The BMW i3, a small car, fails to reach the winner’s circle because it rates only acceptable in the head restraint and seat evaluation, which measures a vehicle’s ability to protect against neck injuries in a rear crash. While such injuries are rarely fatal, they are the most common type of crash injury and can cause debilitating pain.
The i3 earns good ratings in the other crashworthiness tests and is available with an optional front crash prevention system that earns an advanced rating. The system reduced the impact speed by an average of 9 mph in the 12 mph track test and by 7 mph in the 25 mph test. Its warning component also meets NHTSA criteria.
The i3’s only available headlight system earns an acceptable rating.
“BMW clearly thought a lot about safety when designing the i3,” Zuby says. “It’s a shame that it missed the mark on head restraints, which is something most of today’s vehicles get right. Among small cars, the i3 is the only 2017 model that doesn’t get a good rating.”
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