Edmunds Answers



  • karjunkie 04/17/09 11:16 am PST

    The MINI cooper ranks highly in both crash and rollover ratings by the NHTSA. However, keep in mind that when a small car meets a big car in a crash it is at a natural disadvantage. You cannot change the laws of physics.

  • MrShift@Edmunds 04/17/09 11:27 am PST

    There is no such thing as a "safe" car. Some cars are just less dangerous than others, that's all.

    MINI has a pretty good rating. They may be small but these are solid well-built cars (which is why they cost almost double some of the "entry-level" subcompacts you see out there.

    But don't get it into your head that you can buy a totally safe car--this is simply not an achievable goal.

  • cooperstosi 04/17/09 1:41 pm PST

    The MINIs have done extremely well in both NHTSA (government) and IIHS (independent insurance) crash testing. I've had the opportunity to see many MINIs post crash, and the important thing to know is that almost every one of them let the driver walk away with little more than bruises to show for it.
    Yes, they're small, and physics can't be broken, however, BMW engineering has made the car as robust as possible, and designed crumple zones to keep the passenger compartment as intact as physically possible. Of note, as of 2009, all of the passive safety & most of the active safety features are standard (including 4 wheel disc brakes, ABS, Dynamic Stability Control, 6 airbags, etc.)

    Also, you should be aware of features that help you avoid an accident (aka Active Safety features) such as the responsiveness of the car, power, electronic stability control, and overall size of it (more or less to hit). Having owned 2 MINIs, I can tell you that I avoided several ugly situations because of the immediate response from the steering and firm grip on the road.

  • Stever@Edmunds 04/17/09 2:41 pm PST

    Cars are crash tested by the NHTSA and rated against similar cars in their weight class. So the MINI is safe, compared to other small cars.

    Small cars in general are less safe in collisions with sedans and bigger cars and trucks.

    Smallest Cars Perform Poorly in Crashes With Bigger Cars, IIHS Confirms

  • calbearz 03/08/10 5:05 pm PST

    My 2007 Mini S seems to be able to extricate and remove itself from potentially dangerous situations- part of safety is reducing your likelihood of getting into an accident in the first place - a good drive train, braking and drivability in general reduces the risk as much as being safe once you may find yourself in a situation that will result in some impact....

  • andreasgarrett 06/14/12 5:30 pm PST

    Just because a vehicle is small, or weighs less, doesn't mean it will be less safe than a larger vehicle in a crash. If you look at safety ratings some large vehicles are not safe-the laws of physics have nothing to do with an unsafe, but heavy, vehicle striking a small but well engineered, safer vehicle. Think of a typical car from the 1950s with no seatbelt. Would you be safe in this vehicle if it struck another car? Probably not, you could fly through the windshield, there are no airbags, etc. The same goes for a vehicle with a structural flaw like a weak roof. If the vehicle rolls and crushs the occupants its overall weight did not mean it was safer-probably the contrary. By contrast a lighter vehicle that's structurally much sturdier could roll and the occupants could be fine. Lots of stuff goes into safety ratings, heavy vs light is not really the key factor, imho.


  • mrog 10/18/12 12:10 am PST

    My daughter was in a roll over crash a week ago in a 2005 Mini Cooper.

    The car was quite literally unrecognizeable. She flipped twice and landed on the roof in a pasture after smashing a masonry mailbox and going through a fence. The man who called 911 said he was sure no person could walk away from a wreck like that. By the time he drove from his house to help, ( about 3 acres) she had crawled out the moon roof and was standing next to the car with not a scratch on her. All airbags deployed ( unlike in my older daughter's accident in a 2006 Saturn Ion) and while the car looked like it had been bombed, she sustained some bruising on her left forearm and a tender spot on her head. Pretty wonderful for a car called "Mini" !


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4. tony78 65
5. researchqueen 55
6. morin2 50
7. actualsize 35