Both models earn 'poor' headlight ratings unless buyers upgrade to the more expensive curve-adaptive lights.
The 2016 3-Series was excluded from the top ranks due to its 'marginal' rating in the small-overlap crash test. Its structure "didn't hold up," according to the institute, with intrusion exceeding 12 inches at the footrest.
For 2017 models built after November, BMW modified the front suspension and adjoining structure to better control wheel movement in the small-overlap impact scenario. The changes resulted in maximum intrusion of six inches and a 'good' rating, necessary to qualify for the top safety award.
The 3-Series' optional curve-adaptive LED headlights earned an 'acceptable' rating, while the 2-Series' upgraded curve-adaptive HIDs received 'good' marks. For both vehicles, however, the headlights on basic trim levels received a 'poor' rating.
Other automakers are presumably scrambling to implement better lighting after the new headlight assessment program knocked many vehicles out of the TSP+ ranks for 2017.