The 2008 MINI Cooper performs well in crash tests and is equipped with a fair amount of standard safety gear.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gives the Cooper four stars for front-impact protection, and five stars for driver-side impacts, while side rear impacts get four-star protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) awards the Cooper a “good” rating for front impacts and “average” for side impacts.
Six airbags, anti-lock brakes, and traction control are standard on the MINI Cooper S. Traction control has its own off switch for sporty driving decided by your limits, not some computer's. J.D. Power appreciates that "both driver and front passenger...are protected by dual-stage deployment 'smart' frontal and seat-mounted side air bags." In addition to the typical assortment of airbags, the 2008 MINI Cooper also boasts several electronic stability aids to assist drivers and help prevent accidents. Stability control, however, is an option.