BMW i3 reliability & safety

Crash safety is good for occupants, and BMW ranks decently for reliability

Euro NCAP rating Adult protection rating Child safety rating Pedestrian safety rating
4 stars 86% 81% 57%

Euro NCAP awarded four stars out five to the BMW i3 when it was crash-tested, but the weaknesses were around pedestrian safety and not the protection afforded to occupants.

BMW i3 reliability & problems

The BMW i3 sells in too few numbers to have made it into the Driver Power survey as a standalone model. However, BMW came a disappointing 25th out of 30 manufacturers rated for overall customer experience and reliability. In spite of its futuristic appeal, the running gear of the electric i3 is quite a lot simpler than a conventional internal-combustion-engine car, with fewer moving parts, so it should prove more reliable than a petrol or diesel car. Accident damage can be tricky and expensive to fix, however, due to the expensive materials used in its production. 

Safety

The BMW i3’s four-star Euro NCAP rating is disappointing, but it’s not down to any concerns over how occupants are protected in a crash. Adult occupant protection was rated at 86% and protection for children received an 81% score, but pedestrians don’t come off terribly well, with the i3 rated at 57% for how it protects them in the event of an impact.

The safety kit list on the BMW i3 includes six airbags as standard, and of course you get electronic stability control, too. However, you need to pay an extra £800 for the Driver Assistance Plus package. It’s a worthwhile addition, though, as it gives you adaptive cruise control and traffic-jam assist, which steers and brakes for you at low speeds.