Ten safest cars in India according to the Global NCAP safety rating
In recent years car safety has piqued the interest of the Indian audience, and a lot of manufacturers are committed to making safer cars for India. Playing a vital role in it, is the Global New Car Assessment Programme (GNCAP), an independent agency that tests cars for the safety of the drivers and occupants in controlled car crash tests. With safety becoming more and more important, Indian automakers like Mahindra and Tata have taken a particularly keen interest in ensuring that their cars and SUVs are the safest vehicles traversing the Indian roads.
Global NCAP conducts crash safety tests in a closed environment at a 64kmph speed. The most basic safety tests that are conducted are of the driver and co-passenger crash tests along with the safety of child occupants. The tests include — frontal collision & side collision impact, bodyshell integrity, body chassis strength, seat belt & anchorages, electronic stability control, pedestrian protection and autonomous emergency braking systems. These tests are scored out of 17 for Adult Occupant Protection and out of 49 for child occupant protection.
Based on the above-mentioned parameters, here are the safest cars in India at present.
Tata Motors with its new fleet of cars and SUVs have been focusing on launching modern-day practical cars that are also the safest in their segment, setting benchmarks across the industry. The homegrown Indian sub-compact SUV, the Tata Punch, has recently scored a five-star rating in the Global NCAP for the driver, co-passenger safety and a four-star rating for the child occupants. With a score of 16.45 in AOP (Adult Occupant Protection), which is the highest amongst all vehicles, the Tata Punch is currently the safest car in the country. It also has an impressive child occupant protection rating with a score of 40.89. In terms of safety equipment, Tata Punch gets dual airbags, ISOFIX anchor points, ABS & EBD with brake sway control and driver & co-driver seat belt reminders as a standard on all variants and not as an option available only on the pricier variants. The bodyshell integrity of the Tata Punch was declared stable after the crash safety test. Tata Punch was made with the focus on the safety of the occupants, based on the highly modern ALFA architecture by Tata Motors which is a versatile platform capable of different body styles like EVs, hatchbacks, sedans and even sub-compact SUVs as the Punch is.
Followed by Tata, Mahindra too has been taking the car safety element very seriously. The XUV300 in its GNCAP crash test has scored a five-star rating with a score of 16.42 in AOP, right behind the Tata Punch. The child occupant safety on the XUV300, too, is really good with a four-star rating and a score of 37.44. The XUV300, in terms of safety equipment, packs all the essentials like the ABS, corner braking control, two airbags, disc brakes for all four wheels, ISOFIX child seat anchorages, and front seatbelt pretensioners as standard. The crash safety is conducted on the base variant, which gets plenty of standard safety features as mentioned above, but in the top of the line variant, you also get ESP with roll-over mitigation and an option of 6 or 7 front and side airbags. Bodyshell integrity of the Mahindra XUV300 was found to be stable by Global NCAP.
Based on the ALFA-ARC platform just like the Tata Punch, the Tata Altroz has managed to score a five-star crash safety rating with an AOP score of 16.13. However, unlike the Punch, the Altroz only gets a three-star rating for its child occupant safety and gets a decent enough score of 29 for the same. As mentioned earlier, the ALFA architecture enables these cars to get the maximum amount of safety, with an energy-absorbing body structure. The Altroz is far more superior in terms of safety as compared to its rivals like the Maruti Suzuki Baleno, Hyundai i20 and even the Volkswagen Polo, and the Global NCAP crash safety scores make it the safest hatchback in the country. Along with dual airbags, ABS, EBD, ISOFIX child seat anchorages for safety equipment, Tata Altroz also gets Corner Stability Control (CSC) as a standard feature even on the base variants. Altroz’s body integrity post-crash test was found to be stable with good protection to the occupants.
Tata’s compact SUV which is bigger than the Punch, too gets a five-star rating, scoring an impressive 16.06 for AOP and a three-star rating with a score of 25 for child occupant protection. As compared to the Punch it also gets a few more safety features like — ESC, traction control, rollover mitigation and emergency brake assist as standard.
