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2016 Mini Cooper earns Top Safety Pick+ award

ARLINGTON, Va. — With good crashworthiness ratings across the board and an advanced rating for front crash protection, the 2016 Mini Cooper qualifies for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's Top Safety Pick+ award.

ARLINGTON, Va. — With good crashworthiness ratings across the board and an advanced rating for front crash protection, the 2016 Mini Cooper qualifies for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's Top Safety Pick+ award.

The award comes after the minicar earned a good side rating following improvements to its side curtain airbags. The changes boosted protection for rear seat occupants.

The award applies only to 2-door "hardtop" Mini Coopers built after November, when the latest changes were made.

The car was redesigned for the 2014 model year. Soon after, it was put through most of the IIHS crashworthiness tests and earned good ratings. Before the Institute had a chance to test the car for side protection, however, it failed a government side test, resulting in a recall. The Institute was only recently able to get a compliant vehicle to test.

The previous generation of Mini Cooper had an acceptable rating from IIHS for side protection.

To qualify for Top Safety Pick+, vehicles need good ratings in the 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.

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 criteria.

Watch the crash test video: Mini Cooper side test

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