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SAFETY | 8 out of 10
Braking is phenomenal -- in our 60-0-mph braking test, the M3 came to a halt in just 100 feet, which is among the shortest distances we've ever recorded.
Like most high-dollar high-performance cars, the BMW M3 hasn't been tested by either the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) or IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety).
The nearly-identical 3-Series, however, scores top marks from the IIHS, rating "good" in all categories for the coupe and sedan, with the convertibles rating "marginal" in side impact protection. The NHTSA hasn't yet rated the 2011 3-Series.
Dual front, side, and curtain airbags are standard; so are anti-lock brakes, as well as stability and traction control. A rearview camera and adaptive cruise control are options. Visibility in all three versions is good, with convertibles suffering a bit to the rear quarters when the roof is raised.
The 2011 BMW M3 has all the usual safety gear, but hasn't been crash-tested.