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Old 14th August 2015, 21:00   #46
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Default Re: Sub-15 lakh cars with 6 Airbags in India

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Originally Posted by noopster View Post
Awesome post RSR- thought it deserved a thread of its own. I hadn't realised there were so many carmakers now that offered full-fledged safety options in the "affordable" segment.

Truth be told I was all set to get the AT Creta myself but the lack of an SX(O) on offer is really shocking. The Figo Aspire which is in contention to replace my second car also falls into the same trap by not offering a Titanium+ variant in AT.
Thank you, noopster! Yes, the options available in the affordable segment are increasing and it's a welcome start. I hope this list keeps growing longer.

AT options are indeed limited. There are only two ATs in the list at the moment, sadly. I think manufacturers try to avoid "sticker shock" at the time of launch, as the newly launched car would seem overpriced otherwise (at first glance, that is).

Both, Hyundai & Ford need to understand that there are plenty of buyers willing to buy an AT vehicle with full safety options. I hope we get a Creta SX(O) 6 AT & Aspire Titanium+ 6 AT soon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shashank.nk View Post
I think the Polo and Vento Tsi should be added as well.

They don't come with 6 airbags, but I think these are the only one's in the segment along with the Ford ecosport AT to offer ESP,traction control and other (now common) safety aids like ABS and dual airbags.
I compiled this list with only airbags in mind, and the ones that also got ESP etc. received a mention within parentheses.

You're correct, some cars do get 2 airbags, ABS, and also ESP, TC etc. Apart from Volkswagen's Polo & Vento TSI, there are also others like Ford's Aspire 1.2 Titanium AT. Perhaps we can have a separate list for such cars.

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Originally Posted by vinitbhavi View Post
The Indian car market is such a money spinner for these manufacturers and the stakes are also high. Compound this with pathetic roads and unsafe driving practices it really paints a very grim picture.
Very true! The competition is so tough in segments below the 1.5 million rupee mark, and the rewards for being successful are very high. I wonder why more manufacturers don't offer safety features as one of their USPs to differentiate their products from others in these segments. Cars in the affordable segments do need as many safety features as possible, at least as options.

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Originally Posted by VW2010 View Post
On similar lines wont there be a similar Skoda model? Jetta Petrol is underrated for safety and is usually put down purely because of the engine spec. The MKV petrol top variant even had 8 air bags, 8 speakers and what not. Brilliant value for money when it comes to safety.
The Škoda Octavia doesn't make it to this list, unfortunately, as the base 1.4 TSI Ambition variant gets only 2 airbags (instead of 6), but it does get ESP, ASR etc. as standard. It also costs over 16 lac rupees (much higher than Jetta). Is this because the Škoda uses VAG's newer modular platform, unlike its VW cousin?

Yes, the Jetta is simply excellent when it comes to safety! 6 airbags and other safety features are standard even on the base Trendline variant.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wilful View Post
My respect for Ford & Hyundai goes up a notch further. I think the earler model of i20 had 6 airbags on the top version. Pity they decided to water it down later.
Spot on! The previous generation Hyundai i20's Asta(O) variants were the first to get 6 airbags not only amongst mainstream hatchbacks, but also among all cars below the 1 million rupee mark, and it held the honour as long as it was in production.

I was expecting its successor (the current i20) to carry forward the title, but sadly Hyundai chose to discontinue the Asta(O) variant when the new car was launched. Hyundai must equip the i20 with 6 airbags quickly, and the induction of the 1.0 Kappa T-GDI turbo-petrol motor gives them a golden opportunity to do this!

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Originally Posted by MetalBuff View Post
Ford did the unthinkable with the Aspire! A well loaded car with dual airbags (add 4 more to the Titanium +) standard across the range! Am I dreaming? Even the Ecosport has those only on the Titanium and higher variants which makes me think now, what were those guys smoking? I somehow am optimistic that this would be implemented on the Ecosport facelift as well.
I too believe the EcoSport will be getting 2 airbags standard even on the base Ambiente version when the facelift is launched, along with the 100 PS state of tune on the 1.5 TDCi engine. Even the Fiesta may see welcome changes!

