When it comes to avoiding a moose at highway speeds, the BMW 3-series wagon is one the best thanks to its proficiency at the dread moose test. This critical highway safety test is meant to display a car's ability to quickly maneuver around a large on-road threat while maintaining control. So how does the moose test work and why does it matter?

The moose test does not involve a real moose and instead uses a more humane cone set up to simulate the spacing required to avoid this majestic creature. Truth be told the moose test is more applicable to avoid a static road obstacle or car reversing into the street rather than a moose. When it does come to moose, traffic guidelines suggest braking hard and trying to slip behind the moose rather than swerving in front of it.

Gallery: BMW 3 Series Wagon Excels In Moose Test

Regardless of its Moose saving implications, this obstacle avoidance procedure does reveal how a car handles quick obstacle avoidance measures at speed. Volvo famously builds the moose test into the development of its vehicles which spend a lot of their time in moose country.

The moose test involves an “S” shaped cone set up on a dry road surface. Cars are run through this course at ever-increasing speeds until a cone is hit. In the case of the BMW 3-series wagon test subject, the wagon was able to complete the test up until 78 km/h or 48 mph. The 3-series wagon was run at 80kmh but didn’t have the front end grip required to avoid all of the cones.

When you compare the BMW 3-series’ test speed of 78kmh to other contenders, the magnitude of this feat begins to make sense. A 991 911 Carrera 4S completed the same test at only 80kmh while a Honda CR-V was only about to muster 75kmh. The 3-series wagon was able to match the BMW M2’s 78kmh run on the same test, which is an impressive feat for a family hauler.

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