Ford Fiesta earns top safety award
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.
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.
Well, it looks like a considerable improvement over the Fiesta's I remember from my youth. Still, not all reviews are thrilled:
2011 Ford Fiesta: I wish I could like it better
But in the comments section after that review, the reviewer himself is heavily criticized for nit-picking. The Fiesta is, after all, an ECONOMY car. Fine for tootling around town, great mileage, and safe too.
It's a great economy car to add to Ford's lineup. I hope it does well.
The Ford 2009 Fiesta ECOnetic gets 65 mpg!