2014 MINI Cooper Gets 4-Star Rating from Euro NCAP

2014 MINI Cooper Crash Test 1 photo
Photo: Screenshot from Youtube
Before MINI’s latest model hit the streets, the early photos of the Mk3 model showed a rather weird bonnet that was far longer than anyone expected. Back then, the Brits claimed that the reason for that design was pedestrian protection. The European watchdog in the business of safety, NCAP, just put that whole thing to the test.
The result? The MINI Cooper (RHD) got only a four-star rating and that’s rather disappointing, especially considering how convincing the officials sounded like when they were justifying that bonnet.

In pedestrian protection, for example, MINI’s new active bonnet’s front edge showed poor results in all test locations, scoring no points whatsoever. The system detects when a pedestrian has been struck and uses actuators to raise the bonnets, keeping the victim away from the engine and other hard parts that could inflict a lot of damage.

On the Cooper, the system works for a variety of pedestrian heights and over a range of speeds, posting good results overall. The only problem is its front edge, as we told you.

On the other hand, the front bumper that was also criticized, provided good protection for the pedestrians’ legs and scored maximum points.

Adult and child occupant results

Inside the car, the passenger compartment remained stable in case of a frontal impact, with good protection for the legs of both the driver and the passenger, despite their size and/or position. In case of the barrier side test, the load on the ribs was reduced.

The same could be said about the abdomen that was rated as offering only marginal protection on the dummies. In the pole test, the chest and abdomen protection levels were rated as only ‘adequate’. Inside the city, MINI provides an auto-braking system as an optional feature so it wasn’t included in the assessment.

As far as child protection goes, the results showed that decelerations in the chest of the 1 and a half year dummy were marginally high despite the dummy being placed in a rearward-facing restraint. For the 3-year dummy forces in the chest and neck were also marginally high, even though in this case, it was sitting in a forward-facing restraint.

The car was also penalized because even though it offers the possibility of disabling the passenger airbag it doesn’t have a display anywhere inside the cabin to tell you whether it’s on or off.

Bottom line, the car received a 79% rating for adult occupant protection, 73% for child occupants, 66% for pedestrians and 56% for safety assist.

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