About 450,000 accidents take place in India annually, out of which 150,000 people lose their lives. According to a report, 53 road accidents happen every hour in the country and we lose one life every four minutes.
Some of the major causes behind these incidents are speeding, lane indiscipline, driving through red lights, drunk driving and driving while using a mobile device. These problems were highlighted during the National Road Safety Week (January 11 to January 17) this year and they also offered solutions to solve these issues and spread awareness.
One of the recommended ways to fight these fatal accidents is to drive a car which meets the NCAP (New Car Assessment Program) safety standards. Global NCAP is a non-profit organisation and with their ‘Safer Cars For India’ mission, they have tested many made-in-India cars and awarded them appropriate ratings. And here are the top 10 safest options for SUVs available in the Indian market.
1. Mahindra XUV700 (RHD, 5-Door with 2 airbags)
Overall Score - 57.69 out of 66 Points
Being one of the three-row SUVs to get a 5-star for adult occupancy, it doesn't disappoint in child occupancy as well and gets a 4-star rating. Mahindra XUV700 scored 16.03 points out of a total of 17 for adult occupant protection and 41.66 points out of the 49 total scores for child occupant protection.
Getting an overall score of 57.69 out of 66, they considered XUV700 to offer good protection to the driver’s and passenger’s head, neck, chest and knees. The body shell and the footwell are deemed stable and capable of withstanding further loadings. Mahindra XUV700 comes with a lot of safety features (lower variants get only the basic), including 7 airbags, autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and more.
2. Tata Punch (RHD, 5-Door with 2 airbags)
Overall Score - 57.34 out of 66 Points
Tata Punch scored 16.45 out of 17 maximum points (5-star) for adult occupant protection, which is the highest score achieved by any car in India for adult occupancy. As for the child occupant protection, it got a 40.89 out of 49 points amounting to a 4 star in child occupancy.
The body shell of the Punch is stable and capable of withstanding further loadings. The standard safety features of Tata Punch include dual airbags, ABS (Anti-brake System), EBD (Electronic Brake-Force Distribution), Brake Sway Control, Seatbelt Reminder, High-Speed Alert, Rear Parking Sensors, and ISOFIX child anchorages.
3. Mahindra XUV300 (RHD, 5-Door with 2 airbags)
Overall Score - 53.86 out of 66 Points
Mahindra XUV300 secured 16.42 points out of 17 for adult occupant protection, earning a 5-star rating, and 37.44 out of 49 points for child occupant protection getting a 4-star. The body shell and footwell of XUV300 are considered stable, and it provided good protection to the head, neck, and knee of the adult occupants, but its chest protection for the front passenger was considered good whereas for the driver it was adequate.
Standard XUV300 features dual airbags, ABS with EBD, Cornering Brake Control, Disc Brakes for all four wheels, Front Seat Belt Reminder System, Front Seat Belt Pre-tensioners, and a Passenger Airbag Deactivation Switch. The exclusive W8 (O) variant is fully equipped with 7-Airbags, Front Parking Sensors, Heated ORVMs, Seat Belt Reminders for all passengers, and a 3-point seatbelt for the middle-seat passenger.
4. Mahindra Thar (RHD, 2-Door with 2 Airbags)
Overall Score - 53.63 out of 66 Points
Thar managed to secure 12.52 out of 17 points for adult occupant protection and 41.11 out of the 49 points for child occupant protection, getting a 4-star for both adult and child occupants. Thar’s body shell was considered stable and capable of withstanding further loadings, but they deemed the footwell unstable. Crash tests were done on the SUV with 3-point seat belts for all passengers, ISOFIX child-seat anchorages, ABS (4-channel), SBR (Seat Belt Reminder) system and front-seat pre-tensioners.
5. Toyota Urban Cruiser (RHD, 5-Door with 2 Airbags)
Overall Score - 50.20 out of 66 Points
Earning a 4-star for adult occupant protection Toyota Urban Cruiser scored 13.52 points out of 17. The protection offered to the driver’s and passenger’s head and neck was considered good and the body shell was deemed stable and capable of withstanding further loadings. Urban Cruiser got a 3-star, scoring 36.68 out of 49 points for child occupant protection.
The model of the SUV that was used in the crash tests was installed with dual airbags, ABS, front seat belt pre-tensioners, and ISOFIX anchorages. Whether or not you consider the ratings impressive, it is worth noting that Urban Cruiser is set for a major update, including more safety features and sheet metal changes and the crash test ratings might change in the future.
