They don’t make them like they used to? That’s a good thing. Modern cars are far superior in terms of safety, and we’re not just talking about all the driver assistance systems and airbags. One of the main reasons why today’s vehicles are substantially bigger and heavier has to do with stricter safety regulations. That’s why you don’t see thin pillars anymore. Sure, older cars were arguably more attractive since the designers had more freedom, but safety should ultimately prevail.

Fifth Gear has remastered Episode 1 of Series 3, which originally aired on March 22, 2003. The reason we’re bringing this up is because it featured a head-on collision crash test between a BMW and a Volvo. To be more specific, it was a 5 Series Sedan (E34) and a 960 that slammed into one another while doing 60 mph (97 km/h). Of course, there was no one inside the vehicles as both were modified to be remote-controlled.

Fifth Gear reckoned no one would’ve survived the powerful impact, and they were probably right in their assessment since the crash looks scary 20 years later. Both vehicles flipped following the head-on collision but the BMW managed to land on its wheels. We can’t say the same thing about the Volvo. The aftermath footage is still sending chills down our spines two decades after the episode aired in the UK on Channel 5.

It’s worth noting this third-generation 5 Series was already an old car when this Fifth Gear episode aired. In 2003, the subsequent E39 generation of the luxury sedan was being retired to make room for the E60.

At the beginning of this month, Euro NCAP gave the latest G60 generation a full five-star rating. You’re probably away current crash tests are far stricter than they were in the early 2000s. The higher standards make it harder for an automaker to obtain a maximum score.

Source: Fifth Gear / YouTube