Production of the BMW i4 started in October last year when the first examples of the electric saloon rolled off the assembly lines in Munich. We were impressed by the vehicle when we tested it several months ago, but at the time we had no idea it is not up to the highest safety standards in the industry.

We are a little disappointed to learn the i4 earned four out of five stars in the European New Car Assessment Programme’s latest round of safety evaluations.

In general, Euro NCAP has positive things to say about the i4’s passenger compartment after the frontal offset test. The dummy numbers show good protection for the knees and femur of both the driver and passenger. More importantly, the numbers reveal that the i4 provides similar levels of protection to occupants of different sizes and to those sitting in different positions.

Gallery: BMW i4 EuroNCAP crash test

If you travel with your children, don’t worry – EuroNCAP says both the 6- and 10-year-old dummies qualified for maximum points in the frontal offset and side-impact barrier tests. As standard, the front passenger airbag can be disabled to allow for a child restraint to be mounted reward-facing.

However, the European safety organisation was not happy with the i4’s safety and assistance systems. The electric sedan from Bavaria got only a 64-percent rating in Safety Assist and 71 percent in the Vulnerable Road Users categories. EuroNCAP says that the i4 uses similar sensors as the 3 Series the organisation tested in 2019 and this probably explains why the EV “missed out on some critical crash avoidance points.”

EuroNCAP remained satisfied with the i4’s automatic emergency braking system which avoided or mitigated a collision in several test scenarios. The electric vehicle was tested in both rear- and all-wheel-drive versions (eDrive40 and M50), both earning the same overall four-star rating in LHD and RHD configurations. 

EuroNCAP also tested the Alfa Romeo Tonale, Kia Sportage, Cupra Born, and the Mercedes T-Class, giving all of them the highest-possible five-star rating, The Toyota Aygo X, in turn, only got four out of five stars.