Is the Tata Nexon really India’s safest SUV?

14/08/2018 - 19:04 | ,   | Sagar Parikh

Tata Motors has started talking about the Global NCAP’s ratings for the crash tests conducted on the Tata Nexon. On the back of this result, the company is running a print advertisement nationally claiming that the Tata Nexon is "India’s safest SUV".

Tata Nexon Global NCAP rating print advertisement
Tata Motors generously equips the Nexon with standard safety features but doesn't offer side body, side head or knee airbags as an option.

Global NCAP has given the Tata Nexon a 4-star rating in adult occupant protection (AOP) and a 3-star safety rating in child occupant protection (COP). While the latter is an area Tata Motors needs to work on, the former is indeed an achievement worthy of praise and while it may or may not rub off on sales performance, no critic is going to raise the question of safety of the Nexon again.

However, it is one thing to call the Nexon the safest India-made SUV Global NCAP has tested, and another to bill it the country’s safest SUV.

For experts, it is not hard to understand what is being advertised, but the layman could be fooled. There are many imported SUVs on sale in India that are actually Global NCAP 5-star rated, and it’s indubitable understanding that one of these models will be India’s safest SUV. Just last month, the Volvo XC40 with a 5-star rating from Euro NCAP, a safety organization that has stricter requirements than Global NCAP, was launched here.

If the claim is specifically about a locally manufactured model, the Nexon can get away with it. Perhaps the Ford EcoSport (5-star rating in the Latin NCAP test for adult occupant protection) and Hyundai Creta (4-star rating, dual airbag variant in the Latin NCAP test for adult occupant protection) that are available with six airbags in India may score more points than the Tata Nexon (AOP - 13.56/17.00 and COP - 25.00/49.00). The Jeep Compass could perform even better. The thing is, these cars are yet to be certified by Global NCAP.

Tata Nexon Global NCAP crash test
The Tata Nexon, besides the Zest, VW Polo and the Toyota Etios, is one of the affordable models in India with a 4-star rating from Global NCAP.

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Devious marketing tactics aside, Tata Motors does not disappoint on safety features in the Nexon. It generously equips its X1-based SUV with safety features, a model which has the lowest starting price in its segment - INR 6,15,705 (ex-showroom Delhi). ABS with EBD, driver and co-driver airbags, seatbelt reminder for driver and seatbelt pretensioners (front) are standard in the compact SUV.

Front fog lamps with cornering assistance, rear fog lamps, ISOFIX child-seat anchorages, speed dependent auto door locks, ISOFIX child-seat anchorages, rear parking sensors and rear parking camera are also available on the vehicle.

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