Last edited by RSR : 14th August 2015 at 21:04.
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Old 14th August 2015, 21:31   #47
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Default Re: Sub-15 lakh cars with 6 Airbags in India

Wow. Thats a welcome change, irrespective of what the Government may do or what the average man on the street may care about safety in general.
It is great that at least one manufacturer cares enough to place the same spec of vehicle in India, as is going to be made available elsewhere.
I really hate these manufacturer's El cheapo tactics of de-speccing the India variants.
Notably Toyota who have been singing all the way to the bank in India for the last 16 odd years by offering de-sepcced (albeit reliable) vehicles for the India market.

Hope this is a new trend and catches on fast. About time!
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Old 14th August 2015, 21:44   #48
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Default Re: Sub-15 lakh cars with 6 Airbags in India

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Originally Posted by kiku007 View Post
The choice of Airbags over ABS in the lowest variant - Is this aimed at preventing bad PR when crash tests are done on the lowest variant? A car with Airbag but no ABS will score more than a car with ABS but no Airbags I assume. However in Indian roads, an ABS is more needed to prevent crashes in this first place.
It's true that 2 airbags on the base variant would help in getting a good score on a G-NCAP crash test, or avoid getting out for a duck (at the very least)!

Airbag(s) or ABS is always difficult to answer. Some may prefer ABS, some may feel airbags are more important, and both camps have valid reasons for their choice. The best would be to offer both, of course!

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Originally Posted by The Observer View Post
Wow, A topic that touches a chord deep in my heart - automobile safety for the masses, thank you RSR for starting this discussion.

I too now have a kind of respect for Ford due to the simple fact that it considered that the "Indian" customer with around 10 L only would also want/deserve top safety and hence promptly offered it on the Aspire.

I would also like to mention that the 6 balloons are not the only safety feature, it also has cross beams on its doors for side impact (which the Polo also has), claims to use "Boron" steel ( same like the Ecosport and the new Fiesta).
Thank you & welcome, The Observer! Great observations on the safety features offered by different mass-market manufacturers!

Yes, the Titanium+ variants do deserve to sell in huge numbers, and the Figo Aspire must become a roaring success. Only then will more manufacturers offer better safety equipment. We have already seen what happens when a 6 airbag equipped variant doesn't sell in large numbers (with the previous i20).

"Boron" steel, ultra-high strength steel etc. are very welcome! These improve a car's structural integrity and crash-worthiness without adding to the weight.

Side impact cross-beams in doors are a feature required by law, I guess, along with seat-belts for all forward facing seats, and a headlamp level adjuster. I believe at least one cross-beam is required in each door according to the law. Even the Tata Nano has got integrated cross-beams (not separate ones) on its doors.

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Originally Posted by RSimonS View Post
I was in the market recently for a AT vehicle for my wife. Santro, though a good work horse was lacking in all safety aspects and this motivated me to look out for a safe car, especially as she needs to commute between Brookfields and Electronics City. 6 Air Bags and other safety features available was one of the reasons why I decided to go for Ecosport AT.

Edit: Sincerely hope companies start adding the 7th (knee) airbag as well soon for the Indian Market.
Excellent and safe choice with the EcoSport AT!

Knee airbags (at least one for the driver) would be a welcome addition on affordable cars, too.

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Great thread.

Just wanted to add a little different perspective since I'm from the 'pre-worshipped' school of thought.

For 15 lakhs, you can also buy luxury cars with a 5-star level of safety. Think like-new Skoda Superb & VW Passat. You could also get a BMW 3-Series or Mercedes C-Class with <30,000 kms on the clock, an Audi A4 or a BMW X1.

