Car safety in India is something very often neglected by all the stakeholders of the auto industry. Be it the government, be it the auto manufacturers or be it the customers. Therefore, if you are given a choice to select the top 5 safest cars in India, it would probably be one of the easiest tasks, as it won’t ask for much effort at all.
The ‘chalta hain’ (let it go) attitude has long been attributed behind the negligence towards car safety, one of the most important factors the automakers, governments, customers consider around the world. This negligible attitude towards car safety contributes to a significant chunk of nearly 5 lakh road accidents the country witnesses every year, which cost 1.5 lakh lives.
In recent times, car safety and awareness towards it have increased significantly in India, but there is still a long way to go. For the last couple of years, the automakers are paying more attention towards car safety, thanks to the government’s tough stance towards this vital aspect.
The Indian government appears to be determined to bring the road fatalities significantly with its policies. As Union Minister for Road & Transport, Nitin Gadkari said, the government aims to bring down the number of road accidents and fatalities by 20%-25% by 31st March 2021.
While the mid-range and top-end variants of the cars come with good safety features, the base variants are still in the dark with minimal safety features. Also the sheet metals used in several cars, even by the largest carmaker of India, doesn’t at all provide basic safety. This is why, Maruti Suzuki S-Presso has received zero star safety rating by Global NCAP.
However, there is a catch. The carmakers present in India claim that they comply with the Indian car safety standards, which is not on par with the global standards. However, amidst this, several cars sold in Indian auto market have scored in the GNCAP crash test. Among them, there are several made-in-India models by Indian carmakers as well.
Here, let us look at the top safest cars in India as per GNCAP crash test rating, that set a new benchmark for car safety in the country.
Tata Nexon (5-star)
Tata Nexon came as a benchmark setter in terms of car safety in India by becoming the GNCAP’s first made-in-India 5-star rated car back in 2018. The compact SUV by the homegrown auto giant was Tata Motors’ one of the two cars to receive GNCAP 5-star safety rating. The Tata Nexon compact SUV that competes with rivals like Ford EcoSport, Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza etc; received 5-star safety rating for adult occupant protection and 3-star safety rating for child occupant protection. The Nexon comes with safety equipment like driver and passenger frontal airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, quad-channel ABS, SBR and ISOFIX anchorages.
Adult occupant protection score: 16.06/17
Child occupant protection score: 25/49
Mahindra XUV300 (5-star)
Mahindra XUV300 emerged as one the safest made-in-India cars by any Indian carmaker, when it earned the GNCAP’s first-ever Safer Choice award. The Mahindra compact SUV scored a full 5-star safety rating for adult occupant protection and 4-star for child-occupant protection. The Mahindra XUV300 compact SUV comes with a host of safety equipment that include driver and passenger frontal airbags, front seat-belt pretensioners, SBR, ISOFIX anchorages, quad-channel ABS.
Adult occupant protection score: 16.42/17
Child occupant protection score: 27.44/49
Tata Altroz (5-star)
Tata Altroz premium hatchback not only was able to draw attention of the consumers in the domestic market with its stylish Impact 2.0 design language and host of features, but it impressed us with the safety features as well. The Altoz premium hatchback that competes with rivals like Maruti Suzuki Baleno, Hyundai i20, Volkswagen Polo, Honda Jazz and Toyota Glanza; scored a full 5-star safety rating in GNCAP crash test with safety equipments like driver and passenger frontal airbags, driver seatbelt pretensioners, SBR< ISOFIX anchorages and four-channel ABS.
Adult occupant protection score: 16.13/17
Child occupant protection score: 29/49
Mahindra Thar (4-star)
Mahindra Thar is the latest addition in the list of the made-in-India safest cars with a 4-star rating from Global NCAP’s exclusive car safety program for Indian auto market, dubbed as #SaferCarsForIndia campaign. The new Mahindra Thar not only comes with a host of cosmetic and feature updates inside out compared to the previous model, but the new SUV also gets a host of safety features as well.
The active and passive safety features of the new Mahindra Thar includes crash safety compliant body and chassis, roll-cage protection, ESP with anti-rollover protection, ABS with EBD and hydraulic brake assist, dual airbags, panic braking signal, over-speed warning, reverse parking sensor, hill hold and hill descent control among others.
Adult occupant protection score: 12.52/17
Child occupant protection score: 41.11/49
Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza (4-star)
Tested in 2018, Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza compact SUV scored 4-star safety rating for adult protection, while 2 stars for child safety. The compact SUV was equipped with driver and passenger frontal airbags, driver seatbelt pretensioners, SBR, ABS and ISOFIX anchorages. However, the largest carmaker in India is currently drawing flak for making unsafe cars that sell in the domestic market. These include several popular models like Alto, WagonR, S-Presso etc.
Adult occupant protection score: 12.51/17
Child occupant protection score: 17.93/49
Tata Tiago/Tigor (4-star)
tata Tiago and Tigor, the hatchback and compact sedans have been two of the carmaker’s bestselling models for quite some time. Besides coming designed following the Impact 2.0, these two models have impressed us with GNCAP safety rating as well. Both the Tiago and Tigor have received 4-star safety ratings in 2020. Both the cars received 4-star for adult protection and 3 stars for child occupant protection. The hatchback and the compact sedans come with standard safety equipment like driver and passenger frontal airbags, ABS, driver seatbelt pretensioners, SBR.
Interestingly, previously, the Tata Zest compact sedan too received a similar safety rating back in 2016. This proves that Tata Motors has been producing some of the safest cars in India, despite selling them at competitive price points.
Adult occupant protection score: 12.52/17
Child occupant protection score: 34.15/49
Mahindra Marazzo (4-star)
Tested in 2018 by GNCAP, Mahindra Marazzo MPV that was claimed to have taken design inspiration from shark, scored 4-star safety rating for adult protection and 2-star for child safety. The Mahindra Marazzo is equipped with safety features like driver and passenger frontal airbags, driver seatbelt pretensioners, ABS, ISOFIX anchorages and SBR.
Adult occupant protection score: 12.85/17
Child occupant protection score: 22.22/49