The India-spec Maruti Suzuki Swift and Datsun Go hatchbacks have flunked the Global NCAP (National Car Assessment Program) safety tests. The base variants of both cars, equipped with no airbags and ABS+EBD, have scored an abysmal Zero Star rating in the Global NCAP test for a frontal crash at 64 Kph. While the Swift sold in India, in petrol and diesel variants, can be specified with optional safety equipment such as ABS and Airbags on top end variants, no such option exists for the Datsun Go, which is a cut price model meant to operate in the entry-level budget car segment. The recent facelift to the Swift saw Maruti Suzuki adding ABS to the diesel powered model’s mid (VDi) variant.
In the Latin NCAP test, the made-in-India Swift that was outfitted with twin airbags and ABS+EBD scored three stars. Latin NCAP tests mandate that cars be fitted with driver+passenger and airbags as the bare minimum safety features. While the addition of airbags and ABS push the Swift hatchback’s ratings to 3 stars, worryingly NDTVAuto reports that concerns have been raised about the structural safety of both cars, what with the cabon structures of both cars showing significant instability during the crash. This doesn’t augur well for the Swift hatchback sold in India and exported to Latin America, whose structural strength may be lower than that of the European-spec model, which incidentally scored a full five stars in the Euro-NCAP safety tests.
Notably, another car manufactured by Maruti Suzuki in India, the Alto K10, and exported to Latin America got an “unstable” cabin structure rating. The Maruti Suzuki Swift and the Datsun Go are said to have received the “unstable” rating for the cabin structure. The Swift is India’s best selling B+ segment hatchback, clocking sales of about 15,000 units each month. The Datsun Go, based on the Nissan Micra’s V platform, has been re-engineered with stiff cost targets to achieve a low purchase price. Unlike the Swift, the Datsun Go hatchback is a slow seller, with the car averaging less than 1,500 monthly units in terms of sales.