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SAFETY | 8 out of 10
Four stars, front impacts; five stars, side impacts
Good," frontal offset impact; "good," side impact
Head-protecting tubular side airbags...are standard
The 2010 BMW 3-Series does well in crash tests. In testing by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the 3-Series scores better than average. In fact, the BMW 2010 lineup of 3-Series vehicles is a top performer in IIHS tests, earning a "good" rating, the highest possible, for both frontal offset and side impact categories. While NHTSA is often thought to have less rigorous test procedures, the BMW 3-Series did less well in its ratings. For both driver- and passenger-side front impacts, the BMW 3-Series earns four out of five stars for occupant protection. But it redeems itself somewhat in NHTSA's side-impact category for both driver and rear passenger, where it garners perfect five-star ratings.
Reviews read by TheCarConnection.com show that the 2010 BMW 3-Series also boasts a number of first-rate safety features that help keep driver and passengers safe, including a full suite of airbags, anti-lock brakes, and a stability control system. Cars.com says the "standard safety features include: antilock brakes, electronic stability system, [and] side curtain airbags," while Edmunds reviewers note that "run-flat tires" come standard, and the "stability control system integrates several features designed to improve braking performance, such as periodically wiping the brake rotors dry when the windshield wipers are in use." New for 2010 is an optional automatic high-beam system to improve night visibility.
The 2010 BMW 3-Series offers good visibility in all directions. ConsumerGuide reviewers point out that "thick front pillars can obscure vision to the forward corners," but they also say the "rear visibility is fine," a less and less common feature on newer cars with high trunks and thick rear pillars.
While its crash-test record isn't quite perfect, the 2010 BMW 3-Series provides a suite of safety features that is more than competitive for the class.