2019 BMW 3-Series Sedan Earns Highest IIHS Safety Rating

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Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

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, Automotive Editor - May 6, 2019

The 2019 model year sees a complete redesign for the BMW 3-Series. The sedan really is all new, featuring a more powerful engine, a new body, and more technology. When it comes to safety, the changes have made the 2019 3-Series safer than before.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) put the new 3-Series through all of its tests and BMW's midsize luxury sedan earned its highest rating, being named a Top Safety Pick Plus vehicle. To earn the rating, the 3-Series had to earn a rating of “Good” in all of the IIHS' crash tests, have a rating of at least “Advanced” for front crash prevention, and have headlights that earn a rating of “Good.” The 2019 3-Series meets all of these requirements – if you get the right trim.

Entry-level 330i sedans are fitted with LED projector headlights that were found to be “Poor,” which is the IIHS' worst score. With the static LED projector headlights, the 3-Series doesn't even qualify to be a Top Safety Pick. If you tick the box for the Convenience Package ($2,150), the 3-Series is fitted with curve-adaptive LED projector headlights that the IIHS found to be “Marginal,” which still isn't good enough for a Top Safety Pick award.

In order to get into a 3-Series that lines up with the IIHS' Top Safety Pick Plus award, you'll have to get the Executive Package ($2,100), which requires getting a leather upgrade ($1,450), the Convenience Package ($2,150), ambient lighting ($250), and the Premium Package ($2,800).

The Executive Package brings BMW's Laserlight technology and high-beam assist. Paying what essentially comes out to an extra $8,750 lands you into a 3-Series that earns a Top Safety Pick Plus rating. For reference, a base 330i starts at $41,245 (prices include destination), while a model that earns the IIHS' highest award costs $49,995.

Last year's 3-Series earned the IIHS' Top Safety Pick award, so the 2019 model is a step forward in terms of safety.

BMW 3-Series

There aren't a lot of midsize luxury vehicles that have earned the IIHS' highest rating. The only other sedans in the segment include the 2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class, 2019 Lexus ES 350, and 2019 Genesis G70. All of those, as with the 3-Series, have to be fitted with specific headlights.

For the Genesis, the most affordable configuration to get the rating is the 2.0T Elite Package that costs $40,895. On the Mercedes-Benz C300, it's as simple as getting the $750 Adaptive Highbeam Assist package. With that option, the sedan costs $42,150.

Lastly, with the Lexus ES 350, consumers have to get the Premium Triple-Beam LED Headlamps that cost $1,515, but you are then required to get the Blind Spot Monitor With Rear Cross-Traffic Alert ($1,065) bundle, the Premium Package ($1,175), and wood trim ($360). Choosing all of the right options raises the price of the ES 350 to $44,740.

Out of all of the midsize luxury vehicles to earn the IIHS' Top Safety Pick Plus award, the 2019 3-Series it the most expensive. And choosing the right options to get into a sedan that fits the criteria is trickier than Mercedes' simple framework, but much less complicated than Lexus' mind-boggling package structure.

Learn more about the 3-Series »

, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter | Website

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