When it comes to buying a car, old or new, people in India often ignore the aspect of safety. Now we can conclude this statement just by looking at the highest selling cars in India. 7 of the top 10 selling cars are from Maruti Suzuki and apart from the Brezza, all other cars are declared unsafe by Global NCAP crash tests. Hence, this article provides you with a list of the safest cars with at least 6 airbags under Rs.15 lakh(ex-showroom) from manufacturers that are considered safe to protect you and your loved ones.
Mahindra XUV300 – 7 Airbags (W8 Optional)
Mahindra currently possesses the safest car manufactured in India and that is the XUV300. With a total of 7 airbags, it has scored the highest rating in the Global NCAP crash tests by an Indian manufacturer. The top-end model even the diesel variant comes at a price of Rs.12.51 lakh ex-showroom Delhi and it comes equipped with a host of safety features like child safety locks, side and front impact beams, Traction control, Tyre Pressure Monitoring System, front and rear parking sensors, Hill-start assists, ESP with Roll-over Mitigation, all four disc brakes, Corner Braking Control and a rear parking camera.
Ford Ecosport – 6 Airbags (Titanium +)
Ford really seems to give safety a high priority because as surprising as it might sound, it offers six airbags on all its models in India. The Ecosport with six airbags on its higher trims is a good value proposition for what it offers. Not just in terms of safety but it has the best handling package as well among the Compact SUVs. The SE Petrol variant comes at a price of Rs.10.69 lakh ex-showroom has 6 airbags along with other safety features like brake assist, Traction control, TPMS, ESC, Hill-assists, etc.
Hyundai i20 – 6 Airbags (Asta Optional)
The Hyundai i20 is the cheapest car from the Korean manufacturer to come with 6 airbags. The Petrol Asta Optional that costs Rs.9.41 lakh ex-showroom is equipped with 6 airbags along with other safety features such as TPMS, ESC, Crash sensor, Hill assist, speed alert, reverse parking sensors. It has not been crash-tested yet but Hyundai claims that the new lightweight architecture consists of 66% Enhanced Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS) along with 13% improved tensile strength. However, the Hyundai i10 Nios which claimed almost the same 65% AHSS scored a dismal 2-star rating at the Global NCAP crash tests. We keep our fingers crossed for the i20 to score better than that when it is tested in the near future.
Ford Figo – 6 Airbags (Titanium Blue)
At Rs.7.27 lakh, the Titanium Blue variant of the Ford Figo is the cheapest car from any manufacturer to come with 6 airbags. Other safety features include ABS with EBD as standard across all variants, while the Titanium Blue comes equipped with Hill-start assist, Traction control, and a rearview camera. The made-in-India Ford Figo scored a comfortable 4-star rating at the Latin NCAP crash test so the structure is quite rigid and stable as well. The Ford Figo, in our books, is the most affordable enthusiasts car too, with the most responsive and direct steering input, potent petrol and diesel engines, and a perfectly tuned suspension setup.
Hyundai Venue – 6 Airbags (SX Optional)
The Hyundai Venue is a complete package for someone who is considering a Compact SUV. The list of combinations of engine and transmission options along with the different variants is endless. You can say that there is a Venue for every requirement. Among them, the SX optional variant that costs Rs.11.35 lakh ex-showroom is equipped with 6 airbags, TPMS, ABS with EBD, ESC with rollover mitigation, rear defogger, rear wiper, rearview camera, speed sensing auto door lock.
Ford Aspire – 6 Airbags (Titanium +)
We weren’t exaggerating when we said that Ford offers 6 airbags in all its models. The Aspire comes with 6 airbags in its Titanium plus variant that costs Rs.7.63 lakh ex-showroom. The Aspire was crash tested at the Latin NCAP and it scored 4 stars which is very good. It also comes with a rearview camera, ABS with EBD, speed alert, crash sensor, side and front impact beams, etc.
Hyundai Verna – 6 Airbags (SX Optional)
The Hyundai Verna is the 3rd entrant from the Hyundai stable. The C segment sedan from Hyundai offers 6 airbags along with a host of features like ESC, rear camera with dynamic guidelines, side and front impact beams, Vehicle stability control system, speed sensing auto door lock, ISOFIX Child seat mounts, Hill-assist, impact sensing auto door unlock. It is hands down one of the most fun to drive cars with extremely good engines when compared to its competitors. It comes with a laundry list of features as well.
Honda City – 6 Airbags (VX)
The Honda City is the only car from the Japanese giant to offer 6 airbags from its mid-variant (VX) that costs Rs.12.62 lakh ex-showroom. The 5th gen Honda City is much more than a mid-life update and this hits you hard as soon as you see the interiors. The redesigned front and rear bumpers along with an all-new tail light section look good while the interior feels very premium and almost a competition to the segment above. While it might not be as fun to drive as the Hyundai Verna, which remains its arch-rival for decades, it provides a more calm and composed ride quality and is way more comfortable than its competition with oodles of space on the inside.
Toyota Yaris – 7 Airbags (J)
The Toyota Yaris was launched as a competition to the City, Verna and Ciaz but did not do well in the market. Nonetheless, it is a safe car and it offers 7 airbags, brake assist, side and front impact beams, rear camera, speed sensing auto door lock and other features at the price of Rs.12.39 lakh ex-showroom. The fact that you have better options in the same segment offering more features is what lets the Toyota Yaris down. Apart from the Ciaz, its competition offers diesel variants as well.
Kia Sonet – 6 Airbags (GTX)
Kia Sonet, just like its cousin the Hyundai Venue has too many options to choose from. But the variant that comes with 6 airbags is the GTX Plus Turbo iMT that costs Rs.12.19 lakh ex-showroom. Kia also has a laundry list of features, out of which some of them are segment first. The main reason Indians have to be thankful to the Sonet is that this is the Compact SUV to start the trend of providing sunroofs in the mid variant itself. Apart from that, the Sonet gets features like brake assist, rear camera with dynamic guidelines, auto-dimming IRVM, TPMS, crash sensor, Traction control with different modes, ISOFIX child seat mounts.
Skoda Kushaq – 6 Airbags (Style)
The newest entry to the SUV market is the Skoda Kushaq and it does pack some punch not just in performance and looks but for safety as well. The Kushaq offers 6 airbags in its Style variant of the 1.0 TSI engine that costs Rs.14.59 lakh ex-showroom. The good thing is that this SUV is built in India with most of its parts locally sourced, which means the maintenance of this SUV will come down substantially. What is bad though, is that it does not come with a diesel engine even as an option. It has managed to rake up a lot of bookings and whether it will live up to its name is yet to be seen.
The most important thing to note is that more airbags do not necessarily translate to more safety. There are 2 primary examples for this statement. Firstly, the Tata Nexon, even on the top-end variant comes with only 2 airbags, which is surprising looking at the cost of the vehicle but what is even more surprising is the fact that it managed to score an amazing 5-star rating in the Global NCAP crash tests and is the second safest car in India. Secondly, Kia Seltos offers 6 airbags at the price of Rs.16.65 lakh ex-showroom, and yet shockingly managed to score just 3-stars in the Global NCAP crash tests and what makes it even worse is that its body shell integrity was rated unstable.
So what we’re trying to establish is that the structural integrity and rigidity of the vehicle is more important than the number of airbags. That said, having more airbags is definitely safer and you should opt for it and in the meantime, do some research by checking out the crash test ratings to actually see how safe the car you buy is.
Remember the car you buy will have your loved ones travelling in them and it is your duty to make sure everyone is safe on every journey, every single time.