The Suzuki S-Presso that is sold in South Africa scored a three-star adult safety and two-star child safety rating after being tested for crash performance by the Global NCAP organisation in June.
The mini hatchback was previously tested in 2020 for the Indian market and scored a zero-star adult and two-star child safety rating.
Following reports that the version of the S-Presso that is sold in the domestic market offers higher levels of safety, Global NCAP and the Automobile Association of South Africa partnered together to put this to the test.
The Suzuki S-Presso in South Africa starts at R156,900 and is fitted with two airbags as standard.
During the crash assessment for the hatch, the driver’s chest showed a weak protection level with the passenger’s chest receiving adequate protection.
The driver’s knee also saw marginal protection as it could possibly come in contact with dangerous structures behind the dashboard in the event of a collision, whereas the front passenger’s knees were provided good protection.
Additionally, both the passenger’s as well as the driver’s left tibia were offered adequate protection, while the driver’s right tibia showed marginal protection.
“The bodyshell and footwell area were rated as unstable and they were not capable of withstanding further loadings. The car offers standard SBR (seat belt reminders) for driver and passenger but does not meet Global NCAP requirements,” said the organisation.
The above allowed the Suzuki to marginally avoid a two-star rating for adult occupant protection, scoring three stars.
Levels of child occupant protection showed the same performance as the version of the S-Presso sold in India, too, at two stars.
“The lack of ISOFIX anchorages, lack of a three-point belt in all seating positions, and the decision of Suzuki Maruti not to recommend a child restraint system (CRS) explain this poor child occupant protection score,” said Global NCAP.
“The safety performance of the S-Presso in South Africa has been far from satisfactory and claims of improvement are not reflected in levels of child occupant protection which remain the same as the Indian version we tested in 2020,” according to Alejandro Furas, secretary general of Global NCAP.
“There has been significant progress with vehicle safety in the Indian market with a welcome requirement for the fitment of six airbags as standard.”
“We hope that Maruti Suzuki will not apply a double standard for the vehicles they sell in Africa compared to those sold in India.”