The IIHS Top Safety Pick list is already quite long, but it keeps growing, with five more vehicles added this month alone. The latest pair are the 2012 BMW 3 Series sedan and the 2013 Acura RDX. The BMW needs no introduction, as the new F30 chassis has already earned its right to sit alongside previous generations of the well-loved sport sedan, while the RDX is a refreshed version of the midsize Acura crossover.

Both vehicles earned their listed status by upgrading the strength of their roofs. The previous-generation 3 Series scored only acceptable on roof strength testing, while the 2007-2012 RDX earned a marginal rating. The newest models are now rated "good" for roof strength.

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Acura RDX and BMW 3 series earn IIHS Top Safety Pick award

The 2013 RDX and 2012 3 series, both redesigned models, earn the Institute's top award for affording occupants good protection in front, side, rollover and rear crashes.

The RDX, a midsize luxury SUV, and the 3 series, a midsize luxury car, earn the award with improved roof strength for protection in rollover crashes. Top Safety Pick only applies to the redesigned 4-door version of the 3 series.

To measure roof strength, a metal plate is pushed against one corner of a vehicle's roof at a constant speed. The maximum force sustained by the roof before 5 inches of crush is compared to the vehicle's weight to find the strength-to-weight ratio. This is a good assessment of occupant protection in rollovers.

The 2007-12 RDX was rated marginal for roof strength. The 2006-11 3 series was rated acceptable.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 16 Comments
      g2k
      • 3 Years Ago
      this article is about two cars, yet the title image and image gallery are both for the BMW. Bias much?
      550PlusX5
      • 3 Years Ago
      Well Twittavelli, F30 = Porky because 328i Manual: 1505 kg or 3311 lbs Auto: 1530 kg or 3366 lbs 335i Manual:1585 kg or 3487 lbs Auto: 1595 kg or 3509 lbs So yes, I consider the F30 "porky"... If you want something lighter and faster and really care about it around a track.. You get a 135 (which isn't exactly on a diet either but at least slighty better in the obesity dept)... Or you should have ordered the 1M or go all out and get an M3.... And by the way, before you say someone unintelligent about something, check your own garage first on what you drive. My handle says it all, One thing is for certain BMW has gotten incredibly overweight. F10 550's tip the scale at 4417 lbs which, I would consider excessively obese.
      ajpoolio1
      • 3 Years Ago
      Buy,AMERICAN.
        joper201
        • 3 Years Ago
        @ajpoolio1
        Why support the impending death of the domestic manufacturers, the UAW. My Toyota PU is American as it was built here by American workers,
          labourboss
          • 3 Years Ago
          @joper201
          Give Toyota time when they start screwing over the workers they will become union too.
      napoleon
      • 3 Years Ago
      come on!!!! what f###ing surprise its a bemer!!! otherwise no one would buy them heeeeellooooo!!!!!!!!!!!
      evil551
      • 3 Years Ago
      As a long time Paramedic..There is NO substitute for weight/big steele in a crash. I drive a Ford F-250 rew cab...Diesel is expensive, It is just me and my little girl-but we are not ever going to die our vehicle.
      ksrcm
      • 3 Years Ago
      Roof strength? On F30? If you succeed to rollover that car, it means you tried REALLY hard to make it happen and it probably started with "Hey y'all! Watch this!" - so you deserve Darwin Award. BMW wasted money and put weight where it didn't need to be.
        550PlusX5
        • 3 Years Ago
        @ksrcm
        The 3 series are already porky to begin with, so adding a little on the roof isn't really going to make that much of a difference.
          Twittavelli
          • 3 Years Ago
          @550PlusX5
          Porky? Really, you have a way with words. I aspire to be as untintelligent as you are. I see that you may have skurvived rollovers of much less rigid vehicles. Lightwight and fast.
          Twittavelli
          • 3 Years Ago
          @550PlusX5
          Survived. ****, witty rhetoric has no ground when you cant ******* type! Thank you typos.
        CanIGetAWhatWhat
        • 3 Years Ago
        @ksrcm
        I think you're wrong on both counts; sedans can and do roll on a regular basis (and people die in such crashes), so kudos to BMW for finally improving the strength of the roof. Second, a stronger roof doesn't necessarily mean it's heavier. High strength steels such as boron steel are lighter weight than traditional steels while being way stronger at the same time. So it's possible that the roof actually weighs less now (in addition to doing a better job of protecting the occupants in a crash).
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      knighttony13
      • 3 Years Ago
      http://www.autoblog.com/2012/05/21/bmw-3-series-acura-rdx-named-iihs-top-safety-pick/
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