Four out of five is bad as BMW falls short in NCAP crash test

Carmaker loses a star as testers note ‘marginal protection’ against whiplash in rear-end collision


BMW’s cutting-edge electric i3 has failed to gain a top-score of five stars in the EuroNCAP crash test. The latest round of results show that the i3 could only score four out of five. The car actually did quite well in sections of the test, with good performances in the side barrier and front impact tests, but the NCAP boffins commented that “in the more severe side pole impact, dummy readings of rib compression indicated that protection of the chest was weak. The front seats and head restraints provided marginal protection against whiplash in the event of a rear-end collision.”

Surprisingly, given the car’s lack of an engine, the leading edge of the bonnet also came in for criticism in the pedestrian impact test. It’s not the first time that BMW has earned itself a disappointing rating from EuroNCAP - in 2004, the E60 generation of 5 Series could only earn four out of five stars, at a time when such cars as Renault Clios and Toyota Avensis were scoring full marks.

In other recent tests, the Infiniti Q50, Maserati Ghibli, Mazda 3, Peugeot 308 and the plugin-hybrid version of Mitsubishi’s Outlander all scored full five-star earnings. Van-derived passenger vehicles usually don’t do so well in the NCAP test, but Ford’s recently-launched Tourneo Connect pulled off a five-star result, putting it ahead of the likes of the Volkswagen Transporter T5 and Mercedes-Benz Citan Kombi.

That said, Ford has some head-scratching of its own to do - its new compact crossover, the EcoSport managed just a four-star rating while Nissan’s Note, in spite of being available with much-trumpeted electronic safety gadgets, also scored four out of five.