As a part of the ‘Safer Cars for India’ campaign, Global NCAP tested the Maruti S-Presso, along with Hyundai Grand i10 Nios and Kia Seltos, to see how safe these cars are. The S-Presso received a disappointing 0-star safety rating by the UK based organisation. This result not only shocked the Indian consumers but also put Suzuki S-Presso customers in South Africa in distress.
Suzuki Auto South Africa has, however, allayed any safety concerns in the S-Presso available in the region. Coming forward and speaking on the matter, Brendon Carpenter, National Brand Manager, Suzuki Auto South Africa, said:
The model that was used in the crash test is an Indian-specced model that is built exclusively for the Indian market. That particular model only features an airbag on the driver’s side and it also doesn’t have front seatbelts that feature pre-tensioners with load limiters. In South Africa, a driver and passenger airbag are standard across the S-Presso range, along with front seatbelts that include pre-tensioners with load limiters. The additional airbag and seatbelt enhancements make the local model a much safer vehicle. The S-Presso offers good value, but not at the expense of safety.
The Suzuki S-Presso on sale in South Africa is yet to be tested by Global NCAP under the ‘Safer Cars for Africa’ campaign, an initiative of the AA. In fact, it is not clear at the moment as to if and when the car will be subjected to testing. Layton Beard, a spokesman for the AA, said:
There is a clear difference in the safety specification levels between the Indian and SA S-Presso, so to jump to any conclusions regarding those results at this stage would be both premature and unfair. Simply put, the car that was tested is not the same one you can buy off a showroom floor in South Africa.
The Maruti S-Presso was launched in India late last year. Currently, the Renault Kwid competitor is available from a starting price of INR 3.70 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). Suzuki introduced the S-Presso in South Africa earlier this year. The car has become one of the company’s best sellers in a short period. At ZAR 145,900 (INR 6.98 lakh), the Suzuki S-Presso is the most affordable passenger car in South Africa.