Redesigned Mini Cooper Takes Home Top Safety Award from IIHS

Redesigned Mini Cooper Takes Home Top Safety Award from IIHS
Image: IIHS
March 28, 2016

Major improvements to the Mini Cooper have helped the sporty car rebound from a serious recall to taking home the top award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

The 2016 Mini Cooper earned "good" ratings in all crash tests and an advanced rating for front crash protection, which qualified it for a Top Safety Pick+ award. The award, however, only applies to 2016 Mini Coopers built after November 2015 when the latest changes were made.

The car was redesigned for the 2014 model year and had already gone through most of the IIHS safety tests, but before the agency could run it through the side crash protection test, it failed a government crash test. The car was recalled and changes were made to increase side protection. The previous generation had an "acceptable" rating for side protection, but the redesign boosted it to a "good" rating.

The Mini Cooper's optional front crash prevention earns an advanced rating. In IIHS track tests, the car avoided a collision in 3 out of 5 runs at 12 mph and slowed to 1-3 mph in the others; at 25 mph, its impact speed was cut by an average of 7 mph. The system also includes a forward collision warning component that meets National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) criteria.

To qualify for Top Safety Pick+, vehicles need good ratings in the IIHS small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests, as well as an available front crash prevention system that earns an advanced or superior rating.