2014 Mini Cooper Countryman Shines in New Small-Car Crash Testing | Edmunds

2014 Mini Cooper Countryman Shines in New Small-Car Crash Testing


Just the Facts:
  • The 2014 Mini Cooper Countryman received the only "good" rating among the latest group of 12 small cars in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's new round of testing.
  • The 2014 Chevrolet Volt performed "reasonably well," the Institute said, earning an "acceptable" rating.
  • The 2014 Ford C-Max Hybrid, Mitsubishi Lancer, Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ also earned "acceptable" ratings.

ARLINGTON, Virginia The 2014 Mini Cooper Countryman received the only "good" rating among the latest group of 12 small cars in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's new round of testing.

The cars were evaluated using the Institute's small overlap front crash test. The test replicates what happens when the front corner of a vehicle collides with another vehicle or an object such as a tree or utility pole.

"The Mini Cooper Countryman gave a solid performance," said Joe Nolan, the Institute's senior vice president for vehicle research in a statement.

He added that test results "indicate a low risk of any significant injuries in a real-world crash this severe."

The Countryman is the larger four-door version of the Mini Cooper. The rating does not apply to the two-door model, which hasn't been tested.

The 2014 Chevrolet Volt performed "reasonably well," the Institute said, earning an "acceptable" rating in the small overlap front crash test. The Volt, which has an optional forward collision warning system, is the only car in the test group to earn a 2014 Top Safety Pick+ award from the Institute.

The 2014 Ford C-Max Hybrid, Mitsubishi Lancer, Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ also earned "acceptable" ratings. These vehicles, along with the Countryman, earned the Top Safety Pick award from the Institute.

The 2014 Nissan Leaf "struggled" in testing, the Institute said, even though its battery held up. It received a "poor" rating in testing, as the car received significant damage.

"Injuries to the left knee and lower leg would be likely in a crash of this severity, and injuries to the left thigh would be possible," the Institute said.

The 2014 Mazda 5 "shares the distinction with two other cars of being the worst-performing models the Institute has evaluated in the small overlap test," the Institute said. The other two are the 2014 Kia Forte and 2012 Toyota Prius V.

"When we tested the Mazda 5 we saw a host of structural and restraint system problems," Nolan said. "Parts of the occupant compartment essentially buckled, allowing way too much intrusion."

The Mazda 5 earned a "poor" rating. It shares that rating with the 2014 Fiat 500L, Nissan Juke and Nissan Leaf.

Edmunds says: If you're shopping for a small car, you may want to choose one that earned a "good" or "acceptable" rating in this latest round of crash testing.

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