No matter what your budget, you can always buy a safer pre-worshipped car over a brand-new one. On a 4 - 5 lakh budget, I can get a previous-gen i20 Facelift with 6 airbags. For 3.5 lakhs, I can get a Swift ZXi with dual airbags & ABS instead of a flimsy Alto K10.
Thank you, GTO! That's an extremely relevant and valid perspective, the pre-worshipped options!

Normally, people think they can buy a bigger car or a faster car or a more luxurious car (for a given budget) if they take the pre-owned route, but not many think a much safer car is within reach as well.

One can't go wrong in terms of safety with the premium German brigade. Even the base versions of all premium German cars come fully loaded with safety features, while higher trim levels add additional luxury features. If only this were true for the more affordable cars as well.

Apart from the premium Germans, there is also Volvo. Unfortunately, these premium Swedes aren't many in number, but one can always look around patiently. Even if one leaves out the premium brigade, safer options from D1 & D2 segment sedans with extra airbags are always there (apart from the relatively rare i20s and Vernas with 6 airbags). Yep, even a pre-owned car with 2 airbags and ABS would be better than an entry level car with none (if only from a safety perspective).

With more organised players getting into the pre-owned space, this is one way that is bound to become more popular in the future.

Last edited by RSR : 14th August 2015 at 22:14.
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Old 15th August 2015, 06:33   #49
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Default Re: Sub-15 lakh cars with 6 Airbags in India

A little I know but I've also fumed about car makers de-specing Indian cars. I guess it is all about profits (and lax governmental control with a weak consumer body).
I remember reading about how Ford Ecosport for Europe has 300 parts changed from its Indian models to make it Euro compliant, including a stronger structure (body in white). I wish they had offered at least one trim with those in India to test the waters as well as giving buyers who are prepared to shell out a bit more for safety, a truly world class choice.
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Old 15th August 2015, 13:53   #50
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Default Re: Sub-15 lakh cars with 6 Airbags in India

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Originally Posted by printh View Post
Yeah a good point but lot of the affordability seeking Indian customers can't really cope with the maintanence woes and prices of the (in)famous German Marques.

But having said that,the comparison of i20 and swift is a viable option to the customer prioritising the term AFFORDABILITY.
I agree on the cost of maintenance aspect of premium cars. This does scare many people away from these premium marques, even if they turn out to be value-for-money buys in the pre-owned segment (thanks to the first owner taking the big depreciation hit). But these premium cars happen to be loaded to the gills with active and passive safety aids, even on their base variants.

One way to reduce the cost of owning a pre-owned premium car would be to find a competent independent garage that has earned a reputation for working on such premium cars. Such places do exist in many cities, but one needs to search for them.

And yep, even if one is understandably wary of the premium marques, the pre-owned route does have other options for finding cars with a decent safety equipment list.

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Originally Posted by hybridpetrol View Post
How much all these mean when there is no structural rigidity in the car? For instance, if Tata Nano, with its flimsy build quality, comes up with ABS in its next update (they might, given that they are first in lowest priced car first, then an automatic). Doesn't such thing lead to a false sense of safety?
When the weak by structure, doesn't these "safety features" turn into a mere marketing gimmick, and only will promote the proliferation of unsafe cars?
I think everyone must keep in mind that there is no such thing as an "absolutely safe car". There have been accidents resulting in casualties in even Mercedes S-Classes, Volvos etc.

Having said that, one simply cannot dismiss safety equipment as "marketing gimmicks". This would be grossly incorrect!

In a Tata Nano, equipment such as ABS, ESP etc. can help in avoiding accidents or uncontrollable situations. So they're welcome even in cars with a supposedly "weak structure".

One must also understand that manufacturers do not throw in airbags just to pass them off as a marketing feature. Tata sent a Nano to the UK for testing, and it passed the government regulated frontal offset crash test at 56 kmph (note - this is a legally mandated test in UK/Europe, and not the same as NCAP's frontal offset test at 64 kmph). This particular Nano was not only equipped with a driver airbag, but it also had some structural enhancements to make the airbag function effectively, and it did function effectively, enabling the Nano to pass the test.