6. Tata Nexon (RHD, 5-Door with 2 Airbags)
Overall Score - 41.06 out of 66 Points
Initially, Tata Nexon received a 4-star of overall rating by the Global NCAP, but Nexon got an update after that and they did the test again this time it passed the side-impact test and earned a higher rating. Tata Nexon scored 16.06 out of 17 points for adult occupant protection and got a 5-star for the same, becoming the first made-in-India and sold-in-India model to achieve this score. It got a slightly disappointing score of 25 out of 49 points for child occupant protection earning a 3-star.
Nexon is considered to provide good head and neck protection for the driver and the passenger and adequate protection for the chest area. It is worth mentioning that the model used for the tests was the pre-facelift and the model currently in the market is the updated one and further meets the pedestrian protection norms as well. At the time of the test, all variants of the Tata Nexon from standard to top-spec were installed with ABS, and dual airbags as a standard, but the ISOFIX anchorages were only installed in the XZ+ and XZA+ trims.
7. Nissan Magnite (RHD, 5-Door Hatch with 2 Airbags)
Overall Score - 36.73 out of 66 Points
Nissan Magnite got a 4-star rating for adult occupant protection, earning 11.85 out of 17 points and a disappointing 2-star rating for child occupant protection, scoring 24.88 out of 49 points. They deemed the body shell and the footwell of the Nissan Magnite stable, while the protection provided for the driver’s chest and knees was considered marginal. The absence of ISOFIX anchorages contributed to the major reason for the failed child safety for child protection and because the 3-point seatbelt being provided instead, resulted in the excessive forward movement.
8. Hyundai Creta (RHD, 5-Door with 2 Airbags)
Overall Score - 36.29 out of 66 Points
The Global NCAP tested the newly launched Hyundai Creta earlier this month, and it struggled to get a decent score. Creta managed an underwhelming score of 8 out of 17 points for the adult occupant protection, getting a 3-star for it and it scored 28.29 out of 49 points for the child occupant protection, getting a 3-star for that as well. The SUV’s body shell and the footwell were deemed unstable and considered incapable of withstanding further loadings.
The Creta standard variant does come with the ISOFIX anchorages thus, the seatbelts had to be added to secure the child occupant. Creta standard comes with dual airbags and ABS with EBD, whereas the side or curtain airbags are only available in the top-spec variants. Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Vehicle Stability Management (VSM), ISOFIX anchorages and rear discs are presented after SX Executive trim.
9. Renault Kiger (RHD, 5-Door Hatch with 2 Airbags)
Overall Score - 33.39 out of 66 Points
Built on the same platform as the Nissan Magnite, it is no wonder that it shares almost the same safety ratings. Kiger scored 12.34 out of 17 points in the adult occupant protection and got a 4-star and for the child occupant test, it scored 21.05 out of 49 points earning an underwhelming 2-star rating. The body shell of the Kiger was deemed unstable and considered incapable of withstanding further loadings, whereas the footwell area was rated stable.
The levels of protection provided to adult occupants were similar to the Nissan Magnite but even though Renault Kiger was installed with the ISOFIX anchorages for child safety it still got a disappointingly low rating because the mounts were unmarked and were covered by the seat fabric making them hidden from regular users. The child seat only being secured by the 3-point seat belt led to excessive forward movement.
10. Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza (RHD, 5-Door with 2 Airbags)
Overall Score - 30.44 out of 66 Points
The Global NCAP crash test for Vitara Brezza was carried out in 2018, in which it got a 4-star rating for adult occupant protection scoring 12.51 out of 17 and a 2-star for child occupant protection scoring a pathetic 17.93 out of 49 points. The protection of the driver’s and passenger’s head and neck was good, the body shell was rated stable and capable of withstanding further loadings.
Again, it should be noted that the model used in the tests was pre-facelift (diesel-powered), so the results for the petrol-powered current model might differ. There is also an upcoming Brezza facelift model and it could become the first Maruti model to receive a 5-star NCAP rating. The GNCAP secretary-general, Alejandro Furas, in an interview said that “The car is not far away from a 5-star, there’s not much they need to do to achieve this.”
These are the top 10 SUVs according to the safety ratings given by the Global NCAP available in India right now. We can avoid the high number of fatalities in India every year by using these highly safe cars as long as the driver follows the rules and drives efficiently and safely.