BMW i3 Scores Only 4 Stars in Euro NCAP Crash Tests (w/videos)


List is Sorted Alphabetically - BMW i3 is Not the Top Scorer in This Hybrid / Plug-In Gorup of Vehicles Tested by Euro NCAP

List is Sorted Alphabetically – BMW i3 is Not the Top Scorer in This Hybrid / Plug-In Gorup of Vehicles Tested by Euro NCAP

The Euro NCAP got its hands on a few BMW i3s and then proceeded to wreck them all.

After the crash-test dust settled, the i3 scored 4 stars overall, which would be a decent result if you omit the scores of some of the other plug-in vehicles tested by Euro NCAP.

i3 Euro NCAP Frontal Crash

i3 Euro NCAP Frontal Crash

i3 Euro NCAP After Frontal Crash

i3 Euro NCAP After Frontal Crash

I3 Euro NCAP Pole After Crash

I3 Euro NCAP Pole After Crash

The clear leader, at least in terms of overall (star-rated) safety in the hybrid / plug-in category of Euro NCAP tested plug-in vehicles is the Volvo V60 Plug-In Hybrid.  The Renault Zoe and Nissan LEAF trail the Volvo only slightly.  The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV comes in fourth and the Chevy Volt/Opel Ampera/Vauxhall Ampera rounds out the top five in terms of Euro NCAP tested safety for plug-in vehicles.

4 Stars is Not What BMW Expected to Achieve

4 Stars is Not What BMW Expected to Achieve

At only 4 stars, the i3 falls into the same overall plug-in vehicle safety level category of the Mitsubishi i-MiEV (and its clones) and the Renault Fluence Z.E.

Euro NCAP has not yet tested the Tesla Model S.

Here are the full results for the newly tested BMW i3:

i3 2

i3 3i3 4

Euro NCAP Comments BMW i3

Euro NCAP Comments BMW i3

Even more results found at Euro NCAP by clicking here.

Category: BMW

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13 responses to "BMW i3 Scores Only 4 Stars in Euro NCAP Crash Tests (w/videos)"
  1. Jerry says:

    So if it had a rear seat seatbelt reminder it would have received 5 stars. All of the actually crash categories scored higher than the Volt.

    1. kdawg says:

      Looks like it’s more than a seatbelt reminder.

      ” Crashworthy vehicle designs can help mitigate the consequences for those involved in an accident. Although crashes are often not caused by a single event but by the unfortunate alignment of multiple factors, the immediate cause of a crash is frequently some form of driver error.
      It is logical, therefore, that even more can be done to increase safety by reducing the likelihood that driver errors lead to crashes in the first place. For instance, many people drive too fast for the circumstances, often unintentionally. Some drivers start their journeys having forgotten to buckle their seatbelt. For this reason, automobile manufacturers are putting technologies onto vehicles designed to assist safe driving and enhance driver judgment.

      Safety assist technologies play an increasingly important role in accident avoidance and injury mitigation. Many systems are quite new and their impact on safety is not yet fully understood. However, other technologies such as Intelligent Seat Belt Reminders, Electronic Stability Control and Speed Assistance systems have already been shown to save lives and are widely available amongst the vehicle fleet. The functionality of these technologies is assessed by Euro NCAP and points can be scored, but only if the fitment on all of the vehicle variants sold across Europe is high.

      Intelligent Seat Belt Reminders have been assessed as part of the Adult Occupant Rating since 2003. Since 2009, Seat Belt Reminders, ESC and Speed Assistance systems have been grouped together under ‘Safety Assist’, the part of Euro NCAP’s assessment which looks at driver assistance technologies. All vehicles with a good overall rating must score well on Safety Assist technologies.”

    2. Dan Frederiksen says:

      Yeah the score seems bs. And the video looks quite soft. Softer than Tesla Model S which to me seemed to have a harsh stop point in the deceleration curve.
      It looked as good as any other car to me.

      That said I think I would do a type of bucket seat where head and body is fixed on place and doesn’t rely on airbag. Same with shins. Wide plate belts, even visor to catch the face.
      If you catch the body with a large enough surface and you keep it away from introducing hard points like side impact beam then I think the body can take enormous acceleration and walk away. You don’t need the curtain bags if the body and head is cupped.
      Better to start the deceleration from sitting rather than try to stop the head up against the shattering window.
      Like irrational people today who thoughtlessly feel the seatbelt is just there to annoy them and take away their freedom to be stupid americans, so you might feel that what I propose is too much.

  2. Ben says:

    The i3 scored 4 stars because of the pedestrian protection. You have to know that the rating scheme was changed this year. Under the new scheme many cars, like the Volt/Ampera, would receive 4 stars as well.

    1. kdawg says:

      Didn’t the Volt redesign in 2010 before release because of the crash-testing and the pedestrian results? I know it resulted in a change in the hood design.

    2. Eric Loveday says:

      Yes, testing has changed. However, that’s no excuse for the 4 stars. BMW was aware of the new guidelines and had long promised the i3 would be tops in its category in NCAP tests. Notice the Outlander PHEV results? That vehicle too was just tested. It scored 5 stars.

  3. kdawg says:

    Seems odd the iMiEV scored so low in the pedestrian category. Couldn’t you just stick out your arm and stop it? 🙂

    1. Aaron says:

      No, you put your feet through the floorboards like the Flintstones. 😉

  4. vdiv says:

    It’s something to do with the “Safety Assist” category as well. It’s got 55% or the lowest in the category.

    1. Eric Loveday says:

      Okay…I’ll dig up more info. Didn’t figure this would be so hotly debated so quickly

    2. vdiv says:

      From the PDF report:
      Safety Assist
      The i3 has electronic stability control as standard equipment, and met Euro NCAP’s test requirements. A seatbelt reminder is provided for the front seats but not for the rear. A system is available as an option which uses sign recognition to inform the driver of the speed limit. The driver can then set the speed limiter of the car to the appropriate speed. However, the system is not expected to reach Euro NCAP’s minimum fitment rate to qualify for assessment.

  5. “The clear leader,… is the Volvo V60 Plug-In Hybrid. The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV trails the Volvo only slightly. The Nissan LEAF and Chevy Volt/Opel Ampera/Vauxhall Ampera rounds out the top four in terms of Euro NCAP tested safety for plug-in vehicles.”

    Er, no! Did you forget the second biggest seller after the Leaf, the Renault ZOE?! It’s also second in Euro NCAP after the Volvo with a score of 89%. It ties with the Leaf, and both are ahead of the Outlander, so your list is miles off.


    1. Eric Loveday says:

      My bad. The Zoe does beat the Outlander overall. The LEAF does too. Correcting now