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Safety testing organisation ANCAP has awarded the new BMW 2 Series Active Tourer a sub-par four stars out of five, a result BMW Australia has described as “extremely confusing”. 

Sister organisation Euro NCAP awarded the same car the full five stars in 2014.

It was one of a pair of four-star results for the Bavarian BMW Group announced overnight, given the Mini Cooper also netted only four out of five.

However, at the same time, ANCAP has awarded the BMW i3 electric car the maximum five stars, while it only got four stars in Europe.

As we know, ANCAP is presently on a path to align its ratings criteria with Euro NCAP by 2018, though for now the testing criteria differs to some degree.

ANCAP’s four-star score for the 2 Series AT comes with a ratings year of 2014, like its Euro equivalent. The Australasian safety body didn’t test the car itself, rather it used the findings of Euro NCAP.

In both the European and Australian ‘tests’, the 2 Series Active Tourer scored 32.34 points out of 37.

ANCAP i3

However, as ANCAP communications manager Rhianne Robson told us today, the local body differs by requiring a car score at least 32.5 out of 37 total to get five stars.

In addition ANCAP — based on its 2014 testing regimen — requires a car attain 12.5 out of 16 points in the frontal offset test, and the 2 Series AT managed only 11.3.

Thus, four stars. It’s interesting that at the same time as ANCAP announced the four-star score for the BMW MPV, it gave five stars to the conceptually similar Renault Captur, based on 2013 tests even though it’s missing rear airbags — unlike the 2 Series AT.

It’s not the first people-mover to get four stars in recent times. The brand new Kia Carnival achieved the same.

The other part of this equation is the score for the i3, which netted just four stars under 2013 Euro NCAP testing, but five against ANCAP’s 2014 tests.

Euro NCAP gave the i3 an imperfect score in side impact testing, unlike ANCAP (which used the same raw crash data). ANCAP CEO Nicholas Clarke told us it applied an exemption to higher-riding vehicles in a certain aspect of side-impact scoring procedures. 

Euro NCAP also punished the BMW in the areas of pedestrian protection and safety assist.

ANCAP mini

Speaking in response to the two scores, BMW Australia corporate communications general manager, Lenore Fletcher, told CarAdvice the company found the discrepancies hard to work out.

“The criteria changes, so between the two programs there isn’t parity. It’s an extremely confusing way to run the program and I’m sure it must be confusing for consumers as well,” she said.

“It’s [the 2 Series AT] a very safe vehicle and we’re very confident with our vehicles.”

Last night’s round of results included a third BMW Group vehicle — the Mini Cooper, which in both ANCAP and Euro NCAP 2014 tests scored four stars. ANCAP gave the retro city car 31.78 out of 37.

Other results announced overnight included five stars for the Land Rover Discovery Sport and Tesla Model S.

In addition, as we have reported, the new Mitsubishi Triton ute performed impressively in ANCAP’s own local crash test, netting five stars for all cab styles.




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