The 2009 MINI Cooper Convertible was only unveiled to the public a few months ago, and as of this writing, neither NHTSA nor the IIHS have had the opportunity to crash-test this new MINI 2009 model. Fortunately, the hardtop version of the MINI Cooper gives editors at TheCarConnection.com some idea of the safety credentials that this 2009 Mini Cooper Convertible will boast once the crash-test results become available.
While you wait for the official crash-test results, allow us to introduce you to some of the safety features that come on the 2009 MINI Cooper Convertible lineup. According to reviewers at Cars.com, "electronic stability control is now standard across the lineup," while other standard safety features include "side-impact head/torso airbags" and an "antilock braking system with electronic brake-force distribution." The MINI Cooper S Convertible and John Cooper Works versions both also get upgraded brakes compared to the base MINI Cooper Convertible.
The Convertible includes a new rear rollover hoop design. The new hoops, which remain almost hidden until a set of sensors detects a rollover, allow for greater visibility to the rear of the car. The result, according to Motor Trend, is that "the once-standard backup sensor is [now] optional." Motor Trend lists some of the other safety features as "an Alphabet Soup full of standard electronic aids including ABS, Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD), Cornering Brake Control (CBC), Dynamic Stability Control (DSC and Hill Start-Off Assistance." In a nod toward the increasingly safety-conscious consumer market, MINI has included nearly all the available safety features as standard fare. In fact, Motor Trend states that "the only feature that's optional is Dynamic Traction Control," which features a "front wheel limited slip differential."
Car and Driver comments that "rear vision in the new [MINI Cooper S Convertibles] is still pretty lousy," especially with the top up. The main culprit with the top down is the roof, which doesn't retract fully inside the trunk but rather sits atop the rear of the car. While this design does increase usable trunk space, it also cuts significantly into the rearward sightlines.