Making it in the top ten list of safest cars in the country is the newest addition to Mahindra’s fleet of SUVs, the XUV700. The SUV gets a five-star rating and a score of 16.03 for AOP making it the safest full-size SUV in the country to be tested to date. Adding on to that title, the XUV700 gets a four-star rating and a commendable score of 41.66, which makes it by far the safest car in terms of child occupant safety currently on sale, even safer than the Tata Punch in the occupant safety prospect. Well, this isn’t really where it ends with the XUV700, the SUV is heavily equipped with safety features and equipment like — seven-airbags, ESP, driver drowsiness detection and ADAS features like front collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist and smart pilot assist on the higher variants. Whereas the base variant that was tested at the crash safety test, gets dual airbags, ISOFIX anchorages and ABS and still managed to achieve a five-star rating. The added safety features would make the higher-end variants of the SUV an even safer car to drive. XUV700’s bodyshell integrity was found to be stable post-crash test.
With the only MPV on the list to be one of the safest vehicles in the country, Mahindra strikes again. The MPV gets a four-star rating in AOP with a score of 12.85 which makes it the safest minivan in the country. The child occupant protection however is not that great on the Marazzo with a two-star rating and a score of 22, which is pretty less as compared to other vehicles on this list. In terms of safety equipment, the MPV gets ABS with disc brakes on all four wheels, dual airbags, SBR (although it does not meet the GNCAP standards) and ISOFIX anchorages.
Polo is the first car on this list not to be made by an Indian manufacturer. Known as an enthusiast’s delight, the Polo is also one of the safest cars in the country with a four-star rating and a score of 12.54 AOP and a three-star rating in child occupant protection with a score of 29.9. However, the safety crash test on Polo was done in 2014 when the hatchback did not come with ABS as a standard fitment. Whereas the current-gen Volkswagen Polo does get ABS as a standard safety feature, which should make it a safer car on the whole.
India’s homegrown and beloved off-roader the Mahindra Thar, too, features on the safest cars list with a four-star rating in AOP and child occupant protection. With a score of 12.52 in AOP and 41.11 in child occupant protection, the Thar sits right below the XUV700 and offers maximum safety better than most cars on the list. Safety equipment on the Thar features ABS, ESC, dual airbags and SBR as a standard, with ISOFIX anchorages, three-point seatbelts for rear passengers, and a roll cage as standard equipment now. You also get ESP with rollover mitigation on the higher variant. The Thar is not just one of the most fun to drive SUV/cars in the country but also one of the safest.
Tata Tigor/ Tiago & Tigor EV
Like the ICE powered Tata Tigor, the Tigor EV, too, is awarded a four-star rating in the NCAP crash safety test for AOP with a score of 12. This very well makes the Tigor EV the safest electric car in the country (also the first electric car to be tested by Global NCAP for crash safety). The child occupant safety is impressive and better than even the ICE model of the Tigor with a four-star rating and a score of 37.24. However, the bodyshell integrity of the Tata Tigor EV was found to be unstable and in terms of safety equipment, it misses out on ISOFIX anchorages but gets ABS, SBR, dual airbags and front seatbelt pretensioners as a standard. Tata Tigor (Sedan) and Tiago (hatchback), both get a four-star rating in the safety crash test with a score of 12.52 AOP and a three-star rating in child occupant protection.
Maruti Suzuki Brezza
Showing up on this list with the Vitara Brezza is Maruti Suzuki. Well, this compact SUV gets a four-star rating in AOP with a score of 12.51 which is pretty close to the last three cars on the list in terms of driver and co-passenger safety. The child occupant protection, however, is a low two-stars with a score of 17.93, with poor protection to the head and limited protection for the chest, Vitara Brezza in comparison to other cars on the list is not as good. The Bodyshell integrity of the compact SUV was found to be stable and it packs safety equipment like ABS, dual airbags, ISOFIX anchorages, SBR and front seatbelt pretensioners. Unlike the Brezza, other cars from Maruti Suzuki like the S-Presso and Eeco get a zero star rating in the crash safety test.
What should be noted while learning the safety crash test data is that the base variants of all these cars were used for the Global NCAP safety test. Some of these cars get more of the safety equipment on the higher variants, which we can assume would make these cars even safer. Tata and Mahindra are dominating the list when it comes to making the safest cars in the country. Volkswagen, Maruti Suzuki and Renault with its Triber, too, make an appearance with a four-star rating in the crash test for AOP.