We now live in an age where five stars seem to be the norm in crash test results. Cars as humble as the Vios, for instance, drew praises from the ASEAN New Car Assesment Program, and is said to be one of the safest cars you can buy today. Even four-star cars are deemed acceptable as these cars still rate high nonetheless.
So it's a bit of a shock if we see a car with anything less than that. One car that recently concluded its crash test was the Suzuki Ertiga - and it only got three. So why that score? Global NCAP explains.
Now, the structure of the vehicle itself appears fine. According to the tests, head and neck injuries for both driver and front passenger will be kept to a minimum in an event of a 64 km/h offset crash. However, Global NCAP said that body shell integrity was on the 'unstable' side, noting that the floorpan had buckled during the test. Because of that, it was observed that the dummies moved a lot at the moment of impact, adding extra loads on the chest region. The compromised footwell also placed drivers at higher risk of foot injuries.
The front passenger fared better than the driver, with less loads exerted on to the dummy's chest. However, readings from the front passenger side saw similar results when it comes to leg and foot protection. Like the driver, front passengers are at a higher risk of injury. Global NCAP also said that the under dash panels came into contact with the dummies' knees, hence the lower score.
What about child protection, you ask? This is a family MPV after all. For infants, there was good protection. For toddler-sized children however, high chest loads were recorded, much like the front occupants. More points were knocked off due to the fact that the Ertiga's center rear seat belt is still a lap belt.
What does Suzuki have to say about this? So far, the company has not replied regarding the results of the crash test. However, do note that it was the India-spec version that was tested and not the Thai-sourced models we get in the Philippines. It should be interesting if there are differences in results once the ASEAN New Car Assessment Program (ASEAN NCAP) do a test of their own.