Mini Cooper Countryman earns Top Safety pick from IIHS image

Bmw’s owned Mini Cooper Countryman earns the Institute’s top safety accolade after achieving good ratings for front, side, rollover, and rear impact protection.

The new Countryman is the first Mini model to get the award and the second model from BMW to achieve top results since the Institute tightened the criteria to include good performance for roof strength in rollover crashes. In the past, the Mini Cooper hardtop earned scores of Acceptable in side crash tests and roof-strength tests.

The Countryman, you see, is spun off the same platform that BMW calls the X1. There’s real all-wheel drive baked in, and a BMW-ute-ish ride height and stance to give away those light German roots.

The latest 1.6-litre four-cylinder S engine in the Countryman comes with a twin-scroll turbocharger and direct fuel injection, and also fully variable valve management. The new Mini also includes optional Brake Energy Regeneration, Auto Start Stop, a gearshift point indicator, and on-demand management of the engine’s ancillary units.

The standard Getrag six-speed manual gearbox is featured as standard, but you can also get your Countryman with a six-speed automatic, complete with Steptronic paddle shifting.

For those who need more traction a new “ALL4” all-wheel drive is available. This option adds 254 lb. to the vehicle, for a curb weight of 3208 lb. As for cost, a well-optioned Countryman with ALL4 will come in under $30K.