A Complete Guide to BMW Safety Ratings

The BMW 2-Series, 3-Series, and X5 models are some of the safest from the manufacturer, with high ratings from the IIHS and the NHTSA.
Written by Brittni Brinn
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
From top safety picks to five-star safety ratings, current BMW models are prepared for whatever the road may bring. The 2-Series Gran Coupe, the 3-Series sedan, and the X5 SUV are the safest BMWs available. 
BMW is a German manufacturer known for producing luxury vehicles with tech-savvy interiors. But its vehicles are also distinguished by high safety ratings. From the impressive 3-Series sedan to the X5 SUV, you can depend on BMW to keep you safe on the road.
Here with all the details on BMW safety ratings is the
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. With this guide to the safest current models and a breakdown of the criteria used to assign safety ratings, you’ll be able to choose your next BMW with confidence. We'll even help you find the lowest
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Are BMWs safe in accidents? 

BMWs are exceptionally safe in accidents. Even though they usually get five-out-of-five overall safety ratings, BMWs tend to score a bit lower when it comes to other categories. 
It’s important to get the whole story—even though BMWs aren’t the highest-rated in terms of safety, they are solid vehicles with plenty of driver-assist and crash-prevention features to keep you protected on the road.

What makes a BMW safe?

There are plenty of safety features to go around in modern BMWs—sometimes too many, depending on who you listen to! But with driver-assist technology at the forefront of its brand, BMW doesn’t skimp out when it comes to safety.
A big part of staying safe on the road is accident prevention—a category where BMW shines. BMW’s Active Driving Assistant suite includes a frontal collision warning system, active blind-spot detection, lane departure warnings, and speed limit notifications. In addition to these safety features, new BMWs also offer:
  • Automatic city collision mitigation
  • Park distance control
  • BMW assist eCall
  • Active protection system
  • Fatigue and focus alert

The two safety rating systems you need to know

When it comes to safety, there are two major sources for reliable and tested ratings: the federal agency National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the non-profit group Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Each of these organizations test, crash, and evaluate vehicles in the US with the goal of providing comprehensive safety ratings.
Since 1993, the
has used a five-star system to rate how safe vehicles are. Overall scores are assigned, but the outcomes of the following three tests are also made available: 
  • Frontal crash
  • Side crash
  • Rollover
On the other hand, IIHS uses
six tests
, including front and side crash tests, to evaluate how safe a vehicle is. The tests take car features like headlights and LATCH car seat attachments into account while using crashworthiness and collision mitigation as the main criteria for determining an appropriate rating.
In an IIHS rating, Good is the highest possible ranking, moving down the ratings to Acceptable, Marginal, and Poor

Which BMW has the highest safety ratings?

If you want the safest BMW out there, you won’t go wrong with a 2022 BMW 2-Series Gran Coupe or 3-Series sedan—both have a Top Safety Pick rating from IIHS and the 3-Series has five-star ratings across the board.
If you prefer to drive an SUV, the 2022 is an IIHS Top Safety Pick and has an overall four-star rating with five stars in the side crash test. The low point in the X5 safety tests is the rollover percentage—in a loss of control scenario, the X5 had a 15.90% chance of rollover. Still, that’s better than most luxury SUVs.
MORE: How to find vehicle safety ratings
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2022 BMW 2-Series Gran Coupe safety ratings

Starting price: $36,695
IIHS safety rating: Good overall (Top Safety Pick), Acceptable headlights (on certain trims)
NHTSA safety rating: Not rated
The 2-Series Gran Coupe is a four-door sedan that provides a fun driving experience at the more affordable end of the BMW line-up. The turbocharged four-cylinder high-performance
engine is sturdy, and the optional all-wheel drive gives you a choice of what kind of control you want to have behind the wheel. 
For the optimal safety configuration, make sure you pick up a model made after December 2020 with the Premium add-on package.

2022 BMW 3-Series safety ratings

Starting price: $42,445
IIHS safety rating: Good overall (Top Safety Pick), Poor headlights (depending on trim)
NHTSA safety rating: Five stars overall and across the board
With a 9.5/10 rating from
Car and Driver
, the BMW 3-Series is a spacious sports sedan with a modern design that provides a comfortable and powerful ride. The turbocharged four-cylinder
engine is excellent on its own, but also comes with a hybrid option. 
The headlights are the only low point in its otherwise spotless safety rating—upgrading your headlights is the way to go if you want to max out the safety potential of this stellar sedan.

2022 BMW X5 safety ratings

Starting price: $61,595
IIHS safety rating: Good overall (Top Safety Pick), Poor for headlights (depending on the trim)
NHTSA safety rating: Four stars overall, four stars for frontal crash, five stars for side crash, rollover not rated
A BMW that has the magic of older models mixed with modern performance and luxury, the X5 SUV has a 9.5/10 rating on
Car and Driver
. Basic driver-assistance features come standard, with semi-autonomous features as optional add-ons. 
Again, the low point of the X5’s safety performance comes from its underperforming headlights—you can upgrade your headlights by opting for a higher trim or add-on package.

How you can save money on BMW car insurance

If you’re in the market for a new BMW, of course, you want to choose one that has a high safety rating—not only will it provide peace of mind and protect you and your family from accidents, but financing a safe vehicle can also lower your insurance premiums.
The reason for this is simple: a safer car means fewer accidents, which means your insurer is less likely to have to pay out on a claim. The average insurance claim can
raise your rates
by 34%, so it’s definitely worth investing in some features to help you avoid accidents. 
You can also save by applying for safe driver discounts with your provider—adding on safety and driver-assistance features can actually save you money in the long run!
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