While, till date, most Indian buyers would ignore safety features while making car purchases, this trend is fast changing. Automakers are emphasizing on safety features present in their car models and buyers are fast realizing that it is safety features that could make a difference between life and death.
According to a ‘Safer Cars for India‘ campaign conducted on 25 models and variants by Global NCAP, the top 5 safest cars one can buy in the sub Rs.10 lakh category are listed below:
1. Tata Nexon (5/5) – The Tata Nexon SUV was at the top of this list with a 5 star rating in Global NCAP crash tests, making it the first Indian origin car to achieve this. The sub four meter Nexon had earlier scored a 4 Star rating but with the inclusion of a seat belt reminder to the 2019 model, the ratings improved. Nexon scored 3 Stars in child safety protection and 5 Stars in adult safety protection; showing off good adult head and neck protection. Global NCAP rated the body shell as stable in the 64 kmph offset deformable barrier crash test. The Nexon is seen with two airbags and ABS as standard while ISOFIX child seat mounts are offered in the XZ+ and XZA+ variants.
2. Mahindra Marazzo (4/5) – Mahindra Marazzo, the first Made-in-India MPV also did well with a 4 Star rating. It is seen with standard double airbags, ABS, seat belt reminder for driver, front seat belt pretensioners and ISOFIX anchorages on rear seats which got it a 4 Star rating in adult occupant protection with a score of 12.85 out of 17 and 2 Stars in child occupant protection with 22.22 out of 49. These are standard features across all variants. The Marazzo, developed by Mahindra R&D in Chennai and the Mahindra Automotive North America development centre, had representatives from both to witness the crash tests.
3. Toyota Etios Liva (4/5) – When tested by Global NCAP in 2016, Toyota’s hatchback scored 4 Stars in adult occupant safety with 13 out of 16 and 3 Stars in child occupant safety with 20.02 out of 49. The 4 Star rating in frontal tests were conducted at 64 kmph and the Liva certified as stable in these tests providing good protection for adult passengers. The Liva had earlier gained a 2 Star rating in child occupancy but was later updated with safety equipment such as ABS, EBD and ISOFIX child seat mounts while the Liva was also tested with dual front airbags and front seat belts with pre-tensioners.
4. Tata Zest (4/5) – Tata Motors Zest sedan, which when crash tested, secured a 4 Star rating by Global NCAP. Tata introduced a structural improvement to the entire Zest range allowing it to achieve this higher safety rating. The Zest is reported to be the first passenger vehicle from an Indian company to achieve this high rating in safety. The Tata Zest scored 4 Starts in adult occupancy and 2 Stars in child occupancy when fitted with twin airbags and driver’s seat belt reminder. It was ABS, EBD and corner stability control where were added later.
5. Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza (4/5) – India’s largest selling SUV, the Maruti Brezza has scored a 4 Star rating in the latest round of tests conducted by Global NCAP with a score of 12.51 out of 17 even as the Brezza has scored a 2 Star rating in child occupancy with 17.93 out of 49. The 18 month old dummy on test suffered head and shoulder injuries while markings on the ISOFIX child seat mounts also failed to comply with Global NCAP standards. Global NCAP also rated the body structure of the Brezza to be stable. The Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza is seen with twin airbags, ABS, EBD, front seat belt with pre-tensioners, driver seat belt reminder and ISOFIX child seat mounts.