08/20/2014 (press release: CambridgePRGroup) // PEABODY, Mass. // MINI of Peabody
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Small cars are increasingly receiving criticism for their inability to protect drivers in a newly explored crash scenario, but one vehicle bucked that trend during evaluations from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) last month. In the IIHS’ latest round of crash testing, the 2014 MINI Countryman was the only one of 12 small cars to earn a top rating of “good” in the small-overlap front test. The Countryman’s quality performance in the demanding test helped the four-door compact crossover receive an IIHS Top Safety Pick designation for the fourth consecutive year.

Introduced in 2012, the small-overlap front crash test sends a vehicle toward a rigid wall at 40 mph so that 25 percent of the front end on the driver’s side strikes the obstacle. According to the IIHS, this type of crash accounts for nearly a quarter of severe frontal crashes in the United States, but it is difficult for automakers to design against because the barrier bypasses most of the vehicle’s frontal crush zones. The Countryman achieved Top Safety Pick honors by not only earning a “good” rating in the small-overlap front test, but by also receiving the same designation in the IIHS’ moderate-overlap front, side, roof-strength, and head restraints & seats evaluations. Tellingly, 13 of the 32 small cars now tested by the IIHS for the 2014 model year have failed to be named a Top Safety Pick at least in part because they rated less than “acceptable” in the small-overlap front crash test.

“Designing safe small cars is a major challenge for all automakers, especially with the IIHS constantly raising the bar of safety with new tests and criteria, but MINI has risen to the challenge year-in and year-out with its Countryman,” said Marshal Cabot, general manager of MINI of Peabody, a Greater Boston MINI dealer. “Though it may offer go-kart-like handling when it’s time to have some fun out on the road, the Countryman is built like a rigid crossover when it comes to safety.”

Numerous safety features enabled the 2014 MINI Countryman to perform so well in IIHS crash testing. Every Countryman incorporates high-strength steel on its side panels and front end, which not only improves crashworthiness but also reduces body torque for tighter handling. Seven front and side airbags surround the interior, including a side-impact airbag in each front seat, two ceiling-mounted side curtains and a knee airbag on the passenger side. Meanwhile, the Countryman comes with a number of technologies that can help prevent a crash in the first place, like Electronic Brakeforce Distribution and Hill Assist.

About MINI of Peabody:
Since 2002, MINI of Peabody has been the leading source for new and used MINI vehicles in Northern New England. Their dedication to professional, friendly customer service allowed them to win the 2009 MINI Motoring Cup, a national award presented to the dealership that has the highest sales and customer satisfaction. Their new location in Peabody offers a state-of-the art service center and an expanded selection of MINI parts and accessories. See their MINI inventory or schedule a service appointment at www.minipeabody.com, call (877) 212-9727, like them on at www.facebook.com/miniofpeabody or visit their new showroom at 209 Andover Street (Route 114) in Peabody, Massachusetts.

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