Small cars fare poorly in new frontal crash tests, Mini Cooper Countryman gets top rating

Markets Associated Press

The four-door Mini Cooper Countryman was the only one of 12 cars to earn a top rating of "good" in new frontal crash tests.

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The Nissan Leaf, Nissan Juke, Fiat 500L and Mazda5 wagon fared the worst in tests performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

The frontal test, introduced in 2012, replicates what happens when 25 percent of a car's front end strikes a rigid object at 40 miles per hour.

The Chevrolet Volt, Ford C-Max, Mitsubishi Lancer, Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ all got the second-highest rating of "acceptable." The Hyundai Veloster and Scion xB got "moderate" ratings.

The Volt was the only car in the group to earn the institute's "Top Safety Pick Plus" rating, because it has an optional front crash-prevention system.