On real U.S. roads, where most vehicles are larger, getting a subcompact model should involve some serious consideration of safety scores and features. And it should be reassuring to know that at least among other cars its size, the 2013 Ford Fiesta is one of the safer picks.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has given the Fiesta top 'good' results in frontal, side, rear, and roof-strength tests--as well as the Top Safety Pick designation in previous years. And in federal tests, the Fiesta has earned four out of five stars overall, including top five-star results for frontal impact but a four-star result in side impact--with an asterisk noting a high likelihood of thoracic injury.
But safety-feature content is strong; front and side bags for driver and passenger, rear side curtain bags, and a knee airbag for the driver are all included. And the electric power steering incorporates Pull-Drift Compensation, which keeps the Fiesta tracking properly.