Maruti Suzuki is India’s largest carmaker and has become a household name over the years. Maruti Suzuki has a range of cars to offer from Alto, a small affordable hatchback to an SUV like Vitara Breeza. Hatchbacks from Maruti Suzuki are the best-selling cars in their fleet. Swift and Baleno are among the most popular hatchbacks in their respective segments and there are multiple reasons behind their popularity: they are affordable, have low maintenance and have availability of spare parts.
Poor performance in crash tests
While the Suzuki Swift and Baleno that are sold in the European market are equipped with features like 6 airbags, ESC as standard, Indian and Latin America markets get only dual airbags as standard. No side body or side head protection or ESC is available as an option.
When global NCAP, an organization that tests cars from different manufacturers to determine how safe the car is in case of an impact, tested Indian-made versions of Swift and Baleno, both cars from the Indian manufacturer got poor results in the test. While Swift scored only 2 stars in safety rating, Baleno got zero stars. This is a disappointing thing for Maruti Suzuki, the reason being other Maruti cars also got poor results in the Global NCAP test. Cars like Baleno and S-Presso received zero-star while Swift only managed to get two stars. This is a major concern because these are the kind of cars that rack up respectable sales figures each and every month!
How much did the Baleno score?
According to the test, Baleno achieved 20.03 percent in the adult occupant box, 17.06 percent in the child occupant box, and 6.98 percent in the safety assist box. The car also demonstrated poor side impact protection and received a low whiplash score due to a lack of UN32 proof for the rear impact test. Baleno did not have standard side head protection airbags or standard ESC.
NCAP calls on Suzuki to significantly improve their safety standard equipment on these models as soon as possible so that NCAP can again test to demonstrate the improvements made by the carmaker. Basic safety features are a right for every consumer which they should get without paying extra. These basic safety features can save someone’s life in case of an accident.