The BMW X3 has not been tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), but the insurance-industry engineers at the IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) give the 2010 X3 "good" ratings for front and side impact protection. However, due to changes in the IIHS' methodology-roof-crush standards are now included in the awards-the 2010 X3 does not retain its designation as a Top Safety Pick.
Safety equipment in the 2010 X3 is substantial. Front side and side-curtain airbags are standard, along with electronic stability control. Edmunds points out the safety features include "active headrests" and "antilock disc brakes" as well. Rear seat-mounted side airbags are an option. BMW offers parking sensors, but not a rearview camera.
Auxiliary features include "automatic brake drying (whereby the rotors are lightly 'wiped' during wet weather conditions) [and] hill descent control," according to Edmunds.
"Outward visibility is excellent," observes Cars.com, which says that getting a feel for the BMW X3's four corners is fairly easy.