Buying new car? Here are the top 5 safest affordable cars no one told you about
Buying a new car in the time of today is nothing short of winning a battle. With an increase in the number of people on the roads, the sense of safety keeps steadily reducing. Unfortunately, in the Indian car market, the major emphasis is given on the price, cost to run, mileage, and performance sometimes while safety takes a backseat.
In a report from the transport ministry released in September last year, the stats showed as many as 17 people died in 55 road accidents per hour on an average in 2017, with more than 50 per cent of the victims from the 18-35 age group. The report also stated one major fact - the overall number of accidents declined by 4.1 per cent from last year, but fatalities went up by 3.2 per cent.
Now coming to hard numbers, a total of 1,40,652 road accidents took place in India last year, resulting in 1,50,785 deaths, and leaving 4,94,624 number of persons with serious injuries.
With such numbers, we can assume that buying a car with adequate safety features should be on top of the list. Almost every car that is being sold in India right now gets a safety rating from Global NCAP (National Car Assessment Program). Global NCAP is a UK based company which focuses on the promotion of public health and safety, and consumer safety in vehicles.
NCAP results can be used as a datum point to evaluate the structural integrity of the vehicle, vehicular impact on passengers, and possible injuries or fatalities at the time of a collision. Recent NCAP tests have shown Indian car manufacturers do make safe cars to earn up to 4 stars, but for a pan-market basis in the automotive segment, the thought process of buying a safer car than a cheaper one is yet to develop.
But we believe in our readers. So here are the top 5 safest cars you can buy in India right now.
The Polo initially secured zero stars at the first test. However, in the second test, the hatchback recorded a 4-star rating. The German carmaker quickly addressed these issues and now the car has got dual airbags, starting from the base Trendline model.
The Polo sold in India is powered by a 999cc, 4-cylinder petrol which churns out 75bhp of power and 95Nm of torque. There is also a diesel variant on offer which is powered by a 1.5-litre engine belting out 89bhp and 230Nm of torque. The powertrains are mated to a 5-speed manual.
Prices for the Polo start at Rs 5.53 lakh for petrol and Rs 7.04 lakh for the diesel variant, ex-showroom.
Also, the Polo is sold in GT TSI and GT TSI Sport, which is powered by a 1.2-litre petrol and churns out 103bhp and 175Nm of torque. The powertrain is mated to a 7-speed DSG automatic gearbox.
Toyota Etios Liva
We are not new to the fact that Toyota makes one of the strongest cars in many markets across the globe. Remember when the Top Gear trio tried killing a Toyota Hilux pickup and failed. But we don't have the Hilux here. However, the Etios Liva is one of the cheapest cars to buy in India which also gets a 4-star safety rating. The Etios Liva gets dual airbags as standard.
The Etios Liva can be bought in petrol and diesel variants. The petrol variant is powered by a 1.2-litre engine which churns out 79bhp of power and 104Nm of torque. The diesel variant is powered by a 1.4-litre engine which churns out 67bhp and 170Nm of torque. Both the powertrains are mated to a 5-speed gearbox.
Prices for the Etios Liva start at Rs 5.48 lakh for petrol, and Rs 6.76 lakh for diesel, ex-showroom.
This model from the French manufacturer started the trend of compact SUVs in the Indian market since its launch in 2012. The Renault Duster scored 3 stars in the NCAP tests. The model used is the one with a single driver airbag.
The Duster went through a mid-lifecycle update in 2016 and is among the dominant market leaders right now. The Duster is currently offered in diesel and petrol variants.
The Duster is powered by a 1.5-litre diesel which is available in two states of tune - 84bhp/200Nm and 108bhp/240Nm. The petrol variant is powered by a 1.6-litre engine which belts out 102bhp and 145Nm of torque. The lower power diesel model and petrol are mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox. The higher power diesel variant is mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox. The latest addition is the automated manual transmission (AMT) available with the 108bhp diesel variant but without AWD.
Prices for the Duster start at Rs 7.95 for the petrol, and Rs 8.95 lakh for the diesel variant, ex-showroom.
When Mahindra launched the premium SUV back in 2011, one of the major highlights of the premium SUV was that it had a monocoque chassis. For readers who don't know what a monocoque chassis is - a single shell. For chassis made in a single molded shell, with no internal frame. Monocoque chassis are regarded as safer and more stronger considering the vehicle body is integral to the frame, as opposed to body-on-frame construction.
The model tested (W11 AWD) received 4 stars in the ANCAP test which is the Australian variant of the NCAP tests. The model testes are the same one in the Indian market and get 6 airbags, and Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) as standard. It also gets Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake-Force Distribution (EBD), Electronic Stability Program (ESP), Traction Control, and Hill Descent Control. However, the W11 AWD model has priced at Rs 17.85 lakh, ex-showroom.
However, the point to be noted here is the XUV500's structural integrity. The SUV scored 16 out of 16 points in the side-impact test which checks the structural integrity in case of side-collision.
The XUV is powered by a 2.2-litre mHawk 4-cylinder diesel which churns out 155bhp and 360Nm and can be availed in a 6-speed manual and 6-speed automatic. The petrol variant is powered by a 2.2-litre 4-cylinder which produces 140bhp and 320Nm of torque and is mated to a 6-speed automatic. There is no manual option.
Prices for the XUV500 start at Rs 12.39 lakh for the diesel variant and Rs 15.50 lakh, ex-showroom for the petrol variant.
One of the successful models from the Korean manufacturer for the Indian market, the Hyundai Creta has taken the premium compact SUV market by storm. The car got a very commendable 4-star rating in the Latin NCAP tests. The vehicle tested was similar to the Indian variant, and featured two airbags.
The Creta currently sold in the Indian market is similar to the one sold in Brazilian markets and is powered by a two engine option - petrol and diesel. The petrol variant gets a 1.6-litre, 4-cylinder engine churning out 123bhp and 151Nm of torque. The diesel variant gets 2 diesel options which include a 1.4-litre and 1.6-litre engine options which generate 89bhp and 126bhp and are mated to a six-speed manual and a 6-speed automatic option.
Prices for the Creta start at Rs 9.43 lakh for the petrol, and Rs 9.99 lakh, ex-showroom for the diesel variant.