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Safest cars in India; know the brands and models you can prioritise

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Safest cars in India; know the brands and models you can prioritise

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While India is still working out the nuances of the Bharat NCAP, its homegrown crash test, let’s take a look at some safety ratings from the Global New Car Assessment Program, which is a project run by a UK-based non-profit 'Towards Zero Foundation'. Under the safer cars for India vision, in 2022 alone four cars scored four stars in the Global NCAP. Read on to know more -

When you think of buying a new car do you prioritise safety? Do you end up skimming through the safety kit in the brochure? Find out more about structural rigidity, crash test safety ratings? If you haven’t till now, it’s high time you should. Safety should be non-negotiable and today we’ll look at some of the safest cars in India.

Currently during the production process, Indian manufacturers run their vehicles through the International Centre for Automotive Technology at Manesar that functions as an independent ‘Type Approval and Homologation' agency authorised by the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways to test various automotive components such as powertrain, passive safety, noise vibration, wheel and tyre calibration, vehicle fatigue etc.
The Automotive Research Association of India also plays a role in assisting the Indian government in establishing vehicle inspection and certification centres across the country.
While India is still working out the nuances of the Bharat NCAP, its homegrown crash test, let’s take a look at some safety ratings from the Global New Car Assessment Program which is a project run by a UK-based non-profit 'Towards Zero Foundation' that has made it its mission to promote the United Nationals global standard of safety worldwide.
Under the safer cars for India vision, in 2022 alone four cars scored four stars in the Global NCAP, let me first take you through these:
Renault Kiger | Adult Safety - 4 stars | Adult Protection Score – 12.34/17 | Child Safety – 2 Stars | Child Protection Score – 21.05/49
Nissan Magnite | Adult Safety – 4 Stars | Adult Protection Score – 11.85/17 | Child Safety – 2 Stars | Child Protection Score – 24.88/49 (Image courtesy: GlobalNCAP.org)
Launched in the pandemic year, the Magnite carried some serious weight on its shoulders, deemed to be the make-or-break product for Nissan’s stay in India.
For Renault this was designed to attract pocket-conscious buyers. While it is a low-cost offering this compact SUV is built on the brand’s CMF-A+ platform that packed in dual front airbags, ABS with EBD, front seat pretensioners and seatbelt reminders for the crash test.
Tested at 64kmph, the crash test results deemed the SUV’s bodyshell integrity to be unstable and not capable of withstanding further loading. In terms of adult occupants’ protection, the SUVs offered good protection to the driver’s and passenger’s neck and head while offering marginal protection to the chest and knee area in the front row, leading to a 4-star rating for adult occupants.
Both SUVs scored 2-stars in child safety and it isn’t hard to see why. In its base trim the SUVs skip ISOFIX child seat anchorage so while the head of an infant up to 18 months is protected the chest is not in case of an impact and for a child of up to 3 years the head & chest area aren’t sufficiently protected.
If you were to consider the top-end variants though you’d get additional safety kit like ISOFIX anchorage, side airbags, speed sensing lock, impact sensing lock, vehicle dynamic control, hill start assist, traction control system, hydraulic brake assist, tyre pressure monitoring system.
 
