The passenger compartment of the 3 Series remained stable in the frontal impact. Dummy readings indicated good protection of the knees and femurs of the driver and passenger. BMW showed that a similar level of protection would be provided for occupants of different sizes and to those sat in different positions. In the side barrier test, all body regions were well protected and the car scored maximum points. In the more severe side pole test, protection of the chest and abdomen was adequate and that of the head and pelvis was good. The seat and head restraint provided good protection against whiplash injuries in the event of a rear-end collision.
Based on dummy restults in the dynamic tests, the 3 Series scored maximum points for its protection of the 18 month infant, and lost only a fraction of a point for protection of the 3 year old. In the frontal impact, forward movement of the head of the 3 year dummy, sat in a forward facing restraint, was not excessive. In the side impact, both dummies were properly contained by the protective shells of their restraints, minimising the likelihood of contact with parts of the car's interior. A switch is available as an option to deactivate the passenger airbag, allowing a rearward facing child restraint to be used in the passenger seat. This was not assessed as it is not standard equipment. There were clear warnings of the dangers of using a rearward facing restraint in that seating position without having deactivated the airbag.
Both the bumper and the front edge of the bonnet provided good protection to pedestrians and the car scored maximum points in these areas. In almost all areas where a child's head might strike, the bonnet provided good protection but was predominantly poor in those areas likely to be struck by an adult's head.
Electronic stability control is standard equipment on the 3 Series and met Euro NCAP's requirements. A seatbelt reminder is standard for the driver, front passenger and rear seats. A speed limitation device is available but was not assessed by Euro NCAP as it is offered as an option.