The 2016 MINI Cooper has earned a Top Safety Pick+ award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
The award comes after the compact car received a good rating as a result of making improvements to its side curtain airbags, boosting protection for rear seat occupants. Redesigned for the 2014 model year, the MINI Cooper was put through most of the IIHS crashworthiness tests and earned good ratings, but it failed a government side test before IIHS could test the car for side protection. The government side test failure resulted in a recall and IIHS was only recently able to get a compliant vehicle to test.
Because of this, IIHS notes that the award only applies to the two-door MINI Cooper Hardtop models built after November 2015, when the latest changes were made.
To qualify for an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award, a vehicle must earn good ratings in the small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraints tests. In addition, it must be available with a front crash prevention system that earns an advanced or superior rating.
The MINI Cooper’s optional front crash prevention earned an advanced rating. During IIHS track tests, the MINI Cooper avoided a collision in three out of five 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.
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