BMW's radical new city car misses out on top marks in Euro NCAP safety tests
Darren Moss
27 November 2013

The BMW i3 has missed out on getting top marks in the Euro NCAP safety tests.

The new BMW city car achieved four stars on its test, with Euro NCAP commenting that in severe side impacts protection of the chest for adult occupants was "weak", and that the front seats and head restraints provided only marginal protection against whiplash in a rear-end collision.

Other cars awarded a four-star safety rating include the Ford EcoSportNissan Note, and Mercedes-Benz Citan Kombi MPV. Volkswagen's T5 van also scored four stars.

Euro NCAP's latest round of tests also saw the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV achieve a five-star safety rating, alongside the Maserati Ghibli, Infiniti Q50 and Mazda 3.

The Ford Tourneo Connect and Peugeot 308 also both achieved top marks on the safety tests.

Our Verdict

BMW i3

BMW made waves with Europe’s first premium-brand compact EV, and continued development means the i3 keeps upping the ante

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Comments
22

27 November 2013
Are the i3 issues likely to stem from the lack of a proper b-pillar?


27 November 2013
Maybe - but Ford managed five stars with the B-Max and the side protection was very good, so it shows that a good score is possible even without a B-pillar. If you look at the 1997 3-series and 2004 5-series crash tests you'll see that BMW has a history of sub-par results. Nothing new here..

27 November 2013
Astonished that a company with BMW's experience and R&D expertise wouldn't automatically score five every time.

27 November 2013
Its funny that people assume that. People think the same of Mercedes, yet their cars and vans also get regular 3 and 4 star ratings. They obviously dont care enough to bother. Every car brand engineers a different set of compromises in their cars. Just because they handle well, and feel good to drive doesnt mean the manufacturer has bothered to put in the time to make them safe in a crash. Its obviously a different engineering challenge. I bet a car made to tick all the boxes ie. be really safe in a crash, handle well, have plush materials, be faultlessly reliable wouldnt be competitively priced.

27 November 2013
[quote=winniethewoo]Its funny that people assume that. People think the same of Mercedes, yet their cars and vans also get regular 3 and 4 star ratings. They obviously dont care enough to bother. [/quote] Apart from the Citan, I can't remember the last time a Merc model got anything other than 5 stars...and in fairness, the Citan is heavily based on a Renault. Not to mention that Merc has a long history of implementing safety-related innovations and that it is rumored that EuroNCAP originally based their testing procedures on Merc's tests, at a time when few manufacturers bothered to engineer safe vehicles. In short, your comments are quite a-bit silly IMO, since Merc has always given safety - both active and passive safety - a high priority. As for the i3, I think it only narrowly missed out on the 5 star rating...indeed, BMW should have had the resources to ensure that such a result was achieved, but if history is anything to go by, BMW does not place safety as a very high priority (I'm not saying they're unsafe...it's just that they seem to make safe because because they have to rather than because they want to).

 

- Follow your own star -

27 November 2013
Please recognise that it is much harder to get a five star rating these days. Look at the percentage scores for some of these new four star cars and they exceed the performance of many five star cars from previous years. Context friends, context.

27 November 2013
[quote=Christian Galea] As for the i3, I think it only narrowly missed out on the 5 star rating... [/quote] Yes, curiously the i3 got a maximum score for the side barrier test but didn't do well in the side pole test.


27 November 2013
[quote=Christian Galea][quote=winniethewoo]Its funny that people assume that. People think the same of Mercedes, yet their cars and vans also get regular 3 and 4 star ratings. They obviously dont care enough to bother. [/quote] Apart from the Citan, I can't remember the last time a Merc model got anything other than 5 stars...and in fairness, the Citan is heavily based on a Renault. Not to mention that Merc has a long history of implementing safety-related innovations and that it is rumored that EuroNCAP originally based their testing procedures on Merc's tests, at a time when few manufacturers bothered to engineer safe vehicles. In short, your comments are quite a-bit silly IMO, since Merc has always given safety - both active and passive safety - a high priority. As for the i3, I think it only narrowly missed out on the 5 star rating...indeed, BMW should have had the resources to ensure that such a result was achieved, but if history is anything to go by, BMW does not place safety as a very high priority (I'm not saying they're unsafe...it's just that they seem to make safe because because they have to rather than because they want to).[/quote] +1!

28 November 2013
We went through this before, in the citan thread. I think differently to you. From what I have read, across different crash tests in different countries, Volvo is the only company who really care about passive safety, whose models consistently do well, regardless of the test. BMW 3er and Mercedes C Class scored two stars when Euroncap was introduced. The Volvo S40 scored 4 stars. The IIHS introduced a new small overlap crash test in 2012, and the Volvo S60 got a good award. The Euroncap 5 star BMW 3 Series and Mercedes C Class both got rated poor. Despite this crash scenario accounting for 25% of road fatalities, Mercedes and BMW didnt think it was worth designing safety structures for. Euroncap start testing commercial vehicles in 2012, the Mercedes Citan got a 3 star euroncap rating. These are facts. To me, they say that both Mercedes and BMW design safety systems to look good in tests. Mercedes may care deeply about passive safety, but do they do anything about it in a way that matters? ie. If I'm driving a 2012 C class and I'm in a small overlap crash, will it matter to me that Mercedes were the first to introduce Airbags to Europe back in the 80's?

27 November 2013
its bmw's first attempt at designing a car with a composite body. composite materials are lighter and stiffer but have lower energy absorption capabilities that metals. in layman's terms, the don't "crumple" the just break, which absorbs less energy, transferring more into the passenger cell. I think this is the first car made from composites that NCAP has tested?

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