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2011 Mini Countryman: An IIHS Top Safety Pick

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The 2011 MINI Countryman has earned an excellent set of crash-test ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). In fact, the Countryman is rated better than the MINI Cooper and has earned the Institute's Top Safety Pick accolade.

The 2011Countryman, a somewhat bigger, taller, four-door vehicle, with a bit more ground clearance (thus the name) than the MINI Cooper line, earns top 'good' scores in all test categories—including frontal offset, side impact, and seat-based rear-impact tests. It also gets a top 'good' rating in the new IIHS roof strength test, as the tested corner of its roof managed to withstand nearly five times its weight—an indicator of strong structural protection.

That's significantly better than the standard versions of the MINI Cooper, which earn only 'acceptable' scores from the IIHS in both side impact and roof strength (with 'good' scores in those other categories). And it's proof that MINI did bolster the Countryman's structure, even if the vehicle is built on the same BMW-derived X1 underpinnings.

Front, side and curtain airbags; anti-lock brakes, stability and traction control; and tire pressure monitors are all included in the Countryman, as they are for all vehicles in this class. Rear parking sensors are available, but a rearview camera is not. Neither are fancy-tech frills like lane departure warnings, blind-spot monitors and adaptive cruise control. Adaptive headlights can be ordered, though.


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