BMW's smallest and newest SUV has some catching up to do in the safety department. The 2018 X2 failed to qualify for an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crashworthiness award because its head restraints could fail to adequately protect occupants in a crash.
The head restraint score is a sore spot amid high scores in other areas. In all other IIHS crash tests — driver- and passenger-side small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side and roof strength tests — the SUV earned the requisite good ratings. It also has available front crash prevention systems that earned an advanced rating, and both of its available headlight systems earned an acceptable rating.
To earn the Top Safety Pick or Top Safety Pick Plus awards, a vehicle must have good ratings in the above tests, plus good rated head restraints. The X2's high neck force rating in IIHS' simulated rear-impact crash contributed to the vehicle's acceptable head restraint score.
"Neck sprains and strains are the most frequently reported injuries in U.S. auto insurance claims," IIHS said in a statement. "Such whiplash injuries can be sustained in any type of crash but occur most often in rear-end collisions. Good head restraints can help prevent them."
According to IIHS, the X2's head restraint score is unusual. It's one of only four model-year 2018 vehicles with an acceptable rating; the other 181 tested models earn a good rating. BMW plans to change that. The automaker told the safety agency it will make improvements in time for its retest in September.
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