Safest hatchbacks in India under Rs 6 lakh
Published On Sep 10, 2019 1:16:30 PM
Over the past couple of years, Indian customers are continuously being made aware of the importance of car safety by one way or another, be it the NCAP crash test ratings of several Made-in-India cars or various road safety drives by major OEMs. As a result of all this, the buyer base in the Indian passenger car industry is showing an increasing inclination towards safety features, when making a purchase decision for a new car. And with majority of the market being capped by the hatchback segment, it is imperative for customers to look out for budget-friendly safe hatchbacks available in the country.
In India, each road user is exposed to a bunch of safety hazards at all times, some of which can prove to be fatal if your car doesn't provide appropriate protection from major crashes. For a car to be rated high on safety, it should have a stable structure that can minimise any cabin intrusion in case of an accident, and should come with features like airbags, ABS and seatbelt pretensioners that can limit the probability of occurrence as well as impact of the accident.
Following are the 6 safest hatchbacks that you can buy in India under Rs 6 lakh.
The Tata Tiago is one of the most value-for-money offerings available in its segment. It gets features like dual front airbags, ABS, EBD and corner stability control in the top-end XZ variants. Tata also offers its customers the flexibility to opt for dual front airbags and seatbelt pretensioners and load limiters on all variants of the Tiago, by paying extra. As a result, buyers who are keen on having the required safety features on their new car can even any lower variant of the Tiago, opt for the additional safety package, and get all aforementioned features at a marginal added cost. Though the Tiago hasn’t yet been crash tested, the Nexon’s recent 5-star rating does inspire some confidence on Tata’s seriousness towards car safety.
Another contender in the sub Rs 6 lakh hatchback space is the pseudo crossover from Maruti Suzuki, the Ignis. It was launched to take advantage of the Indian customers' love for SUV-ish design. Being sold through Maruti Suzuki's premium NEXA retail chain, the Ignis comes with standard safety features like dual front airbags, ABS and EBD. Interestingly, it is the only car in its segment that offers such standard safety equipment. Moreover, Maruti claims that the Ignis' platform has been designed to adhere to all safety regulations for cars in India. As a result, the Ignis can sure provide appropriate protection to its occupants in case of a mishap.
The new-gen Ford Figo hatchback was launched in 2015. Despite being undermined due to its relatively poor build quality compared to its previous-gen model, the Figo comes with a major advantage in the safety space. All variants of the new-gen Figo come with dual airbags, ABS and EBD. It was one of the first few hatchbacks that came with standard dual airbags across the lineup. Additionally, the top-end Titanium+ trim, which is priced over the Rs 6 lakh mark, is available with side and curtain airbags as well, taking the total airbag count to 6.
The Baleno is based on Suzuki's new HEARTECT platform, which is claimed to be compliant with front, offset and side crash requirements. The chassis construction helps in effective absorption and dispersion of crash energy across the tension points, thus minimising the chances of any intrusion inside the cabin. Moreover, Maruti is offering the Baleno with standard dual front airbags (driver and co-passenger) as well as anti-lock braking system (ABS) with electronic brake force distribution (EBD) in all variants of the Baleno. As a result, a customer who has a tight budget and doesn't really want gizmos like projector headlamps and infotainment system can opt for the Sigma trim and still get all the important safety features. Do note that there have been concerns regarding the sheet metal quality of the Maruti Baleno being way too light, but there are no experimental proofs of its being hazardous in case of an accident. Car manufacturers intentionally use crumple zones around the exteriors so that they can crumple to an extent to absorb the impact of an accident while minimizing damage to the occupants.
The Swift has been a go-to name in the Indian hatchback market. It is the choice of over 40 per cent of all B-segment customers. Interestingly, all previous models of the Swift were never known for their safety characteristics. In fact, many believed that the Swift was the most unsafe car in its segment, owing to its light weight and thin sheet metal. With the Indian market moving towards safer cars, Maruti decided to take a big step in this domain with the introduction of the new-gen model. As a result, the new Swift comes with standard dual front airbags, ABS and EBD. Moreover, since it shares the HEARTECT platform with the Baleno, it also takes advantage of the new platform's capabilities to minimise cabin deformation and/or intrusion in case of an accident.
The Etios Liva might be a boring looking car, but it has a lot going for it as it offers a complete package at a fairly reasonable price. Starting at just under Rs. 6 lakh, the Etios Liva comes with a potent set of engines and solid build quality, along with Toyota’s name that promises reliability in the long run. In the safety department, the Etios Liva gets standard equipment like dual front SRS airbags, anti-lock braking system (ABS) with electronic brake force distribution (EBD) as standard across the range. Additionally, the front seatbelts of all variants come with pretensioners and load limiters that minimizes the shock that the front seat occupant might experience in case of a collision. ISOFIX child seat mounts, 3-point seatbelts for all 3 rear seat occupants, and door ajar warning are some other standard safety features offered with the Etios Liva.
As the Indian market matures and customers get aware about the importance of safety features in a car, more manufacturers will start offering standard safety equipment in order to attract sales. Moreover, the Indian government is planning to bring-in regulatory requirements for automotive manufacturers to provide standard safety features in all models. Once that happens, the number of safe hatchbacks on offer in the country will surely increase, even in the entry-level segment. Till then, the aforementioned six models make sense if you are looking for a safe hatchback priced below the Rs 6 lakh mark.