When Nissan/Datsun ware harshly (and deservedly) criticised for the sadly unstable structure in the Go, they were forced to improve the grade of structural steel used in the car, along with providing an optional airbag (at least that is what they claim). Their claims should be put to the test either by G-NCAP or by the new ARAI crash test that India will get sometime in the future.

Let's not forget one thing. G-NCAP gave the Swift base variant (without airbags) a 0* rating in the frontal offset crash test at 64 kmph. The same made-in-India Swift in its top end variant (with 2 airbags) got a 3* rating in the same crash test by G-NCAP / Latin-NCAP. The Polo without airbags got a 0* rating, and the same Polo with 2 airbags got a 4* rating. There are plenty of other examples with Latin-NCAP & ASEAN-NCAP.

As long as a car's structure is reasonably decent, the addition of airbags makes a difference to its safety, a very big difference! So airbags are very welcome in most economy cars sold in India. Therefore, I vehemently disagree with your statement about airbags being a "marketing gimmick".

Quote:
Originally Posted by printh View Post
Yes absolutely in our current context,they are just marketing gimmicks in the view of the manufacturer...6 airbags,abs,ebd,tcs,esp will win the hearts of our customers than rigid structure with 2 airbags +abs ebd.
I strongly disagree with the "marketing gimmick" thing. Please see my reply to hybridpetrol above.

Besides, do you really think "marketing gimmicks" like 6 airbags, ABS, ESP, TC etc. are going to win the hearts of Indian customers, a large proportion of whom believe airbags and ABS are meant for the "safety conscious"?

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Originally Posted by printh View Post
To provide a simple example airbags might save a driver from the steering wheel impact but not from the rear end of the vehicle being hit upon entering the car owing to its weak structure.
Front airbags are meant to soften the hard blow (which could turn out to be fatal) that would resulting from colliding with the steering/dashboard, aren't they? So even in a car with a supposedly "weak structure", they provide (possibly life-saving) protection in a head-on or offset impact!

Similarly side & curtain airbags soften the blow resulting from side-impacts, T-bone impacts and side-on collisions against a tree or a pole. Side airbags are designed specifically to provide some protection for the chest/torso from side impacts with a heavy vehicle (like a truck). And curtain airbags provide protection for the heads of both front & rear passengers not only in side impacts, but also in the much more dangerous tree or pole impact. You may feel they're mere "marketing gimmicks" but crash-safety experts at NCAP, IIHS etc. don't think so.

Take a look at how much protection side & curtain airbags can provide even in small, economy cars like the Peugeot 107 / CitroŽn C1 / Toyota Aygo triplets, not only in side impacts and pole collisions, but also in a frontal offset collision:



So you're welcome to have an opinion that side & curtain airbags are mere "marketing gimmicks", but many others think they're very useful safety aids that help in saving lives!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rajeevraj View Post
Nice thread RSR. I would say the pick of the lot is the Ford Ecosport. Dual Clutch AT, 6 airbags, Hill Assist, ESC all under 10L Ex Showroom. Ford should have done this with the Aspire also. As I mentioned in the Aspire thread, Aspire Titanium+ AT would have been priced at 8.5L Ex Showroom...

The other point is seat belts. In India, I would say 99% of people in the back seat are not belted. So in such a scenario I assume side/curtain airbags can do more harm than good.

In Kerala, the previous transport commissioner-Rishiraj Singh, brought in a rule that rear passengers should wear seat belts. It was shot down by the government itself.
Thank you, Rajeevraj! I think the Aspire may get a Titanium+ AT version later, once Ford meets the initial demand and understands that there are people willing to pay for a top spec AT variant.

Yup, manufacturers like Volkswagen & Toyota need to be heartily appreciated for making at least dual airbags standard on ALL their cars. I think Ford would also join this list quite soon.

