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Mini Countryman Earns Top Safety Pick from IIHS

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, or IIHS as it is more commonly known, has designated the Mini Countryman a “Top Safety Pick” for achieving “Good” ratings for front, side, rollover, and rear impact protection.

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Somewhat surprisingly, the Countryman is the first Mini to earn a Top Safety Pick from IIHS by achieving the good ratings. In fact, only one other BMW product shares that distinction: the BMW 5 series.

The Mini Countryman earned the IIHS Top Safety Pick designation for, of all things, the strength of its roof. As the IIHS announced on its website, " The roof of the Countryman withstood a force equal to nearly 5 times the car's weight. By comparison, the current federal standard is 1.5 times weight."

What makes that significant is the Mini Countryman is not a vehicle that is likely to end up on its roof. Its low-slung design make it less likely to tip over than say a Land Rover LR4 that feels as if it could tip over entering a driveway at a 90-degree angle. The Mini Countryman on the other hand seems as if it would only tip over if pushed by a couple of Sumo wrestlers.

The Countryman also achieved “Good” rating for front, side, rollover and rear impact protection. In addition to “Good” crash test ratings, winners must have electronic stability control (ESC), an important crash-avoidance feature, which is standard on all MINI models.

NHTSA has not released its ranking of the Mini Countryman, which is billed as a crossover utility vehicle. It measures 161.3 inches in length, with a wheelbase of 102.2 inches (up from 145.6 and 97.1 inches, respectively, for the MINI Hardtop). Only in the Mini world could those numbers be considered crossover size yet it lags behind even the Acura TSX Sport Wagon in length and wheelbase.

The Cooper Countryman has a 2011 EPA fuel economy estimate of 27 City / 35 Highway mpg for a combined EPA estimate of 31 mpg. The Cooper S Countryman is also very efficient, with EPA 2011 estimates of 25/32 City/Highway for a combined rating of 28 mpg. The Cooper S ALL4 achieves 25 City / 31 Highway / and 27 Combined. All fuel economy numbers are for models equipped with manual transmission.

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