In an era of five-star safety ratings, getting four almost seems like a shock these days. When the ASEAN New Car Assessment Program (ASEAN NCAP) recently crash tested the Suzuki Swift, it didn't get the full five stars. What gives?

The Swift actually performed well in the crash test itself, scoring five out of five in both adult and child occupant protection. In the frontal crash test, the Swift managed 13.63 points out of 16 for adult protection and 12.11 points out of 16 for child protection. It even got a perfect score in child protection in a side impact crash, scoring 8 out of 8.

However, ASEAN NCAP did note higher than normal forces on the driver's chest in the side impact test. On the flipside, it was still within the acceptable range, meaning the Swift will hold up well in a T-bone collision.

If it performed well in crash protection, what knocked its score down? ASEAN NCAP says that the limited availability of stability control, as well as side airbags, are what prevented the Swift from getting the full five stars. As it is, stability control is only available in the Thai-spec and Singapore market models, while side and curtain airbags are only installed on Swifts bound for Singapore. Philippine models get dual front airbags, anti-lock brakes, and ISOFIX mounts for child seats in all variants.

So yes, the Swift is a safe car to be in if you get into an accident according to the report. But what the ASEAN NCAP is pointing out here is the addition of more safety kits for the rest of the region would make it even safer. With Global NCAP pushing for the standardization of stability control, the future Philippine-spec Swift might just get this feature in due time. For now though, it's four out of five stars for the Suzuki Swift.