Skoda Slavia and VW Virtus receive top safety rating in 2023 GNCAP crash tests

Skoda Slavia and VW Virtus lead the way for midsize sedan safety in India with 5-star Global NCAP rating. Click here for more.

By Satvik Khare, Autocar India calendar 04 Apr 2023 Views icon7970 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp

The India-spec Skoda Slavia and Volkswagen Virtus have both scored a 5-star rating in the latest round of Global NCAP safety tests. Like their SUV siblings, the Skoda Kushaq and Volkswagen Taigun, the sedans also get a 5-star rating for adult and child occupants under the updated safety test protocols. 

The Slavia and Virtus are the first midsize sedans to get a 5-star rating under GNCAP’s new testing protocols. However, the KushaqTaigun and Mahindra Scorpio N were the first three vehicles to receive a 5-star rating under the updated protocol.

In this round, GNCAP also tested two Maruti Suzuki models – the new Alto K10 and the Wagon R. The former got a 2-star rating, while the latter received a 1-star rating.

Skoda Slavia, Volkswagen Virtus adult occupant crash test rating
Skoda and Volkswagen’s midsize sedans scored 29.71 points out of a total of 34 in adult occupant protection tests. This score is just 0.07 points higher than their SUV counterparts. Testers rated the protection offered by the Slavia and Virtus to the driver’s and passenger’s head and neck as good. However, protection for their chest was shown as adequate.

Under the new testing protocols, in the side impact test with a deformable barrier, the Slavia and Virtus showed adequate protection to the occupants with a score of 14.2 points out of a possible 17. The two midsize sedans received an ‘OK’ rating in the side pole impact tests, however, protection for the chest region was marginal.

GNCAP’s report also mentioned that the bodyshell and the footwell area of the Slavia and Virtus were stable and capable of withstanding further loadings.

Skoda Slavia, Volkswagen Virtus child occupant crash test rating
The Slavia and Virtus also scored very well in the child occupant protection tests as they received 42 points out of a total of 49, earning a 5-star rating. This includes the 12 out of 12 points it achieved for the CRS (Child Restraint System) installation. It also received 24 points out of a total of 24 in the dynamic score.

GNCAP tested the Slavia and Virtus with dummies of an 18-month-old and a 3-year-old child, with both seats facing rearward. They were placed in the car using i-size anchorages and a support leg, and both helped in preventing head exposure in a frontal crash. The CRS also offered full side impact protection.

While both cars offer 3-point seatbelts in all seating positions as standard, they do not offer the possibility to disengage the front passenger airbag in case a rearward-facing CRS is installed in that position.

Piyush Arora, Managing Director and CEO of Skoda Auto Volkswagen India said, “Safety has always been part of our DNA, and that continues to be a focus for us with our current and future product portfolio. The highest safety rating from Global NCAP for the Škoda Slavia and Volkswagen Virtus further cements the Group's position as the leading European car manufacturer with the
safest portfolio of cars in India."

He further added that this was a testament to their commitment to develop and offer #SaferCarsForIndia, adding that the  full 5 star rating by Global NCAP for both Adult and Child Occupant Protection received by all four vehicles produced on our MQB-A0-IN platform reaffirms the Group’s INDIA 2.0 success story.

"The fine balance of comfort, driving dynamics and safety offered by our made-in-India models are gaining popularity not just here but also opening up export opportunities for the Group," he added. 

Christian Cahn von Seelen, Executive Director, Sales, Marketing and Digital, Škoda Auto Volkswagen India said, "We are proud to have raised the bar in terms of safety standards with each new vehicle we introduce. The Group offers the widest range of cars in India and the common thread that binds all our products is the exceptional packaging – in terms of dynamic drive, features that matter, comfortable ride and most importantly – unparalleled safety." 

New Global NCAP testing protocols
Under the new Global NCAP protocols, a vehicle only receives a 5-star rating if it secures the required scores while also conforming to the ESC, pedestrian protection, pole side impact and seat belt reminder requirements for GNCAP.

As the entire testing procedure has been overhauled, it becomes slightly difficult to compare vehicles tested under the old protocols with vehicles tested under the new ones. A star rating under the old protocols is reflective of performance in a front crash test, however, a star rating under the new protocols is reflective of more rounded protection that takes into account side impact as well as active safety like ESC, which helps prevent an accident in the first place.

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