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Old 13th August 2015, 14:06   #1
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Default Sub-15 lakh cars with 6 Airbags in India

Airbags and affordability

In the developed automobile markets, even the base variants of most economy cars come equipped with 6 airbags and ABS as standard features. Unfortunately, thanks to the typical Indian attitude towards safety, many manufacturers in India throw in a couple of airbags and ABS on the top variants (as if they're doing a great favour to those who're safety conscious).

Thankfully, we have some manufacturers who're beginning to get rid of this attitude, and are now offering safety features as standard even on the base variants.

If front airbags in India are meant for those who're safety conscious, then side airbags & curtain airbags must be meant for those who're absolutely "paranoid about safety", I suppose. Thus, we have the shockingly pathetic situation in India where side & curtain airbags happen to be an unheard of feature in most cars that fall in the affordable price range for many.

With the new Figo Aspire, Ford India have thankfully raised the bar for safety, by lowering the entry barrier for buying a car with the very welcome 6 airbags and ABS! (yeah, raising the bar & lowering the barrier at the same time does not happen to be an oxymoron).

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The following happens to be a current list of the most affordable vehicles in India (less than 1.5 million rupees) that come with a bunch of safety features (6 airbags & ABS) that buyers of even economy cars in the developed markets take for granted. All these prices are ex-showroom Chennai, and would vary in other cities:

Ford Figo Aspire 1.2 Ti-VCT Titanium+ 5 MT - 7,38,743

Ford Figo Aspire 1.5 TDCi Titanium+ 5 MT - 8,40,522

Ford EcoSport 1.0 EcoBoost Titanium(O) 5 MT - 9,88,924

Ford EcoSport 1.5 Ti-VCT Titanium 6 AT - 9,91,366 (also gets ESC, EBA, TCS & HLA)

Hyundai Verna 1.6 Gamma dual VTVT SX 5 MT - 10,37,191

Ford EcoSport 1.5 TDCi Titanium(O) 5 MT - 10,39,812

Hyundai Verna 1.6 U2 CRDi SX 6 MT - 11,79,626

Hyundai Verna 1.6 U2 CRDi SX 4 AT - 12,51,037

Hyundai Creta 1.6 U2 CRDi SX(O) 6 MT - 13,84,337 (also gets ESP, VSM & HAC)

Volkswagen Jetta 1.4 TSI Trendline 6 MT - 14,40,360 (also gets ESC, ASR, EDL & HHC)

Mahindra XUV5OO 2.2 mHawk W8 6 MT - 14,40,461 (also gets ESP, RM, HH & HDC)

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While the availability of 6 airbags becomes more common as one crosses the 1.5 million rupee mark (ex-showroom, Chennai), it's really sad to see only 11 variants among 6 vehicles from just 4 manufacturers offering front + side + curtain airbags within the 15 lacs mark.

My respect for Ford has gone up tremendously because the Figo Aspire now becomes the least expensive car to get 6 airbags by replacing another Ford (the EcoSport) that held this wonderful safety honour till now!

If Ford can get the new Figo hatchback to replace the Figo Aspire as the least expensive car with 6 airbags yet again, then it would mean that Ford becomes the default manufacturer of choice for those who want the superb surround safety offered by half-a-dozen airbags in an affordable car!

Bring out the new Figo hatchback with 6 airbags as soon as possible, Ford!
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Old 13th August 2015, 20:37   #2
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Default The safest sub-15L cars in India (6 airbags +ABS)

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.

But it's a start. And carmakers need to be appreciated for stepping up.

Last edited by noopster : 13th August 2015 at 20:45.
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Old 13th August 2015, 20:44   #3
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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.

Given our driving conditions, its a very important safety feature in a car.

Edit: Kudos to Ford in pricing the Aspire so well. The top end diesel retails for 10.x lakhs here in bangalore and I think is the first car at the price point to offer 6 airbags.

