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SAFETY | 10 out of 10
Five stars overall; four stars frontal; five stars side
'Good,' frontal, side, rear impact; 'good,' roof strength; Top Safety Pick
The new 5-Series sedans also get an electronic limited-slip differential and a full array of systems to optimize the action of their four disc brakes.
Should the driver stumble, the 5-series’ many safety systems are at the ready.
Car and Driver
The 5-Series was completely redesigned for last year, and by this time both major U.S. crash-test agencies have released results. Overall, they're great, with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) naming the 5-Series sedans a Top Safety Pick, and the federal government giving them a five-star overall rating, with top five-star ratings in all but frontal impact (four stars).
The BMW 5-Series has a strong reputation for safety, and we should add that excellent handling, plus one of the best-tuned electronic stability control systems, make these sedans more confidence inspiring when it comes to emergency and accident-avoidance maneuvers.
In addition to the usual roster of airbags, rear side bags are optional, and the 5-Series has a number of high-tech safety extras. The brakes now have composite front rotors, and electronic aids such as Brake Fade Compensation, Brake Standby, and Brake Drying help performance in certain situations.
An Active Blind Spot Detection, a Lane Departure Warning system, Xenon Adaptive Headlights with automatic high beams, and a new second-generation night-vision system with pedestrian detection are all available and might further increase safety.
Whether in passive crash protection, high-tech active safety, or fleet-footed accident avoidance, the 2012 BMW 5-Series has all the safety bases covered.