BMW i3 scores four stars in Euro NCAP test

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The BMW i3 scored only four out of a five possible stars in the latest Euro NCAP test

The BMW i3 has been awarded a four-star safety rating from Euro NCAP. Based around a carbon fibre body – designed to increase strength and rigidity – few expected the i3 to score less than the full five-star rating.

Protection for adults and children inside the car was good,  scoring 86 per cent and 81 per cent respectively. In a head on collision the passenger compartment remained stable and in the side barrier test, the i3 scored maximum points. The more severe side pole impact did cause rib damage to the test dummies inside the car, however.

The main area where the i3 suffered was pedestrian safety. While the front bumper scored maximum points for its protection of pedestrians’ legs, the front edge of the high bonnet and scored zero points, as it provided no protection to the head in the event of a collision. In 2012, Euro NCAP announced it was implementing more stringent measures placed on pedestrian safety, which BMW claimed would see more four-stars being awarded to vehicles.

The i3 also suffered in the safety assist category, scoring only 55 per cent. Electronic stability control is fitted as standard but safety systems such as sign recognition and a speed limiter, are not taken into account as they are only available as optional extras.

In the latest round of testing, the Mazda 3, Maserati Ghibli and Peugeot 308 were all awarded a five-star rating. Other vehicles scoring four-stars included, the Nissan Note, Ford EcoSport and VW T5 van.