VW Polo and Ford Fiesta fail India crash tests

Global NCAP finds five popular small cars in India pose serious crash risk

Independent car safety body, Global NCAP, has found that a number of small cars on sale in India pose a very serious risk to their occupants in the event of a crash.

In the first-ever independent crash tests of some of India’s most popular small cars, Global NCAP awarded entry-level models of the Volkswagen Polo, Ford Figo and previous-generation Hyundai i10 zero stars for adult protection. This is in stark contrast to the current European equivalents – the Ford Fiesta and Polo achieved a five-star rating in their Euro NCAP tests, while the old Hyundai i10 managed a respectable four.

India’s best-selling car, the Suzuki-Maruti Alto 800, was also assessed, as was the Tata Nano. The five cars were afflicted by two major problems – namely a lack of structural integrity and an absence of airbags, meaning that too much energy is absorbed directly by the people in the cars in the event of a crash.

In the 40mph NCAP crash test, the Indian version of the i10 achieved a zero-star rating for adult protection, a one-star rating for child protection and was unable to meet the UN’s minimum safety requirements in the 35mph crash test. Along with the Alto 800 and Nano, the i10 was also found to be structurally inadequate, collapsing onto occupants in a crash too easily.

The Ford Figo, which is based on the previous-generation Ford Fiesta platform, achieved zero stars for adult protection and a two-star rating for child protection. What's more, it only met the UN’s minimum safety requirements in the 35mph crash test because the dummy’s head in the driver seat narrowly avoided direct contact with the steering wheel.

Similarly, the Volkswagen Polo achieved a zero-star rating for adult occupant protection, a three-star rating for child protection and couldn’t meet the UN’s safety requirements in the 35mph test. Volkswagen withdrew the non-airbag version of the Polo from the Indian market around the time of the test, so a version with two airbags was also assessed, achieving a much-improved four-star rating. Global NCAP has advised Indian VW Polo customers to be careful about which version they buy.

The results highlight the discrepancy in safety requirements between India and those in Europe and North America – and also show the compromises manufacturers are making on safety in order to make cars cheaper for the Indian market.

For more information on Euro NCAP crash testing, read the Carbuyer article here.

Recommended

The UK's top 10 best-selling cars 2024
The UK's best-selling cars hero
Best cars
7 Feb 2024

The UK's top 10 best-selling cars 2024

Hyundai i10 review - tech-filled and practical small car
hyundai i10 facelift
In-depth reviews
29 Jan 2024

Hyundai i10 review - tech-filled and practical small car

Ford EcoBoost engines: what are they and should you buy one?
Ford Puma SUV front tracking
Tips and advice
12 Jan 2024

Ford EcoBoost engines: what are they and should you buy one?

Top 10 best used small cars 2024
The best used small cars hero 2023
Best cars
2 Jan 2024

Top 10 best used small cars 2024

Most Popular

Best new car deals 2024: this week’s top car offers
Carbuyer best new car deals hero
Deals
23 Feb 2024

Best new car deals 2024: this week’s top car offers

Hot car deal: sporty Skoda Octavia vRS Estate for £278 a month
octavia vrs hot deal
Deals
19 Feb 2024

Hot car deal: sporty Skoda Octavia vRS Estate for £278 a month

New Mercedes CLE Cabriolet released, costing from £53k
Mercedes CLE Cabriolet front quarter
News
22 Feb 2024

New Mercedes CLE Cabriolet released, costing from £53k

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
19 Dec 2023

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Public EV charge point
Tips and advice
11 Jan 2023

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Tips and advice
17 May 2022

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
12 Apr 2023

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors

Top 10 best electric cars 2024
The best electric cars 2023
Best cars
2 Jan 2024

Top 10 best electric cars 2024

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2024
The best cheap-to-run cars 2023
Best cars
2 Jan 2024

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2024

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2024
Fastest hot hatchbacks hero
Best cars
2 Jan 2024

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2024