The First F56 MINI Crash Test Results Are In

The European safety organization NCAP released the first F56 crash tests last week. While the overall score of four out of five is down from the five the R56 scored, the test has changed quite a bit over the past seven years. Many of the changes, instituted in 2013, make it much more difficult for cars to achieve the sought after five stars. However that said, MINI’s corporate cousin the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer managed to pull off the full five stars.

Click through for the full results.

From NCAP:

Adult occupant The passenger compartment remained stable in the frontal impact. Dummy readings indicated good protection of the knees and femurs of the driver and passenger. MINI showed that a similar level of protection would be provided to occupants of different sizes and to those sat in different positions, whose knees might strike the dashboard at a different location to that seen in the test. In the side barrier test, forces were transmitted to parts of the dummy which are not representative of a human body, reducing the load on the ribs. These forces resulted in the maximum penalty being applied to the chest score and the assessment being downgraded from good to marginal. Loads on the abdomen also indicated marginal protection. In the pole test, protection of the chest and abdomen was rated as adequate. Tests on the front seats and head restraints revealed good protection against whiplash injury in the event of a rear-end collision, while a geometric assessment of the rear seats indicated that the protection there would also be good. An autonomous emergency braking system is available which works at low, city-type speeds. As it is an option, it was not included in the assessment. Child occupant In the frontal impact, decelerations in the chest of the 11?2 year dummy were marginally high, despite the dummy being sat in a rearward-facing restraint. Forward movement of the head of the 3 year dummy, sat in a forward-facing restraint, was not excessive but forces in the chest and neck were also marginally high. The front passenger airbag can be disabled to allow a rearward-facing restraint to be used in that seating position. However, no information is provided to the driver if the airbag is still armed and unsafe for a child restraint, and the system was not rewarded. All of the child restraints for which the car is designed could be installed and accommodated, except for the Group 0+ restraint used for the assessment (Maxi-Cosi Cabriofix). While this restraint could be properly accommodated in the car, installation in the rear passenger seat was difficult. Height adjustment is an option on the front passenger seat and, without this, installing the restraint in the rear requires more actions than Euro NCAP considers suitable, and zero points were awarded. Pedestrian The bumper provided good protection to pedestrians’ legs and scored maximum points. However, the front edge of the bonnet was poor at all test locations and scored no points. The MINI has an active bonnet. The system detects when a pedestrian has been struck and uses actuators to raise the bonnet, providing extra clearance to the hard structures in the engine bay. MINI showed that the system worked robustly for a variety of pedestrian statures and over a range of speeds. Accordingly the bonnet was tested in the deployed (raised) position and results were predominantly good or adequate. Safety assist Electronic stability control is standard equipment on the MINI, as is a seatbelt reminder for the front and rear seats. A driver-set speed limitation device is an option. As it is expected to be fitted to most cars sold, it was included in the assessment. An autonomous emergency braking system is available as an option but is not expected to be fitted to most of the cars sold, so it was not included in the rating. The MINI does not have a lane assistance system.

NCAP 2014 F56 MINI Cooper Details Results (PDF)

  • Chris Harte

    Well done MINI! Happy to see that these tests are evolving and making it harder to achieve a maximum 5/5 star rating across all makes. What I am really curious to see is the IIHS small overlap, as we are so familiar with that test and many vehicles that scored poorly to marginal in the small car segment. This would be a true comparison.

  • Alvin Joel Fernandez

    I’m happy with these results, these tests keep getting tougher and more brands keep getting “poor” ratings, but the MINI has still managed to keep “good” ratings.

  • Nick Dawson

    Less than impressive result for a state of the art ‘premium’ Supermini. The following ‘cheap n cheerful’ city cars all scored 4 stars, together with their scores in the passenger/child/pedestrian/safety-assist categories, compared with MINI, in the 2014 Euro NCAP tests:-

    Hyundai i10 – 79%/80%71%/56% From £8,600 Renault Twingo – 78%/81%/68%/56% From £9,500 Toyota Aygo – 80%/89%/61%/56% From £8,600 Smart ForTwo – 82%/80%/62%/56% From £10,800 MINI COOPER – 79%/73%/66%/56% From £15,300

    Average passenger protection score = 79.6% (MINI 79%) Average child protection score = 80.6% (MINI 73%) Average pedestrian protection = 65.6% (MINI 66%) Average safety assist score = 65% (MINI 65%)

    MINI was average in three out of four categories, but significantly below average for Child Protection. I expected better!

