Updated Safari and Harrier achieve 5-Star GNCAP crash protection rating

These cars are now the safest Indian cars scoring 33.05/34 in adult occupant protection and 45.00/49 in child safety protection
Tata Safari's frontal impact test.
Tata Safari's frontal impact test.GNCAP

Tata Motors recently launched the latest iterations of its Safari and Harrier SUVs. These updated models bring significant design changes and incorporate new modern technologies. Worth noting, however, is the fact that both the new Safari and Harrier have been awarded a prestigious 5-star rating by GNCAP scoring 33.05/34 for adult occupant protection and 45.00/49 for child occupant protection. The Safari and Harrier also meet the requirements of UN127 and GTR9 for pedestrian protection as standard. This remarkable feat establishes them as the safest vehicles on Indian roads. 

Tata Harrier's side pole impact test.
Tata Harrier's side pole impact test.GNCAP

The test scores

Both cars scored 33.05/34 in the adult occupant safety tests. A detailed summary of GNCAP’s test results states that the vehicle(s) achieved a 5-star safety rating across various impact scenarios. In frontal impacts, it offered good head and neck protection, adequate chest and knee protection, and stable body shell and footwell areas. In side impacts, it provided good protection for the head, chest, abdomen, and pelvis. In side pole impacts, curtain airbags showed good protection for the head and pelvis, marginal protection for the chest, and adequate protection for the abdomen. The vehicle also featured standard Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and Seat Belt Restraints (SBR) in all seating positions, meeting safety requirements. 

For child occupants, the cars scored a score of 45 out of the maximum of 49. GNCAP’s final report had this to say – In crash safety assessments, the vehicle demonstrated excellent protection for child occupants. In frontal impacts, both a rearward-facing child seat for a 3-year-old and another for an 18-month-old was securely installed with i-Size anchorages and support legs, effectively preventing head exposure and providing full protection. In side impacts, these child restraint systems (CRS) offered complete side impact protection. The car comes with 3-point seat belts in all seating positions as standard, and it includes appropriate warnings for rearward-facing CRS in the front passenger seat. Additionally, it allows for the deactivation of the passenger airbag when a rearward-facing CRS is used in that position. Overall, the CRS installation passed all assessments, ensuring the safety of child occupants.

The cars also proved to be safer for pedestrians as they successfully met the international standards for pedestrian protection – UN127 and GTR9. UN127 (UN Regulation No. 127) was established by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and outlines requirements and testing procedures for vehicle front-end design, materials, and structure to reduce pedestrian injury during collisions. GTR9 (Global Technical Regulation No. 9) is part of a series of global technical regulations aimed at harmonising vehicle safety standards and specifically focuses on pedestrian safety by setting standards for vehicle front design to minimise harm to pedestrians in the event of accidents. Compliance with these regulations is crucial for enhancing the safety of road users, particularly pedestrians.

Take a look at GNCAP testing the SUVs:

Now let’s take a look at what makes these cars safe:

The platform

The Tata Safari and Harrier cars share a common platform known as the OMEGARC architecture, which is a significant departure from the traditional body-on-frame chassis to a monocoque structure. This platform is derived from Land Rover's D8 platform, showcasing Tata Motors' collaboration with the British marque Jaguar Land Rover. Although the D8 platform uses aluminium, the OMEGARC derivative instead uses high-strength steel. The platform offers features like efficient crumple zones. and auxiliary isolation panels that help reduce engine noise inside the cabin. The OMEGARC architecture also provides the Tata Safari and Harrier with the ability to handle rough roads easily. 

Safety features

Since their respective launches, both SUVs have offered a comprehensive suite of safety features. Now the list has only gotten bigger. Let's take a closer look at some of the safety aspects of these exceptional SUVs.

Airbags: Both the Harrier and the Safari come equipped with seven airbags that include driver, co-driver, side, curtain, and driver knee airbags (first-in-class). Notably, six airbags are standard across all variants in both vehicles.

Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS): Both SUVs come equipped with an Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) that incorporates 11 functions. These include adaptive cruise control, autonomous emergency braking, forward and rear collision warning, rear cross traffic alert, blind spot detection, traffic sign recognition, door open alert, lane departure warning, lane change alert, and high beam assist. ADAS enhances driver awareness and aids in preventing accidents. The cars also offer ESP as standard. The ADAS features are available from the ‘Adventure’ persona upwards in both cars. 

360-degree surround view system and sensors: This feature provides a 360-degree view of the vehicle's surroundings, making parking and low-speed manoeuvres safer and more convenient. Blind-view monitoring is also present. Additionally, these SUVs offer sensors in the front and rear, enhancing safety by alerting you to potential obstacles.

Passenger airbag deactivation: Airbags are designed to deploy rapidly during a collision to protect adult passengers. However, they can deploy with excessive force, posing a significant risk to children who are not properly restrained in child safety seats or booster seats. This feature deactivates the passenger airbag preventing serious injuries or fatalities.

Additionally, both cars offer 3-point seatbelts and reminders for all seats, ISOFIX mounts, disc brakes on all four wheels, cornering fog lamps, a tyre pressure monitoring system and connected safety features like emergency (E-Call) and breakdown call (B-Call).

What is GNCAP?

The Global New Car Assessment Programme (GNCAP) is a globally recognized organisation dedicated to evaluating the safety of vehicles through rigorous testing. GNCAP employs a standardised framework, assessing criteria such as occupant protection, child safety, pedestrian protection, and safety assist systems, while conducting various crash tests. The organisation assigns ratings, with a 5-star rating being the highest, indicating excellent safety performance. These ratings are based on cumulative performance across all tested categories, making them a crucial reference for consumers in choosing safer vehicles. GNCAP's transparent testing procedures and continuous improvements contribute to global road safety standards, making 5-star ratings a sought-after feature for car manufacturers and a significant factor for consumers when selecting their next vehicle.


Gone are the days when you needed to buy an expensive foreign car to ensure safety on the road. Started in 2014, the #SaferCarsForIndia campaign has helped shift the focus on occupant safety. Indian manufacturers like Tata and Mahindra are now leaders in vehicle safety, consistently scoring 4-/5-stars across their new product ranges. Foreign manufacturers like Hyundai, Skoda and VW are also consistently putting more effort towards making their affordable cars much safer. The government also deserves credit for their push to make Indian cars safer. The introduction of BNCAP is one such step.

The test scores, particularly the impressive 33.05/34 score for adult occupant protection showcase that Indian-made cars can compete with global leaders especially considering the fact that these are mass-production SUVs, priced well under most European cars. From head and neck protection to excellent protection in side impacts, these vehicles have demonstrated an all-around dedication to occupant safety. These SUVs also meet the international requirements for pedestrian protection, which is crucial for enhancing road safety. Furthermore, offering ADAS, a 360-degree surround view system, and sensors for obstacle detection, among others, highlights the use of modern technology. The Safari and Harrier’s results in the crash tests showcase that Indian manufacturers are putting efforts in the right direction and the same should be done by us as consumers when we go out to purchase a vehicle.

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