The BMW 3-Series Sedan was all-new last year, while Coupe and Convertible versions carry over for one more year under the previous E90 design.
What that means, to put it bluntly, is that if you opt for a two-door 3-Series, you're not going to get occupant protection that's on par with the latest 3er sedans. Coupe and Convertible versions carry over “good” scores for frontal impact and side impact plus an “acceptable” score for roof strength from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), while they weren't at all rated by the federal government's new-car assessment program (NCAP).
But the 2013 BMW 3-Series Sedan does much better; it gets a top five-star score from the federal government, including a five-star score for side impact and four stars for frontal impact. And it earns top 'good' scores in frontal, side, and rear impact tests, along with roof strength, and earns the Top Safety Pick designation.
There is already one blemish for the sedans, though; the 2013 3-Series earned just 'marginal' in the new IIHS small-overlap frontal test, which simulates a collision with a pole, or the corner of a larger vehicle.
The 3-Series sedans have a completely new structure with more aluminum than ever before, along with ultra-high strength tensile steels, to help make it light yet protective.
All 3-Series models include a standard complement of airbags, which cover front and side impacts, plus side head airbags for front- and rear-seat passengers. Optional safety tech bolsters the 3-Series' resume. Blind-spot monitors and lane-departure warning systems add to a camera-based forward collision warning system and are offered for the first time in the 3-Series. The cars also include a BMW Assist program that can automatically notify first responders if the car has been in an crash.
A rearview camera is available and can be bundled with a parking assistance program that adds cameras around the car to stitch together a surround-view camera look to help with parking in tight spaces, or pulling out of concealed exits such as alleyways.