Small car shoppers looking for a safe bet could head to a Ford dealership as the 2011 Fiesta has just been awarded a Top Safety Pick from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
The award's standards changed recently when rollover protection was emphasized with a more stringent roof strength requirement.
The Fiesta earned good ratings in the front, side, rear, and rollover tests, but also has stability control as standard equipment. So far, the Fiesta is the only "mini car" the IIHS has tested to become a Top Safety Pick.
In July, Ford changed the design of the outside door handles to make them less likely to open in the event of a crash.
The Fiesta has not yet been rated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, but is one of the 55 2011 model year vehicles soon to be tested under new standards making it more difficult to achieve a five-star rating.