I am thinking of purchasing a MINI Cooper. Considering their size, I was surprised that some car magazine rated these as safe when in a collision. Are they? I want to believe that so much, before I buy one. Also, are they reliable?
If one can believe Consumer Reports (and sme on this forum strongly feel that one can’t) this is the situation:
Safety: Above average. The Institute of Highway safety gives it a “good” rating http://www.iihs.org/ratings/rating.aspx?id=852
Reliability: The early models used to be spotty (transmission, engine cooling) but it looks like in recent years they got their act together. According to Consumer reports the 2008 model is way above average in reliability. But those are not Toyotas.
I’ve never looked into it extensively, but I’m pretty sure that IIHS safety ratings are always relative other vehicles of similar size/class. So “safe” means safe as compared to other tiny little cars - not in comparison to, say, a Volvo wagon or something.
sorry - I don’t know anything about the reliability of these.
The IIHS offset frontal crash test shows what would happen if another MINI hit you; neither car nose dives. If you were hit by a large truck, you would be toast. Larger is always (always) safer. OTOH, the likelihood that you will be involved in a life-threatening accident is exceedingly small; even smaller if you are concerned about it. Concerned drivers almost always drive defensively and will avoid accidents. Bottom line? Drive whatever you want. The odds are that you will enjoy it and never face a serious accident.
I have a 2007 Mini Cooper S. I feel safe in my Mini. The doors are heavy and solid and it has airbags all around. Also I had to avoid a object on the highway and had to swerve at high speed and the car handled great. Mine has been reliable and the only trips it made to the dealer was for oil changes. Hope this helps.
I have on '03 Cooper S (I’ve owned it since new). I feel the same.
Just looking at it will generate all the fears possible. If you are afraid of it, you shouldn’t buy it. Head on, tree or boulder collisions are never good but most times, a Crown Vic will make a big difference in the injury factor. Don’t hit anything big, hard or heavy.
I can’t speak for the Mini Cooper itself, as I don’t know its exact safety ratings, but it seems some of these new little cars with high safety ratings are surprisingly durable when crashed against bigger/harder objects.
I was recently looking into buying an old Volvo, and while researching it online, I came across this video:
It’s a British TV car show- they crash a big old Volvo wagon head-on into a new little Renault (both cars going 40 mph).
If you don’t feel like watching the whole video, here’s the result:
The Renault basically drives THROUGH the Volvo.
Make whatever you want out of that.
Personally, I drive a small AND old car that I’m pretty sure isn’t very safe at all- I just make sure to be a very careful/defensive driver. My philosophy: 95% of crashes are avoidable (even if you’re not the one at fault).
I decided after really checking out the mini coopers and talking to a really knowledgeable sales rep. in Milwaukee, WI that I would lease one to see just how much I would like it. My husband who is 6 ft tall and I just Love our mini. I didn’ really know how to drive a stick shift (its been a very long time)(and it was cheaper by $1000.00) and the sales rep. was wonderful. He spend several hours with us including teaching me how to drive a stick. We drove our mini to Fl. and it was the most comfortable ride. We had hit some pretty nasty weather along the way but the mini handled great. Our sales rep. spoke to us about how safe they were and from driving it I feel really safe inside. We have already decided that when our lease is up we will either buy the one I have, (which I have customized with different things) or will lease a brand new one. They have a very good resale also.
Hope you decided on one, They are so much fun.
If those modifications aren’t easily removed, and you don’t have the factory equipment, you’ll be hung out to dry on the penalties. Essentially, leasing a vehicle is like renting one. you don’t own it, you’re paying for it no matter what, and you have nothing to show for it when the lease(rental) is over, except more car payments
In addition to the good comments already made, here are some more valid reasons why a Mini Cooper would be safe; it has outstanding visibility, great handling and, unlike an SUV, is not prone to tipping over with sudden changes in direction.
In other words, you have a very good chance of not getting in an accident in the first place! So don’t worry about the safety of this car. I would worry about the cost of maintenance, since this is a BMW built in England. Although reliability is good now, the maintenance costs will be high.
I just ordered my Mini Clubman-S today!
Check out the attached pics and enjoy a Mini! Mini V. Tahoe.