It gets harder and harder each year to earn awards from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Yet, even in the first year of its latest generation, BMW's venerable 3 Series has again proven mighty safe.
The IIHS announced last week that the 2019 BMW 3 Series has earned its highest safety rating, Top Safety Pick Plus. In order to achieve this, a car must withstand a series of difficult crash tests that go above and beyond the federal five-star tests. In addition, a vehicle needs to succeed in a variety of technical evaluations that look at safety systems and headlights.
On the crash-test front, the 3 Series was flawless. It earned the top Good rating in every single crash test, including the IIHS' brand new small-overlap front passenger test. Even when breaking down each test into more specific subcategories, the 3 Series passed with flying colors.
The results of the technical evaluations were almost as rosy. With its standard complement of safety systems, the Bimmer achieved the IIHS' top rating of Superior, avoiding crashes at both 12 miles per hour and 25 mph. The headlight situation is a little less exciting. While the 3 Series did receive a Good rating for its headlights, that only applies to the optional LED headlights with automatic high beams. The mid-tier headlights were only rated Marginal, while the base LED headlights were rated Poor for inadequate side and curve illumination.
The 2019 BMW 3 Series finds itself in good company. Dozens of vehicles have picked up IIHS awards for 2019 thus far, including four other BMW vehicles: 2019 5 Series, 2019 X2, 2019 X3 and . Of those cars, only the X2 failed to meet the criteria for Top Safety Pick Plus, earning the second-best Top Safety Pick instead.