    • Chris Harte

      None of those cars are for sale in the States with the Smart ForTwo being the only exception. A stronger comparison can be made when we have the IIHS overlap and small overlap results with other vehicles we could actually buy. We will see.

      • David Bayliss

        Confused about why it matters they aren’t sold in America.. It’s the Euro NCAP and we can buy all of those cars – and the MINI scored lower than them.. Also the MINI is the biggest car in that list..

        • Why it is important to keep in mind is for two reasons: firstly because there are often modifications made to cars for different markets and secondly different organizations have different testing methodologies which may yield or emphasize different results including the IIHS’ tests. As previously reported by MotoringFile there are three major safety related modifications to the US bound F56. US models have knee airbags as standard which the European model does not have. The US model has a different side curtain airbag than European models. Lastly the US gets reinforced B-pillars for added strength. Market changes such as these aren’t specific to the MINI brand as when the Fiat 500 first came to North American shores it had a revised rear suspension and subframe to meet North American standards. The North American IIHS small overlap test is known as being probably the most demanding test of any car’s structure which is why the results will be interesting.

        • David Bayliss

          That’s pretty poor if only the US gets a knee airbag – even the FIAT 500 has a knee airbag here in Europe. What happens in the US isn’t going to help the rest of the world much though.

          Fact remains in Europe, at least, the MINI isn’t as safe as other lighter/smaller cars..

        • Nick above average out the categories for some small cars. If you take off the fractional remainder, MINI is exactly at the average in three out of four categories and about 5% lower in child protection. Being consistent in three our of four safety categories with other small cars is hardly not being as safe, it’s performing at the same level.

        • David Bayliss

          It’s beaten by a Smart car which is the size of a shoe.. The MINI is an SUV in comparison..

        • robble

          Lets bring up the bigger is safer in a head on collision argument if you want to compare against the truly tiny cars.

  • Jay

    Jalopnik Story: New MINI not as safe as old MINI – Ruining the brand

  • Creed Cate

    Well this isn’t the news I had hoped for… Come on MINI, going backwards is just not acceptable even if the challenges to get 5 stars are greater.

    • It’s not backwards if the tests are 25% harder.

    • Keep in mind that to we primarily equate “safety” to passive crash results while the new Euro NCAP test also weighs passive safety systems for the first time such as lane assist and emergency braking systems. Although the old Euro NCAP testing cannot be directly compared to the new testing, when reviewing the 2014 F56 with the 2007 R56 for crash test performance, the F56 has substantially fewer “marginal” results and a larger number of “good” body areas. Looking at the crash tests alone, the four-star rated 2014 F56 MINI appears to have improved upon the five-star 2007 R56 MINI with more stringent crash tests including the new side pole test. Few small city cars have lane departure warning or pedestrian collision avoidance systems which is why they all scored poorly. There is always room for improvement and I am personally hoping that there are additional active safety features with the F56 LCI refresh as those features will help the final score.

      • Creed Cate

        Thanks for the detailed explanation, makes sense to me. I still want all MINIs to have 5 star ratings selfishly. I just realized the Driving Assistant (collision warning/avoidance) was a secretly available option on 2015 Hardtops, would have ordered this on mine if I knew it was available.

        • robble

          that option required several thousand dollars of prerequisite options to get

  • The Mann

    what excatly does this mean ” However, the front edge of the bonnet was poor at all test locations and scored no points ” i don´t see all “bonnet” impact seem for mee as the car is soft as it schould be.or do i miss the point in hitting someone, is it better with a hard bonnet so the damaged of Pedestrian get more hirt.. i do not follow.. How can a tank like Volvo XC90 get 5 star in Pedestrian test, that kille all it hit.,