Launched late last year, the seventh-generation BMW 5 Series continues its successful track record in Euro NCAP’s Executive Car segment. The car showed good all-round performance in crash protection and avoidance tests thanks to its new platform, body and updated safety features. Track tests demonstrated that the autonomous braking system can effectively assist the driver in avoiding or mitigating critical rear-end crashes with other cars and pedestrians. With an 81 percent score, the 5-series particularly impressed in pedestrian safety through its standard-fit “Person Warning” system and active bonnet.
The passenger compartment of the 5 Series remained stable in the offset frontal impact. Dummy readings indicated good protection of the knees and femurs of the driver and passenger. BMW demonstrated that, for the passenger's side, a similar level of protection would be provided to occupants of different sizes and to those sat in different positions. On the driver's side, incorrect deployment of the knee airbag in the full-width test led to penalties for this body region in both frontal impact tests. In the full-width frontal test, the knee airbag did not deploy quickly enough to get between the right knee and the dashboard. Although dummy readings for both legs were good, protection of the knee/femur/pelvis region was penalized. BMW stated that the airbag deployment seen in Euro NCAP's test was anomalous and had not been observed in their development tests.
Protection of the neck of the driver and the chest of the rear passenger was rated as marginal. In the side barrier test, maximum points were scored, with good protection of all critical body regions. Even in the more severe side pole test, protection was good, apart from the chest, protection of which was adequate. Tests on the front seats and head restraints demonstrated good protection against whiplash injuries in the event of a rear-end collision. A geometric assessment of the rear seats indicated good protection there too. The 5 Series has, as standard, and autonomous emergency braking system which operates at the low speeds, typical of city driving, at which many whiplash injuries are caused. The system scored maximum points in Euro NCAP's tests, with complete avoidance of collision at all test speeds.
In the frontal offset test, protection of both the both dummies were good or adequate except for the chest of the dummy - representing a 6 years old child - which was rated as marginal based on chest decelerations. The front passenger airbag can be disabled to allow a rearward-facing child restraint to be used in that seating position. Clear information is provided to the driver regarding the status of the airbag and the system was rewarded. All of the restraint types for which the 5 Series is designed could be properly installed and accommodated in the car.
The 5 Series has an 'active' bonnet. Sensors detect when a pedestrian has been struck and actuators lift the bonnet, providing greater clearance between its top surface and hard structures in the engine bay. BMW demonstrated that the system worked for a variety of pedestrian statures and over a range of speeds so tests were conducted with the bonnet in the raised position. Good or adequate protection was provided at all over the entire bonnet surface. The bumper also provided good protection and scored maximum points in tests of its protection of pedestrians' legs. However, protection of the pelvis area was poor at all test locations. The autonomous braking system is able to detect pedestrians as well other vehicles and performed well in Euro NCAP's tests of this functionality, with collisions being avoided or mitigated at most test speeds.
The standard-fit autonomous emergency braking system showed good performance in tests of its functionality at highway speeds. Collision was avoided in almost all circumstances and mitigated in others. A driver-set speed assistance system allows the driver to limit the maximum speed of the vehicle as appropriate, and a seatbelt reminder is provided for all seating positions.