The Kia Picanto failed to score any points in adult safety tests
Kia Picanto on sale in many global markets, is based on the same platform as the new Hyundai i10. In the latest crash test, it has received a zero rating in adult safety tests from Latin NCAP. It should be noted here that while the Picanto in European markets receives a wide range of safety equipment as standard, these safety features are not even offered as optional on the car on sale in Latin and Caribbean markets.
Alejandro Furas, Secretary General of Latin NCAP states that while the European spec Kia Picanto, priced at Euro 8,700 ($10,185/Rs. 7,59,269), receives a total of 6 airbags, pedestrian protection and ESC as standard equipment, the car has filed with poor safety levels in Latin America and the Caribbean region.
Latin NCAP Results
Kia Picanto was tested for frontal impact, side impact, whiplash and pedestrian protection. Frontal impact for driver and passenger was coloured red showing poor protection. In terms of side impact chest protection was poor while whiplash protection was also rated as poor.
The Picanto was not put through side pole impact as the vehicle did not offer side head protection. Results stood at 0 percent rating in terms of Adult Occupancy, 29 percent in Child Occupancy, 51 percent in Pedestrian Protection and 7 percent in Safety Assist. Watch the crash test video below.
Following these results the verdict was that Latin NCAP does not propose the Kia Picanto to customers as it was a poor safety model. Latin NCAP does not recommend that customers buy cars without even the basic safety features of pedestrian protection, side body and head airbags and ECS or cars with score zero and 1 star ratings.
Kia accused of double standards
Ricardo Morales, Latin NCAP Chairman has accused the Korean automaker of double standards. He claims it is necessary to improve the safety levels of vehicles sold in the region. When the third-gen Picanto was tested under Euro NCAP standards, it scored three stars with 79 percent Adult Occupant, 64 percent Child Occupant, 54 percent Pedestrian and 25 percent Safety Assist.
Even in India, Global NCAP has had similar results, where the car sold in India performs poorly in crash test; while the same car which is sold outside India; gets a better crash test rating. There was a time when cars like Maruti Swift, Maruti Celerio, Honda Mobilio, Renault Duster, Ford Figo, Volkswagen Polo, etc, which are sold to customers in India- had scored a 0 star safety rating in Global NCAP crash tests.
But thanks to Global NCAP, there has been a huge improvement in car safety standards in India. Today, India has 3 cars which have scored 5 star safety and multiple cars with 4 star safety rating. Full list of Indian cars and their safety rating can be found here.