The 2019 Automobile Association (AA) Entry-Level Vehicle Safety Report assesses safety features on entry-level vehicles…

The latest report shows there have been improvements to the safety of entry-level vehicles, but that more can and must be done in this market. This is the third instalment of this report.

The 2019 report considered the safety features of 27 vehicles available in South Africa currently priced under R180 000. This is 12.5% increase from the threshold in the previous report to account for an increase in inflation.

The ELVS Report must be seen against the backdrop of South Africa’s official road fatality statistics. According to figures from the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) 12 921 people died on South African roads in 2018. Although this represents an eight percent decrease on the 2017 figure of 14050, the number remains high, and must be seen in the context of an average road death rate of over 13 000 fatalities per annum in South Africa.

A number of safety features were assessed

The 27 vehicles surveyed for this instalment of the Entry-Level Vehicle Safety Report were evaluated against the number of active safety features they have (anti-lock braking systems, electronic stability control), and passive safety features (airbags).

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Vehicles which have been crash tested as part of the Global NCAP (New Car Assessment Programme) initiative #SaferCarsforAfrica, are awarded points according to the safety rating they achieved.

Of the 27 vehicles assessed for the 2019 ELVS Report, five have local safety ratings, and were awarded points accordingly.

Results:

Of the 27 vehicles assessed, seven vehicles are categorised in the “Acceptable Safety” range – a marked improvement on the previous report which only had two vehicles in this category. Sixteen of the vehicles are ranked in the “Moderate Safety” class, while four vehicles are classed as having “Poor Safety”.

Best:

In terms of safety, the Volkswagen Take Up! scored one of the highest safety ratings of the 27 vehicles, closely followed by the Renault Sandero 66kw turbo expression. Third in line was the Toyota Aygo 1.0.

Worst:

The bottom three vehicles according to safety levels were the Kia Picanto 1.0 Start, Nissan NP200, and JMC 4×2 Boarding.

“The JMC 4×2 Boardingand Nissan NP200were the only vehicles to contain none of the safety features considered in this report, consequently scoring 0 safety points. All other entry-level vehicles included at least a front airbag for the driver,” stated the report.

For the full ELVS Report, please visit  https://www.aa.co.za/annual-elvs-report

 

Crash tests:

Toyota Avanza

The Avanza just managed to achieve four stars for Adult Occupant Protection despite the structure and footwell area rated as unstable. The restraint systems in the car worked properly which, together with the two Seat Belt Reminders (SBR), for driver and passenger, just met the requirements to achieve a four star safety rating for the adults.

The Avanza achieved only two stars in Child Occupant Protection, which was explained by the detachment of the rear bench from the anchorages to the structure of the car as it was pulled by the CRS from the 3 year old dummy attached with ISOFIX to the rear bench.

 

Honda Amaze

The Honda Amaze achieved a solid four stars for Adult Occupant Protection in the frontal crash test at 64km/h. The vehicle structure was rated as stable as well as the footwell area. The car offers seatbelt pretensioners for both front passengers and seatbelt reminder for the driver.

Using the child seats recommended by Honda, the Amaze only achieved a one star rating for Child Occupant Protection. The child dummies contacted the interior of the car, showing evidence of head exposure and the probability of injury. In the case of the 18 month old CRS, the armrest opened (deployed) during the crash hitting the CRS, braking the handle lock and causing a rotation of the CRS that ended in the head of the dummy contacting the seat backrest.

In the case of the 3 year old dummy, despite using a CRS with ISOFIX, its head contacted the interior of the car in the rebound phase. Both head contacts of both child dummies brought the head score to zero and with the broken CRS for the 18 month old dummy the full points of the dynamic test for this dummy were lowered to zero.

 

Suzuki Ignis

The Ignis achieved three stars for Adult Occupant Protection in the frontal crash test at 64km/h. The vehicle structure was rated as unstable and offered weak chest protection for the driver. Child safety of the Ignis achieved a low score because Suzuki did not recommend a CRS for the test.

Global NCAP considers that car manufacturers are responsible for all occupants in the car and for this reason they must always recommend the CRS to be used in the test. When they decline to do so, the car manufacturer is not awarded points during the test.

Comparing this car with the same model for Europe, while the South African Ignis has two airbags and ABS as standard, the European version of the car offers as standard: 6 airbags (2 frontal, 2 side body and 2 side curtain airbags) and Electronic Stability Control.