Words ByJim Holder

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Although the X3's passenger compartment remained stable in the frontal test, structures in the dashboard presented a risk of injury to the legs of the driver and passenger. As a result, it scored four stars for adult occupant protection.

In front and side impacts, the X3 scored maximum points for protection of a three-year-old child. However, it was marked down to four stars as ISOFIX anchorages are only available as an option in the front passenger seat and the warning of the dangers of using a rearward facing restraint in that seating position without first disabling the airbag was not sufficiently clear.

The X3 scored no points for the protection offered to pedestrians' legs by the bumper or the front edge of the bonnet. The protection provided to pedestrians' heads by the bonnet surface was rated as predominantly poor as well, and as a result it received just one star for pedestrian protection.