The 2011 Ford Fiesta is the first mini-car to earn a Top Safety Pick from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) since the introduction of a new roof strength test.
The award applies to vehicles built after July 2010.
It also marks Ford’s eighth vehicle to earn the Institute's top designation – breaking a tie with Toyota for the most top picks.
“Fiesta is proof that a small car can deliver big safety, and earning a Top Safety Pick further demonstrates Ford’s commitment to providing all of our customers with world-class crash protection,” said Sue Cischke, Ford’s group vice president of sustainability, environment and safety engineering.
Ford representatives say Fiesta earned the pick thanks to its use of high-strength steels, Trinity front crash structure and the side protection and cabin enhancement (SPACE) architecture.
“Fiesta’s energy-absorbing body structure is optimized for strength and stiffness and designed to absorb and redirect crash forces away from the passenger compartment,” the company said in a release on its website.
The small car also features the most standard airbags in the mini-car segment and standard stability control – a requirement for any Top Safety Pick vehicle.