Mini redesigned its compact SUV for 2017, making the Countryman more family friendly with additional backseat room and more cargo space. Families also will like the SUV's safety ratings. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named it a Top Safety Pick, same as the outgoing generation.
The 2017 model earned good crashworthiness scores across all areas of testing and an advanced rating for its optional front crash prevention system. According to IIHS, in tests at 12 and 25 mph, the system reduced the impact speed by 7 mph in both tests, mitigating a collision. A front crash prevention system was not available for model year 2016.
To qualify for the 2017 Top Safety Pick award, a vehicle must earn good ratings in all tests as well as have a front crash prevention system rated advanced or superior. To get the agency's highest designation, the Top Safety Pick Plus award, a vehicle must also have headlights rated good or acceptable; the 2017 Countryman's headlights are rated marginal and poor, depending on model.
One competitor, the 2017 Audi Q3, failed to earn either Top Safety Pick designation because it lacks a front crash prevention system. Another, the 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLA, has not yet been tested. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has not yet tested the 2017 Countryman.