4th Generation Honda City | Adult Safety – 4 Stars | Adult Protection Score – 12.03/17 | Child Safety – 4 Stars | Child Protection Score – 38.27/49
Up next we have the 4th generation Honda City which as rumours have it might be phased out by October this year. Honda claims to design all their cars with safety in mind, while we’ll get to the active safety aids a bit later, let’s talk about the build process.
One of the passive safety systems is the Advanced Compatibility Engineering that uses a network of front frame structures to absorb and deflect energy from a frontal collision.
At the Global NCAP, the sedan was tested in its base trim with dual front airbags, ABS, ISOFIX child seat anchorage and seatbelt reminders. Scoring 4-stars for adult occupants and child safety even though the bodyshell integrity was labelled as unstable at an impact of 64kmph.
However, it did offer good protection to the driver & passenger side head area while the driver’s side knee area showed mild protection in the event of an impact with the dashboard.
With infant child seats rear facing and three-year-olds front facing in the car seat the sedan provided peace of mind with good protection overall and limited movement in case of an unforeseen impact.
Available in just 2 trims in India today, additional safety kit includes engine immobilizer with anti-theft alarm, rear windshield defogger and rear parking sensors.
Honda Jazz | Adult Safety – 4 Stars | Adult Protection Score – 13.89/17 | Child Safety – 3 Stars | Child Protection Score – 31.54/49 (Image courtesy: GlobalNCAP.org)
The Honda Jazz was also tested at GNCAP, which too might be on the way out of India by October if rumours are to be believed. While receiving an unstable bodyshell integrity label, the sedan scored 12.03 points out of 17 translating to 4-stars in the adult occupant safety rating.
Equipped with identical safety equipment as the 4th gen City, the hatchback brought in similar safety analysis as the City sedan in the adult as well as child safety department.
Priced between Rs 8-10 lakh, the hatchback also features Brake Assist in its top most trim.
Toyota Urban Cruiser | Adult Safety – 4 Stars | Adult Protection Score – 13.52/17 | Child Safety – 3 Stars | Child Protection Score – 36.68/49 (Image courtesy: GlobalNCAP.org)
Up next we have the Toyota Urban Cruiser and given this car is manufactured in the same plant and on the same platform by Maruti Suzuki for the Brezza one can safely assume the safety rating of the Urban Cruiser would translate to the Brezza’s as well.
So this compact SUV was tested with front seatbelt pretensioners, dual frontal airbags, seatbelt reminders, ISOFIX child seat anchorage & ABS.
The result of a high-speed frontal crash was marginal protection for the driver’s knees as well as for the front right knee of the passenger’s side.
Otherwise relatively unhurt warranting a 4-star adult safety rating. Analysing the impact on 3-year-old kids in case of a frontal impact the head was well protected but the nek area showed low protection with fair protection to the chest area.
While for infants the protection was pretty good, scoring a safety rating of 3-stars. The SUV is built with side impact protection beam as well earning the Urban Cruiser’s bodyshell integrity a stable stamp.
Additional safety kit in the higher trims include hill hold control on automatic variants, reverse parking camera in the top trim, reverse parking sensors, warning lamp for low fuel, an ajar door, headlamp on, front seatbelt and in case you forget your key.
While I did mention the safety rating for the Urban Cruiser would be what you can expect for the Brezza, let’s not forget the 2022 model of the Brezza is now built on Suzuki’s C-Platform which promises improved structural rigidity and additional safety equipment which seems to be aiming for a 5-star crash safety score.
Tata Punch | Adult Safety – 5 Stars | Adult Protection Score – 16.45/17 | Child Safety – 4 Stars | Child Protection Score – 40.89/49
Now its time to check out the safest cars that offer good structural rigidity and peace of mind in case of an unwarranted impact. Rated in 2021 after its launch last year, Tata launched the Punch to provide us with a sub-compact SUV alternative to a larger hatchback.
The Punch is built on Tata’s new Agile Light Flexible Advanced architecture that it shares with the Altroz and given the Altroz scored a 5-star rating in the GNCAP earlier chances of the Punch scoring the same was high anyway.
The model tested had front seatbelt pretensioners, dual front airbags, seatbelt reminders, ISOFIX anchorage and ABS a high-speed impact offered strong protection to the adult occupants in all respects, earning the Punch 16.45 points out of 17, while 4-stars in child safety and 40.89 points out of 49 with the car able to control excessive movement for the child seats in case of a high-speed impact.
In terms of active safety kit, the Punch packs in quite a bit with iRA connected car tech that offers close to 27 safety features at an attractive price point. The car also offers front fog lamps with cornering ability, automatic headlamps & rain sensing wipers in top trims.
Mahindra XUV700 | Adult Safety – 5 Stars | Adult Protection Score – 16.03/17 | Child Safety – 4 Stars | Child Protection Score – 41.66/49 (Image courtesy: GlobalNCAP.org)
To round up the list we have the very much in demand Mahindra XUV700. This SUV comes with additional rollbars on door sections to absorb energy from any high-speed impact, while different steel strengths have been used to build the chassis so as to aide in great structural rigidity.
The engine mounts are designed to break during the event of a crash which allows the engine to fall down instead of causing additional harm to the occupants.
At the GNCAP, the SUV was tested in its base trim with the same kit as the others mandated for the tests and on most parameters, the SUV offered strong protection to the occupants while also scoring a stable tag in the structural test.
Testing impact on child and an infant, the SUV was able to strongly prevent head and body exposure. Overall, the XUV700 scores a 5-star safety rating for adult occupants & 4 stars for child safety.
As you opt for higher trims, the XUV700 offers up to 7 airbags, hill-hold, hill descent control, roll-over mitigation, 360-degree camera, blind-view monitor, driver drowsiness detection, level 2 ADAS tech which is quite an add on.
While it is advisable to research on safety and be wise about the vehicle you choose your vehicle one has to remember most manufacturers do undertake years of rigorous component and sled-testing to offer you the best possible vehicle.
Post that it is up to us individuals to drive patiently and responsibly. Hope you found this video insightful. If you did, do share, like and subscribe and don’t forget to drop in a comment or your feedback.
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