Safety in India is yet to take precedence over other factors while developed markets noticeably have a higher standard of vehicular safety
Present automotive industry stresses quite a bit in vehicular safety and over recent years that has been transferred to consumers as well. With serious advancements in automotive technologies in recent past, safety too has come ahead leaps and bounds. While it might not be the priority of consumers in India, in developed markets vehicular safety is always among the top criteria for car buying.
In accordance with this, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in the USA has mentioned ninety cars which could be the choice for people looking for a safe driving experience. Out of these, 41 have been categorised as Top Safety Pick while 49 have been shortlisted as Top Safety Pick+.
Top Safety Pick List
This is a significant increase as last year, the organisation named only 64 cars combining both categories. To get included in the Top Safety Pick list, a car had to receive good safety ratings in all six crashworthiness tests conducted by IIHS.
In addition, the cars also had to obtain advanced or superior ratings in vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian tests. On top of that, headlights on these models have to be deemed either good or acceptable.
Among 41 models in this list, only a select few are retailed in India. These include Hyundai Tucson, Hyundai Venue, Kia Seltos, BMW 3 Series, Mercedes Benz GLC, Audi A4 and Q8. The list also contained a few upcoming cars in India including Mercedes Benz C-Class and Volkswagen Tiguan.
Top Safety Pick+ list
Moving to the second list of Top Safety Pick+, this category has 49 models and is the highest honour of safety given by the IIHS. For cars to be named under this category, they need to offer acceptable or good headlights across all trim levels and packages as standard. Most of these models falling under this category are luxury vehicles and comprise cars such as Toyota Camry, Audi A6, Volvo S60, XC60, XC40 and Mercedes Benz GLE.
Most of the cars in both lists when retailed in India are certified as luxury models and hence companies charge exorbitant prices for them. Hence, most of these models are out of access for normal budget-centric masses. Electric vehicles such as Audi E-Tron and E-Tron Sportback also fall under the Top Safety Pick+ category. Overall Hyundai Group had the most number of models which included 17 models from Hyundai, Kia and Genesis brands in the combined list of both categories.
Volvo was also praised for having nine models qualify for the Top Safety Pick+ section. IIHS also announced that Mitsubishi failed to have a model on either of the lists. On the other hand, General Motors was criticised since only two models featured in the combined list of Safety Pick and Pick+.