In what can be termed as outright disappointing, the Maruti Suzuki S-Presso micro hatchback has scored zero stars in the latest crash tests conducted by Global NCAP. The S-Presso while not being the most sold car by the manufacturer was still well-received by small families. Global NCAP tested the mid-spec VXi trim (apparent from the wheelcaps) of the S-Presso. This version gets a single airbag, ABS with EBD as well as rear parking sensors as standard. Pay Rs 5,000 more and you get a passenger airbag too. Global NCAP test readings say that the structure of the S-Presso was deemed unstable. For the Indian market, GNCAP only tests the frontal crash readings. Side impact as well as pedestrian protection tests, will be amalgamated onto the upcoming crash safety norms in India. Surprisingly enough, Maruti Suzuki has claimed that the S-Presso is side impact crash compliant.
At a speed of 64kmph, it was noted that the protection offered to the heads of driver and passenger was good. However, the neck of the passenger showed poor protection against the impact. This was primarily the reason for zero stars. The driver’s neck was given adequate protection. Knees of the driver showed marginal protection whereas the passenger’s displayed good protection. The footwell area was rated as rather unstable. As for the child occupant, the restraint system displayed poor performance. Maruti Suzuki doesn’t offer child seat anchorages as standard for the S-Presso. While the score for the adult passengers was zero out of 17, for the child, it was 13.84 out of 49.00.
The highest-rated Maruti Suzuki car in India happens to be the Vitara Brezza with four stars. There is also the Swift as well as Ertiga that have earned three stars. It may be noted that most of the new Marutis are based on the Heartect platform that claims to have better crash compliance and is lighter as well to aid fuel efficiency/performance.
Maruti Suzuki has responded to this crash safety rating. The company said, “Safety is a critical issue and is therefore closely regulated by governments around the world as they are responsible for the safety of the people in their countries. It cannot be left to the opinion of any self-proclaimed party. The Government of India has recently increased the stringency of car crash test standards and made them identical to European standards. All products of the company are fully compliant with these global standards and duly tested and certified by the Government of India. “
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