About back seat passengers not being belted, I don't think side & curtain airbags going to do more harm than good. Colliding with an air-filled thing (even an explosively inflating one) is any-day going to be better (i.e. less harmful or cause less hurt) than colliding with a hard metal / plastic / glass surface with the same momentum. Don't you think so?

About the Kerala government's flip-flop, I have nothing to say. Other than the fact that it may take a very, very long time for Indians to become safety conscious.

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Originally Posted by Asish_VK View Post
Also I feel manufacturers should take proactive steps and make Safety a standard features of their all cars. And they can give us many others add ons as options. Like Music system, Touch Screen navigation, Automatic lights / Climate controls to name a few. That way they can sell the cars at different price points without compromising saftey.
Thank you! Yes, it would be great to have safety features as standard on the base variant, and additional comfort, cosmetic and other features added with each increasing trim level. This is how it is in the developed markets, thanks to their awareness, and the efforts of organisations like NCAP.

Last edited by RSR : 15th August 2015 at 14:22.
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Old 15th August 2015, 16:16   #51
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@ rsr - agree with your points buddy. If I had found such independent competent garage with good credibility of repairing the German big 3, I would have bought the w124 e class 300d instead of my vento. But thanks to the nightmare of only authorised centre availability,owning the million mile taxi became just my dream.
And regarding the "marketing gimmick " thing, it wasn't my view pal. I just mentioned the way how manufacturers see the addition of safety measures. They add those safety features only when the competition or the government forces them to do so.and without doubt they market them in bold letters. Eg: when VW made abs and airbag standard in their polo ,they shouted at the top of their lungs about it in every ad and many of my non enthusiast colleagues pointed it out as an usp for polo which I never expected.
And regarding the airbag saving injury point , I agree airbags and electronic aids are safety factors independent of body structure but in an actual event of accident,is there any chance the occupants of cars with and without good body structure but with same electronic aids and airbags have same chance of survival or less fatal injuries?
So,my point with respect to the question of the thread starter is , in the presence of good structure the other aids makes a considerable increase in safety but in the absence of such a structure the safety quotient added by the featured is less than they ought to !!!!
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Old 15th August 2015, 18:35   #52
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Default Re: Sub-15 lakh cars with 6 Airbags in India

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Originally Posted by wilful View Post
A little I know but I've also fumed about car makers de-specing Indian cars. I guess it is all about profits (and lax governmental control with a weak consumer body).
I remember reading about how Ford Ecosport for Europe has 300 parts changed from its Indian models to make it Euro compliant, including a stronger structure (body in white). I wish they had offered at least one trim with those in India to test the waters as well as giving buyers who are prepared to shell out a bit more for safety, a truly world class choice.
I think even then Ford is doing a better job here with safety, when compared with is nearest rivals. If you look at the Ecosport AT, no other car in the sub 15 lakhs (on-road) price bracket provide a full suite of safety features like 6 airbags, ESP etc.
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Old 15th August 2015, 18:55   #53
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Default Re: Sub-15 lakh cars with 6 Airbags in India

Mod Note: please stay on topic. This is an important subject about vehicular safety. Thanks!
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Old 15th August 2015, 19:01   #54
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Default Re: Sub-15 lakh cars with 6 Airbags in India

True. Which is precisely why I went in for it. At sub 11 lacs OTR for me here no other vehicle fulfilled my safety requirements completely.

