Ford Fiesta earns top safety award

2011_ford_fiesta_hatch.top.jpgThe small car is named a top safety pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. By Ben Rooney, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The new Ford Fiesta was chosen as a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety on Wednesday, becoming the first minicar to win the top rating since the group added a rollover test to its requirements.

Both the 2011 Fiesta sedan and hatchback versions received top ratings for front, side, rollover, and rear crash protection, the IIHS said. The car was also praised for having electronic stability control as standard equipment.

But the award only applies to Fiestas built after July 2010, when Ford made design changes to minimize the possibility of doors opening in side impact crashes, according to IIHS.

"Fiesta is proof that a small car can deliver big safety," Sue Cischke, Ford's vice president of sustainability, environment and safety engineering, said in a statement.

The Fiesta was the only minicar to receive a Good rating in the rollover test. To earn such a rating, which is the highest, the roof must be able to withstand five times the weight of the vehicle.

Most of the other minicars tested by IIHS were given an Acceptable rating for rollover safety. Among them were Toyota (TM) Yaris, Hyundai Accent, Kia Rio, Mini Cooper and Toyota Fit. The Chevrolet Aveo received a Marginal rating.

In addition to the Fiesta, seven other Ford automobiles have received a top safety award from IIHS, including the Fusion, Taurus and Flex.

Ford (F, Fortune 500) announced plans to reintroduce the Fiesta in the United States earlier this year as part of a plan to offer more small, fuel efficient cars. Along with the other major U.S. automakers, Ford sales have been slowly recovering after falling sharply during the Great Recession.

The 2011 Fiesta, with a base sticker price of $15,120, can travel an estimated 40 miles on one gallon of gasoline.

However, it remains to be seen how Fiesta sales will fare domestically.

More than 12 million Fiestas have been sold in Europe since it was introduced there in 1976. But the car was only sold in the U.S. market for a brief period between 1978 to 1980.  To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Find Your Next Car
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,122.01 15.31 0.09%
Nasdaq 4,569.62 -1.02 -0.02%
S&P 500 2,000.12 0.10 0.00%
Treasuries 2.36 -0.03 -1.25%
Data as of 4:07am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 16.20 -0.13 -0.80%
Apple Inc 102.13 1.24 1.23%
Facebook Inc 74.63 -1.33 -1.75%
Yahoo! Inc 38.18 0.39 1.03%
Pfizer Inc 29.49 0.28 0.96%
Data as of Aug 27

Sections

Staggering interest from the Chinese in an immigration program has led the U.S. to run out of available visas for the first time ever. More

Former Fed chief Ben Bernanke believes the 2008 financial crisis was the worst in global history, topping even the Great Depression. More

Snapchat has gotten a $20 million funding round from Kleiner Perkins, valuing the company at $10 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal. More

Utah State professor Michael Glauser cycled 4,000 miles this summer, visiting 100 entrepreneurs across the country. Here's a snapshot of how they grew their businesses. More

Five CNNMoney readers share stories about saving that you can learn from: What they would do differently if they had another chance. More

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.