The 2012 BMW 3 Series sedan is the latest vehicle to join the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's five-star safety club. It earned an overall five stars out of five in NHTSA's crash tests.
The BMW's composite score was composed of mostly five stars across the different areas of testing, but it did earn four stars in the driver and combined safety column and in the front crash test. The sedan earned fives in side-barrier and side-pole crashes.
NHTSA recently adopted more stringent guidelines and rigorous testing practices, so it's harder for vehicles to get five stars. The 3 Series joins about 15 other 2012 vehicles with five-star ratings. Last month the 3 Series was named a Top Safety Pick from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.