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Originally Posted by vb-san View Post
I think even then Ford is doing a better job here with safety, when compared with is nearest rivals. If you look at the Ecosport AT, no other car in the sub 15 lakhs (on-road) price bracket provide a full suite of safety features like 6 airbags, ESP etc.
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Old 15th August 2015, 19:54   #55
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Default Re: The safest sub-15L cars in India (6 airbags +ABS)

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Originally Posted by noopster View Post
Awesome post RSR- thought it deserved a thread of its own. I hadn't realised there were so many carmakers now that offered full-fledged safety options in the "affordable" segment.
I have been considering a "safe" AT vehicle in this range for long and non of the manufacturers have failed to disappoint :-). ATs not available in top trims. TATA brought Zest AMT in XT trim, but again doesn't get 6 airbags.
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Old 15th August 2015, 22:44   #56
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Default Re: The safest sub-15L cars in India (6 airbags +ABS)

Ford Aspire

Eco sport

Both have 6 air bags in the top variant with AT

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Originally Posted by dafpnp View Post
I have been considering a "safe" AT vehicle in this range for long and non of the manufacturers have failed to disappoint :-). ATs not available in top trims. TATA brought Zest AMT in XT trim, but again doesn't get 6 airbags.
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Old 15th August 2015, 23:01   #57
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Default Re: The safest sub-15L cars in India (6 airbags +ABS)

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Originally Posted by Bhodrolok View Post
Ford Aspire

Eco sport

Both have 6 air bags in the top variant with AT
Aspire AT comes only in Titanium trim and hence only 2 airbags, whereas petrol and diesel manual versions come in Titanium+ version and hence have 6 airbags. Ford may introduce Titanium+ version of Automatic later if the responses are good.
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Old 15th August 2015, 23:32   #58
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Default Re: The safest sub-15L cars in India (6 airbags +ABS)

Right I just realized the Titanium & Titanium + differences

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Originally Posted by The Rationalist View Post
Aspire AT comes only in Titanium trim and hence only 2 airbags, whereas petrol and diesel manual versions come in Titanium+ version and hence have 6 airbags.
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Old 16th August 2015, 00:26   #59
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Default Re: Sub-15 lakh cars with 6 Airbags in India

If you notice - the Airbags have SRS emblazoned across them. This stands for Secondary Restraint System. I had mentioned this before on some thread but the standards for airbags are different in the EU and the US. I am not even sure which standard the Indian manufacturers follow. The American Airbag is meant to save you with the assumption that you don't have your seatbelt on and the EU version assumes you have the seatbelt on.

Either way, your primary line of defence is still the the Seatbelt. While adoption has improved markedly in recent times, there is still a long way to go. Most co-passengers in the front and back don't bother with seatbelts at all.

Also parents place their kids with them on the front seats and in case of an accident - it could actually be the Airbag which could kill the child.

So till there is a massive change in education about car safety - the number of airbags will not make as much of a difference as you'd like. I would personally like ALL driving licenses recalled and re-issued only after a proper written and then a simulator test. Wishful thinking, I guess.
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Old 16th August 2015, 01:29   #60
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Default Re: Sub-15 lakh cars with 6 Airbags in India

It is disappointing to see that manufacturers offer airbags only on the top two or three variants, this creates problems for people who want to own a certain car with safety features but just cannot as the budget shoots up. And we are talking about sub 15 lakh, which, for majority of people is too big.

If I were to take my example,two years back, my wife wanted to buy a hatchback and her budget was pretty tight. We were just not ready to stretch it beyond 5.5L, there was not a single car under this price which had airbags, although most of them were offering other things like automatically foldable mirrors, music system with steering controls, central locking system etc. If we take those additional features off, it might equal the cost of fitting two airbags.

I then checked hyundai i10 in UK on youtube, I was surprised to see that the reviewer was praising her because it did not have electrically adjustable mirrors, electrically winding windows or a music system or even an AC (not required there) BUT it had 6 airbags and it scored well in EuroNCAP tests !

Finally, we had to bite the bullet and buy a car which has all the gizmos but no additional safety features. It was like: only people having more than 6 lakh rupees can drive safer cars, others who cannot afford, we give you a music system and electrical gizmos if that helps.

Its high time manufacturers make available at least one variant which has airbags and offers little to none of these additional electronic/ electric gizmos (which can be installed later if needed), so that 'paranoids' with tight budget can buy them !
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