The Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) handed the third-generation BMW X3 a five-star safety rating this week with the premium mid-size SUV scoring strongly in the 'adult occupant protection' category.
Netting 35.41 out of 38 points overall – or 93 per cent – the X3 excelled in the side impact at 50km/h crash test, where it achieved a perfect result (eight out of eight).
A near-perfect return (7.42 out of eight) came from the frontal offset at 64km/h crash test, with points deducted for 'acceptable' protection of the driver's chest and lower legs, while all other areas of the front-row occupants' bodies had 'good' protection.
Similarly, the X3 impressed in the full-width front at 50km/h crash test, scoring a 7.34 out of eight, due to 'marginal' rear passenger and 'acceptable' driver's chest protection. Every other body part had 'good' protection.
The oblique pole at 32km/h crash test result (7.30 out of eight) was not far off the pace, with points lost for 'marginal' driver's chest protection, while all other areas had 'good' protection.
The whiplash protection test returned a 2.36 out of three, with 'good' protection offered for front and rear passengers, while the X3's low-speed autonomous emergency braking (AEB) system tested perfectly (three out of three).
Meanwhile, the 'child occupant protection' category was another strong point, with 41.23 out of 49 points awarded – or 84 per cent – as the child safety features (seven out of seven) and seat installation (12 out of 12) checks were flawless.
The six-year-old child dummy performed well overall (10.90 out of 15) in the crash tests, as did its 10-year-old counterpart, which netted an 11.33 out of 15.
The frontal offset test saw 'marginal' protection of the older dummy's neck, while every other body part of the pair had 'good' or 'adequate' protection. The side impact test provided 'good' overall protection for the child dummies.
Elsewhere, the X3 received a 29.42 out of 42 points – or 70 per cent – in the 'pedestrian protection' category, with 'poor' pelvis protection for pedestrians assessed, but mostly 'good' head and 'good' lower leg protection were also found. The pedestrian detection element of its AEB system was almost perfect.
Because testing was conducted by ANCAP's counterpart, Euro NCAP, and the European-market X3 does not include a lane support (zero out of three) or speed assistance (1.50 out of three) systems as standard, scores were impacted in these tests from the 'safety assist' category, which returned a 7.04 out of 12 points – or 58 per cent.
The Australian-market X3 features these technologies in all variants, meaning if local testing were to be conducted, it would be expected to achieve a higher score in this category.
Nevertheless, the Bavarian model was given a perfect score (three out of three) for its seatbelt reminders and a near-perfect results (2.54 out of three) for its high-speed AEB system.
The five-star ANCAP safety rating exclusively applies to the X3 xDrive20d, which went on sale earlier this month alongside the unrated xDrive30i and xDrive30d variants that comprise the rest of the launch line-up.
Mostly due to the new model's late-year release, X3 sales have dipped this year, with 2984 examples sold to the end of October, representing a 9.1 per cent slide over the 3283 registrations made during the same period in 2016.
However, the BMW currently places third in the mid-size SUV over $60,000 segment, trailing the Land Rover Discovery Sport (3846) and Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class (3245) but ahead of the Audi Q5 (2579) and Range Rover Evoque (2509).