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SAFETY | 8 out of 10
...the [electric steering] uses what Ford calls "Drift-Pull" compensation to automatically counteract stiff side winds and severely crowned roads, which would normally have you slightly countersteering to maintain course.
...the standard electronic stability control cannot be disabled...
On the safety front, the Ford Fiesta is equipped to meet regulations that won't take effect until the 2011 model year.
It comes standard with seven airbags: front and side bags for driver and passenger, rear side curtain bags, and a knee airbag for the driver.
Electronic stability control is standard, as are seatbelt pre-tensioners. The electric power steering incorporates two electronic safety features not found in other subcompacts: Pull-Drift Compensation, which keeps the Fiesta tracking properly despite angled road surfaces or side winds, and "active nibble control" to even out any unbalanced wheels and tires. We felt the effects of nibble control, and thought it might be better addressed by the driver--but ordinary drivers might benefit.
As of this writing, neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has crash-tested the Fiesta. Our safety rating is based on generous standard equipment; we'll revisit the score when these agencies toss some Fiestas of their own.
The subcompact 2011 Ford Fiesta meets all current and projected safety standards, though its crash performance hasn’t yet been rated.