The 2017 Ford Fiesta has been given five stars out of five for crash safety.
The recently updated hatchback scored well for passenger safety, getting 87 per cent for adult occupant protection and 84 per cent for child occupants.
However, crash tester Euro NCAP noted that the lack of a standard-fit autonomous emergency braking (AEB) system proved there was still work to be done for Britain’s best-selling car.
Matthew Avery, director of research at Thatcham Research, which oversees the testing, said: “That one of the UK’s best-selling vehicles is a five-star Euro NCAP car is good news.
“However, its AEB system is only available as an option, which is a shame as fewer than five per cent of car buyers take up additional safety packs. For this reason, the Seat Ibiza remains our top safety choice of the superminis launched so far in 2017.”
The evaluation coincides with the 20th anniversary of Euro NCAP testing, and the 1997 Ford Fiesta was one of the first cars to be graded. It received three stars mainly because the driver dummy received a heavy blow to the head, while side impact tests showed there was little protection.
The Kia Rio was also tested this month and received a three-star rating in standard specification, or five stars when fitted with an optional safety package. Meanwhile, the Kia Picanto also received three stars in standard form, rising to four with a safety pack fitted.