The made-in-India Suzuki Baleno has been handed a dismal zero-star by the Latin New Car Assessment Programme (NCAP) crash test. The compact hatchback manufactured at Suzuki’s plant in Gujarat and shipped to international markets in Latin America, follows the Swift which also scored zero in the global watchdog’s crash test earlier this year. Five stars indicate the highest score/rating, while zero-star indicates the minimum score during the vehicle crash test.
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According to an Autocar India report which cited Latin NCAP test results, the India-made Baleno was tested in frontal and side-impact, whiplash and pedestrian protection. In the tests, the car achieved 20.03 per cent in adult occupant box, 17.06 per cent in child occupant box and a dismal 6.98 per cent in safety assists. The car’s best result was in the pedestrian protection category in which it scored 64.06 per cent. However, as the car did not have any active pedestrian protection features, no points were given as no tests could be conducted. Also, the model tested by Latin NCAP had just two front airbags, as the Baleno sold in Latin American markets only gets two front airbags, ABS, seatbelt reminder, front pre-tensioners, and EBD as standard. However, the lack of safety assist systems like electronic stability control (ESC), auto-emergency braking, lane assist system, speed assist system, further affected Suzuki Baleno’s scoring in the test.
The report also cited that in the frontal impact the vehicle showed stable structure performance. Whereas side impact test showed high intrusion in the door with poor protection to the chest of the adult door during the test. Additionally, the whiplash test showed marginal neck protection. The footwell area was rated as stable and so was the bodyshell, which indicates it is capable of withstanding further loadings.
Nevertheless, the other main reason for the zero-star rating, though, was the protection offered in case of a side impact. The crash test report indicated that chest protection for the driver and the front passenger was poor in case of a side impact. Head and pelvis protection, however, was good during the side impact test.
The company offers the Europe-spec Baleno with six airbags and ESC as standard. However, the Latin American model is offered without the side body and side head airbags and ESC as standard.