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2018 BMW X2 falls short of IIHS awards thanks to head restraints

That's not usually the part of the car responsible for a missed award.

If you're keen on an X2, but you're a real stickler for safety, you might want to wait until BMW addresses its head restraints.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

Many cars fell out of favor with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) after its Top Safety Pick award criteria grew to include headlights and passenger-side crash tests, but the 2018 BMW X2 missed a safety award for a stranger reason.

The IIHS announced this week that the X2 just fell short of a Top Safety Pick designation. Its head restraints, which were only rated Acceptable after middling crash performance, are to blame. In order for a vehicle to earn Top Safety Pick, it must receive Good ratings in all of its crash tests, excluding the new passenger small overlap test.

It's a shame, because the X2 proved itself to be quite safe. It received Good ratings in every other crash metric, including the tricky driver small overlap crash test. Heck, it was even rated Good in the passenger small overlap test, which didn't exist until this year and has already vexed multiple automakers.

However, the X2 would have still fallen short of the highest award, Top Safety Pick+. While it met the passenger small overlap criteria for this award, its headlights needed a Good rating. Its LED projector headlights were rated Acceptable due to low-beam glare and issues with high-beam visibility on the roadside.

Thankfully, the IIHS believes in second chances. BMW already told the IIHS that it plans to improve the car's headrests, and the X2 will get another stab at Top Safety Pick in September after the changes have been implemented. Even the IIHS pointed out how odd this rating was, with only four 2018 vehicles receiving an Acceptable head restraint rating out of 185 models tested.