Global NCAP has conducted its latest round of crash safety tests on Indian cars and we have some good news. The Tata Nexon has become the first Indian car ever to get a 5-star rating from Global NCAP, making it the safest car on our treacherous roads.
The safety watchdog has been testing Indian cars for almost four years now and while we are still far from the ideal standards of car safety in India, things are improving. With Indian carmakers now making car safety a top priority, the results are also visible. So, let us take a brief look at the top five safest made in India cars that you can buy today.
While the Tata Nexon is rated five star for adult occupants, it is also the safest when it comes to the safety of child occupants with a three-star rating. The Nexon scored an excellent (16.06/17) for adult safety and (25/49) for child occupant safety in the Global NCAP tests.
Designed and developed under Tata’s Impact Design 2.0 philosophy, the Nexon gets a host of safety features offered as standard including seat belts with pretensioners and load limiters, dual airbags and anti-lock brakes (ABS) with EBD (electronic brakeforce distribution). Additionally, the top-spec XZ variant features ISOFIX child seat mounts too.
Powered by the 1.2-litre, three-cylinder petrol and 1.5-litre Revotorq diesel engine, the Nexon is available in a total of 22 variants. Its prices start at Rs 6.23 lakh for the base petrol and go upto Rs 9.69 lakh. Prices for the Nexon diesel start at Rs 7.26 lakh, while the top-end diesel is priced at Rs 10.67 lakh (all ex-showroom Delhi).
The Mahindra Marazzo is a great value proposition in the Indian MPV segment and has slotted neatly between the Ertiga and the Innova Crysta. The Marazzo was the second car tested by Global NCAP in the latest round of tests and received a commendable four-star rating for adult occupants and two-stars of child occupants. The Marazzo scored an impressive (12.85/17) for adult safety and (22.22/49) for child occupant safety in the Global NCAP tests.
Like the Nexon, the Marazzo is also a product of a revamped design strategy and gets a host of safety features too. These include standard double airbags, ABS, SBR for driver and ISOFIX anchorages.
It is underpinned by an all new platform, 52 per cent of which is made from high-tensile steel, making it one of the safest Mahindra vehicles ever to hit the road.
Under the hood, the Marazzo features a 1.5-litre diesel engine that has been developed from the ground up by Mahindra. The 4-cylinder motor makes 123PS of power and 300Nm of torque.
The prices of the Marazzo’s diesel variants start at Rs. 9.99 lakh while the top-end diesel is priced at Rs 13.90 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi).
Maruti Vitara Brezza
The Vitara Brezza has been among the most successful crossovers in the country and it is also among the safest. The Vitara Brezza scored a commendable 4-star rating for adult occupants and an average 2-star rating for child occupants in tests conducted by Global NCAP in September this year.
The overall score for the Vitara Brezza for adult occupants was (12.51/17). However, the Brezza leaves us wanting for more when it comes to child safety as the overall score stood at (17.93/49).
The Brezza too comes equipped with dual airbags, ABS with EBD, Suzuki’s TECT (Total Effective Control Technology) body shell and ISOFIX child seat mounts.
Powered by a Fiat-sourced 1.3-litre diesel engine which churns out 90PS of power and 200Nm of torque, the Brezza is a top seller in the sub-four metre SUV segment. The prices of the Vitara Brezza range from Rs 7.58 lakh to Rs 10.55 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi).
Toyota Etios Liva
The Toyota Etios Liva is among the safest hatchbacks you can buy in India. With a 4-star rating for adult occupants and a significantly stable bodyshell, the Etios Liva scored a solid (13/17) in the tests conducted by GNCAP in 2016. When it comes to child occupant safety, the overall score stands at (20.02/49) and the Liva has a 2-star rating.
Available with a 1.4-litre diesel engine that makes 68PS and a 1.2-litre petrol that churns out 80PS, the Liva is a versatile hatchback. It gets dual airbags, ABS with EBD and child seat ISOFIX mounts as standard. Prices for the standard petrol Liva start at Rs 5.25 lakh and go all the way up to Rs 6.20 lakh, whereas the diesel variants are priced from Rs 6.54 to Rs 7.35 lakh (all prices ex-showroom Delhi).
The Polo has been among the most reliable workhorses from Volkswagen, thanks to its robust build and safety performance.
With a 4-star rating for adult occupants and 3-star for child occupants, the Polo set the benchmarks for car safety in India, ever since it was first tested by GNCAP way back in 2014. With a score of (12.54/17) for adults and a solid (29.91/45) for child occupant safety, even after four years, it continues to be among the safest cars you can buy in the country.
The Polo comes equipped with a host of safety tech such as dual-front airbags as standard, a galvanised steel body enclosed by a laser-welded roof and anti-lock brakes along with EBD.
The German hatch offers three engine options - a 1.0-litre petrol (73PS), a 1.5-litre diesel (88.7PS) on the standard variants and a 1.2-litre turbo-petrol (103.5PS) and a souped up version of the 1.5-litre diesel (108.5PS) on the GT trims.
Prices for the Volkswagen Polo start at Rs.5.56 lakh, while the top-end variant Volkswagen Polo GT TDI is priced at Rs. 9.40 lakh (all ex-showroom Delhi).
After years of negligence and disinterest, car safety has finally become a top priority for carmakers in India. It is heartening to see homegrown manufacturers like Tata and Mahindra now leading the charge on this front. Credit also goes to Global NCAP for spreading much needed awareness about safety and urging manufacturers to bring about a change. While we are making decent strides now, the path to #safercarsforindia and #zerocrashes is still a long and arduous one.
We would love to see more Indian cars get the coveted 5-star rating from Global NCAP in the future and hope that no manufacturers would launch any cars below a 3-star rating here. All said and done, India is still the country with highest number of fatalities on roads. And getting safer cars here is the first and the most important step for much bigger reforms for road safety in the country.