The BMW X3 was rated a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. In order to be considered a Top Safety Pick a vehicle must receive a rating of “Good”, the Institute’s highest rating in all tests including frontal off-set crash, side impact, rear impact and roof crush. It also must have electronic stability control as standard equipment.

“Safety has always been a top priority at BMW and our vehicles have always done well in IIHS tests,” said Tom Baloga, Vice-president Engineering (US) for the BMW Group. “As well as the X3 will protect its driver and passengers in a crash we believe that it is even more important that the X3 has been engineered to help the driver avoid the crash in the first place.”

In addition to front, side and head protection airbags, the newest BMW X3 also include knee-protection airbags. Responsive handling, worthy of the Ultimate Driving Machine is further enhanced with Dynamic Stability Control and xDrive, BMW’s intelligent all-wheel drive system. An available head-up display helps keeps the driver’s eyes on the road.

The BMW X3 is available with BMW AssistTM which includes the industry’s first enhanced Automatic Collision Notification system, developed in cooperation with the William Lehman Injury Research Center in Miami, FL. In the event of a severe collision an assessment of the risk of severe injury, determined using a sophisticated set of algorithms assessing crash data, is transmitted as part of the automatic collision notification call placed to the BMW Assist emergency call center. This helps first responders to be better prepared for those first critical moments after arriving at an accident scene.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in the frontal offset crash test, “Dummy movement was well controlled… Measures taken from the dummy indicate a low risk of any significant injuries in a crash of this severity.”

After the side impact test IIHS noted that for both the driver and rear seat passenger, “Measures taken from the dummy indicate a low risk of any significant injuries in a crash of this severity.” For head protection for both the driver and rear passenger the Institute found that, “The dummy’s head was protected from being hit by any hard structures, including the intruding barrier, by a side curtain airbag that deployed from the roof.”

The IIHS describes their roof strength test as follows, “To measure roof strength, a metal plate is pushed against one corner of a vehicle ‘s roof at a constant speed. The maximum force sustained by the roof before 5 inches of crush is compared to the vehicle ‘s weight to find the strength-to-weight ratio. This is a good assessment of vehicle structural protection in rollover crashes.” The BMW X3 achieved a strength-to-weight ratio of 4.69, which is higher than many of its competitors.

The second-generation BMW X3 went on sales in December 2010 and has become a sales hit. Sales of the X3 in the US this year-to-day are 24,261 to the end of November. This represents a stunning 364% improvement over X3 sales over the same period of 2010.

The BMW X3 is one of three finalists for North American Truck of the Year.