Crash test confusion?

One of our readers (John) asked why there wasn’t a rear collision test done for the MINI, and if this meant the car wasn’t safe.

This caught me off guard at first, since NCAP doesn’t do rear collision tests — however the American-based IIHS does. For those across the pond that are unfamiliar with rear collision tests, the IIHS does a test to see if head restraints on your seat backs provide any protection, and if so, to what degree. I would guess this was done to study the effects of whiplash or other related injuries when the distracted soccer mom or cell phone user can’t stop and hits you from behind.

Sure, such injuries are usually not severe or life-threatening, but you know how American lawyers are 😉

There’s also a second testing agency in America, I think people may be more familiar with this one and it’s system of “star” ratings we see in car commercials – that is the NHTSA. They are apparently so backlogged in doing crash tests that they haven’t been able to test the 2007 MINI yet, in fact, most commercials where you see crash test ratings are for earlier model years (read the fine print!) but now I am getting off on a tangent.

Here is a link to the NCAP study:

http://www.euroncap.com/tests/bmw_mini_2007/288.aspx

And here is a link to the IIHS study:

http://www.iihs.org/ratings/ratingsbyseries.aspx?id=303

Along with the IIHS test, the NHTSA also did crash tests on the MINI. All previous model years received 4-star ratings in all categories tested and a 5-star rollover rating. Here’s a link to the 2006 study:

http://www.safercar.gov/Cars/3624.html

After reading all this, is any car truly safe? Who can say, but one thing is for certain, the MINI is definitely one of the safest cars on the road.