more seriously. BMW Junior-Seats with ISOFIX fittings were used. These failed to contain the childrens heads in the tests with the exception of the younger ones in the frontal impact. The ISOFIX mountings were designed to prevent the seats being used with only one side engaged, to discourage misuse. However, the belt routing labels were incorrectly coloured and not permanent.
The 3-series did little to protect pedestrians: its front was very uncompromising. Only the bonnet where a childs head would most likely strike gave any cushioning.
BMW 318i Top Gear 1991
Top Gear's Chris Goffey reviews the BMW 318i E36 Model from 1991.
Also features William Woolard at the start of the clip who presented Top Gear for 10 years, this is one of the last few episodes before he left.