Small cars had a tough time in passing crash tests, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports.

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Small cars had a tough time in passing crash tests, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports.

It crash-tested 12 mostly small cars and the results weren't pretty. Four cars were rated poor overall, two were marginal and five passed in the small overlap crash test, according to IIHS. The best performer of the pack was the Mini Cooper Countryman, the only one to rate "good."

Consumer Reports magazine yanked its recommendations for two of the vehicles in the test that fared poorly. They are the Nissan Leaf electric car and Mazda5 small crossover.

The test is meant to replicate hitting a pole or a glancing blow head-on with another car.

"The Mini Cooper Countryman gave a solid performance," says Joe Nolan, a senior vice president for the Institute.

Here is how they stacked up:

Good:

Mini Cooper Countryman

Average:

Chevrolet Volt, Ford C-Max Hybrid, Mitsubishi Lancer, Scion FR-S, Subaru BRZ.

Marginal:

Hyundai Veloster; Scion xB

Poor:

Nissan Leaf, Nissan Juke, Mazda5; Fiat 500L

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