Ford’s new Fiesta sedan/hatchback is the first minicar to earn the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick award since the organization added a rollover test to its scoring criteria. The Top Safety Pick award recognizes vehicles for earning the highest score of Good for front, side, and rear crash protection, as well as rollover protection. To earn this distinction, vehicles must also have electronic stability control, which is standard on the Fiesta.
The Top Safety Pick award applies to both the sedan and hatchback, but only to models built after July 2010 when Ford made design changes to the outside door handle to reduce the possibility of the doors opening in a side crash.
In the rollover test, the Fiesta sedan earned a 5.42 strength-to-weight ratio and the hatchback a 5.05 score, which means the roof in both vehicles can withstand a force of over five times the vehicle’s weight. A score above 4 earns a Good rating in the IIHS test. Competitors to the Fiesta include the Honda Fit, Hyundai Accent, Kia Rio, Mini Cooper, and Toyota Yaris, which all earned an Acceptable score in the roof test; the Chevrolet Aveo earned a Marginal rating.
We are currently testing both versions of the Fiesta and will find out soon how it stacks up against its competitors.—Liza Barth