Unfortunately, the Indian automotive market is dominated by unsafe and fuel-efficient cars from brands such as Maruti Suzuki, and they only have three 4/5 star rated cars in their lineup. With awareness being spread for safety with Global NCAP and the government, things are changing now.
Now dual front airbags and rear parking sensors are necessary for every car. Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport & Highways, asked the carmakers to make six airbags essential in every vehicle, especially small family hatchbacks.
On the other hand, brands such as Tata & Mahindra are known for having the safest Indian cars. The most recent one being the Tata Punch, again scored five stars, same as the Altroz & Nexon. Even Mahindra has scored five stars with the XUV300 & the most loved Thar has scored four stars.
The Global NCAP: Global New Car Assessment Program works as a platform for vehicles’ safety, and they work to promote and execute United Nations’ critical motor vehicle safety standards. The following three cars running in India were crash-tested by the Latin NCAP in 2021 and scored zero stars:
Renault Duster (Latin NCAP)
Renault Duster is one of the oldest compact SUVs in the country. It was launched in 2012, and it has accepted a few facelifts over the years but never a significant generation update. India has always missed some powerful features and updates; the second-generation Duster has also received a facelift.
Also Read: Next-Gen Renault Duster Might Launch In India?
Duster introduced the trend of compact SUVs in India long with Ecosport. The one tested had dual airbags & ESC but still a disappointing rating. It scored 29% in adult occupancy, 23% for child occupancy, 35% for safety assist systems, and 51% for pedestrians and vulnerable road users. Fuel leakage was also detected post the crash tests.
Maruti Suzuki Swift (Latin NCAP)
The Maruti Suzuki Swift was launched in 2006 and was an instant hit as a sporty family hatchback. Currently, the third generation is running in India, and it is built on the Heartect platform, the same as the upcoming Celerio.
Also Read: The Evolution Of Maruti Suzuki Swift| 2005 Vs. Present
Swift is a strong selling product with about 10,000 units in a month despite the zero-star rating. It runs on the K12 engine making 83hp. The version tested by the Latin NCAP was fitted with dual airbags, and ESC is an optional feature for the Swift, making it a little unstable. It scored 16% in adult occupancy, 0% in child occupancy,7% for safety assist systems, and 66% for pedestrians and vulnerable road users.
Maruti Suzuki Baleno
Maruti initially launched the Baleno in a sedan avatar back in 1998, and it was the favourite rally car for many enthusiasts, and it had a good run. Although we can still see the Baleno sedan once in a while, we mostly know the hatchback version launched in 2015. It runs on a similar engine as the Swift with the same power specs.
Also Read: 2022 Maruti Suzuki Baleno Facelift|This Is What We Know So Far
Latin NCAP has tested the “Made In India” Suzuki Baleno, which has scored an appalling ZERO Stars in crash test safety. However, it is to note that this Baleno is not the same that is sold in India.
Baleno is also among the favorite hatchbacks of the people regardless of the zero-star rating it recently scored in the Latin NCAP test. The tested version had dual airbags and scored 20% in adult occupancy, 17% in child occupancy, 7% for safety assist systems, and 64% for pedestrians and vulnerable road users.