Equipped with the same safety features as the India-spec car, the Suzuki Ignis hatchback for Africa has received three stars for adult occupant protection and one star for child occupant protection.
As part of its Safer Cars for Africa campaign, Global NCAP has published crash test results for the Suzuki Ignis, which is made at Maruti Suzuki India's plant in Gurgaon and exported to Africa, and the results make for a mixed read: the Suzuki Ignis’ safety rating from Global NCAP is pegged at three stars.
Equipped with dual airbags, ABS, and Isofix anchorages as standard, the made-in-India Suzuki Ignis achieved three stars for adult occupant protection by scoring 9.99 points out of a total of 17 points and a lowly one star for child occupant protection with 8 points out of a total 49 points.
Having subjected the Ignis to a front offset crash at a speed of 64kph, Global NCAP noted that while protection offered to the co-driver ranged from adequate to good, protection for the driver’s chest was rated ‘weak’. Protection for the driver’s knees was rated ‘marginal’ as they could be badly damaged by what Global NCAP describes as a “dangerous area behind the fascia supported by the transfascia tube”.
Additionally, the Ignis' bodyshell was rated as unstable and incapable of withstanding further loadings. It’s worth noting at this point that the Suzuki Ignis sold in Africa is identical to the Maruti Suzuki Ignis on sale in India in terms of safety equipment, barring the India-spec Ignis getting a seatbelt reminder for the co-driver as well – the Africa-spec model only has it for the driver, and consequently, does not meet Global NCAP’s requirements. Interestingly, the Suzuki Ignis tested by Euro NCAP in 2016 also secured a three-star rating. That model was equipped with six airbags and also featured electronic stability control, and was subjected to Euro NCAP’s more stringent set of crash tests.
More work needs to be done to protect child occupants
Highlighting the poor one-star rating for child occupant protection, Global NCAP noted that Suzuki does not recommend a specific Child Restraint System (CRS), and the child seat Global NCAP used in the test was unable to sufficiently protect the chest area of the three-year-old child dummy. Global NCAP further noted there is no provision to disable the co-driver’s airbag in case a rear-facing child seat is installed in the co-driver’s seat.
Global NCAP says it chose the entry-level version of each model and each was fitted with at least two airbags as standard. The results highlight significant differences between adult and child occupant protection.
Sikkie Kajee, executive chairman of AA South Africa said, “These results are encouraging but indicate more work needs to be done to protect child occupants in vehicles. While we have minimum safety standards for vehicles in South Africa, we need to appreciate that minimum is not good enough. At the same time we want to encourage consumers to be more critical of safety features on vehicles before purchasing, and to be more mindful of their own, and their passengers’ safety.”
David Ward, President and CEO of Global NCAP said, “Global NCAP welcomes the four-star performance achieved in our latest crash test results but we are disappointed in the levels of protection provided for child occupants, the most vulnerable of car passengers. We look forward to the first five star car in Africa, and encourage auto manufacturers to meet our five star challenge and provide the levels of safety performance necessary for all passengers, whatever their age.”
In December 2018 Global NCAP gave the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza a four-star rating in its crash test, with two stars for child occupant protection.
Also read: Made-in-India Honda Amaze gets 4-star rating in Global NCAP crash test
Breaking down the Global NCAP crash test