There was a time in the Indian automotive industry when safety wasn’t at the top of the list before they set out to build something new. The carmakers instead focussed on affordability and adding more features to their products. The modern-day car buyer in India is a lot more evolved in terms of what he or she wants from their next vehicle. Today, safety is given the utmost priority by the consumers, hence it is on top-list of the manufacturers as well.
The effect is such that car makers today are making an active effort not only to meet the bare minimum safety standard required in order to be able to sell that car in India but instead, meet the highest levels of global safety standards. In this article, we look at the safest cars in India under the INR 10 lakh mark, which are in adherence to the highest safety rating received at the Global New Car Assessment Program (GNCAP). All the models listed below have been tested for their base variants at test speeds of 64 kmph.
Mahindra XUV300 (5-stars)
The sub-4 metre SUV from Mahindra, XUV300, recently crash-tested at Global NCAP and bagged five stars in the adult occupant protection and four stars in the child occupant protection. It is also the highest point scorer among all the 5-Star rated cars from India tested so far by Global NCAP.
Priced between Rs 8.10 lakh (ex-showroom) and Rs 12.69 lakh (ex-showroom), the XUV300 comes with standard safety features like dual-front airbags, ABS with EBD, corner braking control, all 4 disc brakes, ISOFIX mounts, collapsible steering and side intrusion beam, front seat belts with pre-tensioners, driver and co-driver seat belt reminder, speed-sensing door lock, impact sensing door unlock, high mounted stop lamp and panic braking signal.
Tata Altroz (5 stars)
Second on the list is Tata’s first premium hatchback, the recently launched Altroz. This rating makes it one of the safest hatchbacks in India. The Tata Altroz has been awarded five stars and three stars in the adult occupant protection and child occupant protection, respectively, at the Global NCAP crash tests.
The results show ‘good’ protection of the driver and passenger’s head, upper legs, and feet. Chest and shin protection was rated ‘adequate’ with decent child protection although the rear seats broke off from its mountings. It comes with standard safety features like dual front airbags, ABS with EBD and CSC, reverse parking sensors, ISOFIX, driver and co-driver seat belt reminder, high-speed alert system and impact sensing auto door unlock. It is priced between Rs 5.29 lakh (ex-showroom, India) and Rs 9.29 lakh (ex-showroom, India) and rivals the likes of Maruti Suzuki Baleno, Hyundai Elite i20, Honda Jazz, Toyota Glanza and Volkswagen Polo in the premium hatchback segment.
Tata Nexon (5-stars)
The Tata Nexon wasn’t just Tata’s first car to get a 5-star Global NCAP rating, but also India’s first car to receive such a rating when it was crash tested back in 2018. It came through with flying colours in adult occupant protection with great overall protection and a stable body shell. It also scored a decent 3-star safety rating in child protection.
The new Nexon is available in the price range of Rs 6.95 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) and Rs 12.70 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) and is loaded with standard safety features like dual front airbags, ABS with EBD, electronic stability program, electronic traction control, roll-over mitigation, hill hold control, reverse parking sensors, ISOFIX and rear defogger. It will be interesting to see if and when the new facelift model is crash tested. It rivals the likes of Maruti Vitara Brezza, Hyundai Venue, Ford EcoSport and Mahindra XUV300 in the sub-4 metre SUV category.
Tata Tiago/Tigor (4-stars)
Now facelifted, the Tiago hatchback and Tigor sedan scored an impressive 4-star safety rating. Adult occupants received decent protection for their heads, neck and lower legs, although their knees were susceptible to lower dashboard impact. As far as child protection is concerned, the two cars don’t have ISOFIX mounts, so they were strapped to car seats. Nonetheless, it still provided decent protection, getting a 3-star safety rating.
Both the cars get standard safety features like dual front airbags, ABS with EBD and CSC, high-speed alert, reverse parking sensors, ISOFIX, driver and co-driver seat belt reminder. The new Tiago rivals the likes of Maruti Suzuki WagonR and Hyundai Santro, while the new Tigor rivals the likes of Hyundai Aura, Honda Amaze and Maruti-Suzuki Dezire.
Volkswagen Polo (4-stars)
The final car on the list is the Volkswagen Polo. The Polo has scored four stars and three stars in the adult occupant protection and child occupant protection, respectively, at the Global NCAP crash tests. It provided decent head and neck safety as well as adequate chest protection. The Volkswagen Polo had a structure that remained stable and, therefore, with airbags fitted, protection for the driver and the front passenger was quite good.
It gets standard safety features like dual-front airbags, ABS, height-adjustable head restraints (front and rear), 3-point seat belts, electronic engine immobiliser with floating code, high-mounted stop lamp, emergency exit and rear fog lamps. The Polo is priced between Rs 5.82 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) and Rs 9.31 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi).
Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza
Now facelifted and only available with a petrol engine, the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza still retains the good qualities of the shell it continues to be based upon. Having scored 4 Stars at the GNCAP crash test for adult safety, the compact SUV could only manage two stars for child safety though. Still is the safest Maruti you can buy though.