Global NCAP and AA South Africa launch #SaferCarsforAfrica today, 22 November, in Cape Town, with the first independent crash test assessment of some of South Africa’s most popular compact and small cars…

The crashworthiness results of the five cars tested show a wide range of safety performance, from four to zero stars for adult protection, with the lowest ratings resulting in a high probability of life threatening injury in a road crash.

The models tested include South Africa’s best-selling car, the VW Polo Vivo. The Datsun Go+, Toyota Etios, Renault Sandero and Chery QQ3 also underwent the safety assessment.

Combined sales of these five cars account for around 65% of all the new cars sold in South Africa last year. Global NCAP chose the entry-level version of each model and as a result one of them was not fitted with airbags as standard. The results highlight differences in the structural integrity of the vehicles tested.

“Working closely with our partners at the Automobile Association of South Africa and with the welcome support of the FIA Foundation and Bloomberg Philanthropies, our new campaign is an important first milestone on the road to Safer Cars for Africa,” says Lauchlan McIntosh, Chairman of Global NCAP.

Collins Khumalo, CEO of the AA of South Africa said: “These results are critical to educating the public about vehicle safety, but, more than that, they empower road users to make informed decisions.”

Separate child safety rating

Global NCAP has awarded a separate child safety rating to each car in order to highlight the different levels of protection vehicles provide to passengers on the rear seats. Because the only safe way for young children to travel is properly restrained in a child seat, the assessment checks how compatible the car is with the child seats recommended by the manufacturer, as well as the protection provided in the crash test.

In the assessments, some of the child seats recommended by manufacturers were found to be incompatible with their vehicle’s belt system.

In the Polo Vivo, Chery QQ3 and Datsun GO+ there was no three-point seatbelt on the rear centre seats and no way to safely install a child seat or transport a small child safely in that seating position.

Only the Toyota Etios and Renault Sandero offer Standard ISOFIX anchorages for the outboard rear positions and three-point seatbelt for all passengers facilitating minimum conditions to safely install a child seat.

THE RESULTS:

Toyota Etios

Read the full crash test report

The Etios achieved a four-star rating for adult occupant protection in the frontal crash test at 64km/h. The vehicle structure was rated as stable, offering good general adult occupant protection. The car included seatbelts with pretensioners for both front passengers. Using the child seats recommended by Toyota, the Etios achieved a three star rating for child occupant protection.

Renault Sandero

Read the full crash test report

The Sandero achieved a three-star rating for adult occupant protection in the frontal crash test at 64km/h. The vehicle structure was rated as stable, offering acceptable general adult occupant protection. The car did not include seatbelt pretensioners. Using the child seats recommended by Renault, the Sandero achieved a four-star rating for child occupant protection.

Volkswagen Polo Vivo

Read the full crash test report

The Polo Vivo achieved a three-star rating for adult occupant protection in the frontal crash test at 64km/h. The vehicle structure was rated as stable, offering acceptable adult occupant protection. The car did not include seatbelt pretensioners. Using the child seats recommended by VW, the Polo Vivo achieved a three-star rating for child protection.

Datsun GO+

Read the full crash test report

The GO+ achieved a one-star rating for its poor adult occupant protection mainly in the driver chest in the frontal crash test at 64km/h. The vehicle structure was rated as unstable, steering wheel movement, even though a steering wheel airbag was fitted, recorded high compression to the chest of the driver dummy. There was no airbag for the passenger. The Datsun GO+ achieved a two-star rating for child occupant protection using the child seats.

Chery QQ3

Read the full crash test report

The QQ3 achieved a zero-star rating for its poor adult occupant protection mainly in driver’s head and chest. The vehicle structure was rated as unstable as showed collapsed in some relevant areas during the impact. Injury impacts recorded in the dummy head and chest in particular led to this result.

There were no airbags for the adult passengers. The manufacturer did not recommend specific child seats which explains most of the points loss for child occupant protection. The QQ3 was given a zero-star rating for child occupant protection, considering the poor vehicle readiness to safely accommodate the child seats