Maruti Suzuki Swift, And Brazil-Spec Renault Duster Get Poor Latin NCAP Safety Rating

Despite the two vehicles having two airbags, it wasn’t enough to give a respectable safety rating


  • The Latin NCAP tests are more extensive than the Global NCAP crash tests done for India-spec models.

  • The Swift lost points due to an unstable bodyshell, poor side impact protection, and a low whiplash score.

  • The Brazil-spec Duster suffered from high structural intrusion and a fuel leakage. 

With safety standards constantly evolving the world over, cars in India are also making decent steps. But they still have a long way to go, as revealed with the made-in-India Maruti Suzuki Swift going through the latest round of crash tests by Latin NCAP. The hatchback received a big fat ZERO safety rating, as did the Brazil-spec Renault Duster, which was also tested alongside it 

For comparison, the India-spec Swift tested by Global NCAP in 2018 scored two stars, but that’s more down to the different levels of complexity between the Latin and Global NCAP tests. The Latin NCAP crash tests are more complex and add on side impact tests. The Swift scored a measly 6.21 points (15.53 percent) in adult protection, a zero in child protection, and 3 points (6.98 percent) in safety assists. Moreover, it garnered a modest 31.71 points (66.07 percent) in pedestrian protection, still a very poor showing from the hatchback. 

The major reason for the 0-star rating was the poor side impact protection, a borderline unstable body shell, and a low whiplash score. It also doesn't help that the India-spec base model only gets dual front airbags, ABS with EBD and ISOFIX child mounts as standard, but no ESC.Besides,Maruti Suzuki did not recommend CRS (Child Restraint Systems) for the crash tests.

As for the Brazil-spec Renault Duster, it scored 9.47 percent (11.78 points) in adult protection, 22.93 percent (11.24 points) in child protection, 34.88 percent (15 points) for its safety assists and 50.79 percent (24.38 points) for pedestrian protection. The overall crash test report, however, noted an unstable body shell, high structural intrusion, and a fuel leakage. 

Strict crash test procedures or not, both the Maruti Suzuki Swift and Renault Duster have a long way to go to meet respectable safety standards. To that end, Nitin Gadkari’s recent suggestion to offer more airbags as standard may hopefully help the two models. The Swift currently retails from Rs 5.81 lakh to Rs 8.56 Lakh (ex-showroom), whereas the India-spec Duster Rs 9.86 lakh to Rs 14.25 lakh (ex-showroom).

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