Last edited by shashank.nk : 13th August 2015 at 20:48.
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Old 13th August 2015, 20:46   #4
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An absolutely apt thread. 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. The road safety act to be introduced has been pending since long. Among other things something like at least 2 airbags must be provided as a basic security apparatus in all cars by manufacturers and these should not warrant hefty premiums as they are an absolutely basic requirement
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Old 13th August 2015, 20:50   #5
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Default re: Sub-15 lakh cars with 6 Airbags in India

Quote:
Volkswagen Jetta 1.4 TSI Trendline 6 MT - 14,40,360 (also gets ESC, ASR, EDL & HHC)
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.

Good to see atleast one german maker in this list.

And good to see ford. And sad not to see a Honda or a Toyota in this mix.
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Old 14th August 2015, 05:58   #6
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Default re: Sub-15 lakh cars with 6 Airbags in India

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.
Other car companies like should follow suit instead of reluctantly offering driver only airbag on some models.
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Old 14th August 2015, 10:07   #7
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Default re: Sub-15 lakh cars with 6 Airbags in India

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.

It's high time that all manufacturers provide a minimum of 2 airbags as part of standard equipment and leave the safety conscious people to pick the trim with more balloons as they deem fit, for now. More and more people and manufacturers are warming to the idea of standard safety features. 99% of the threads(ownership + recommendation seeking) I find on team-BHP have the bhpian mention Airbags and ABS as a must on their vehicles and for some reason if, they still can't pick the trim of their choice (one which is shod with safety equipment ) due to budget constraints etc, there always is a categoric mention of why they could not get THE one. Explains that people are giving things a thought instead of just dismissing stuff like this off. Also not forgetting, how we try to change the decisions of people around so, they purchase a safer vehicle. I am infamous for having inflated people's budgets, haha!

The government and the masses are gradually waking up and taking notice. People usually pick a vehicle up from one segment higher than their existing vehicle is from. It is highly unprobable for someone who has owned a vehicle with airbags to buy one without those. He'll either settle for the same number or a higher one.

It's just a matter of time that we'll have a mandate of 6 airbags on every darn vehicle that plies on our roads but, it's always a step at a time, right?

All in all, Ford has taken a huge huge step here and I can only reward them with praises ! Now that Ford has blazed all it's guns and hit bulls eye, it's the mass manufacturers like Maruti, Hyundai and Honda that need to wake up from their deep slumber, take charge of things that ACTUALLY matter, brave the competition and emerge victorious! Ford has literally shaken the market with this launch and all I find people around mention about the Aspire is that it looks fantastic and has airbags as standard. So, I don't think it'd too long before we'll see the numbers for the top 3 manufacturers slip if, they don't adjust to the changing market conditions.

My 2 cents in a gazillion words

Cheerio,
-Shivang Gandotrra

Last edited by MetalBuff : 14th August 2015 at 10:26.
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Old 14th August 2015, 10:25   #8
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A big step, only let down by not offering Titanium (O) in AT and no ABS for <Titanium variants.

When they have gone so far to offer these features, the next step should be to offer them as options from the mid variant and upwards.

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.

Last edited by kiku007 : 14th August 2015 at 10:36.
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Old 14th August 2015, 10:52   #9
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Default re: Sub-15 lakh cars with 6 Airbags in India

VW and Ford must be appreciated for keeping dual airbags standard even on their base offerings. I wish they should also add ABS as standard across all variants and set the benchmark for others to follow.
Ford raised the bar by providing 6 Airbags in a car below 10L price point. Toyota must learn from them, there are no side and curtain airbags even on top end Corolla. Shocking!
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Old 14th August 2015, 11:02   #10
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Default re: Sub-15 lakh cars with 6 Airbags in India

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)

Yes i sincerely hope the Figo hatch also gets these (at least on the top spec)

I don't know if this move will set the charts on fire, that requires some change in the mentality of our customers too about crash safety, nevertheless this gesture will get the good will of Indian customers. Now please Ford and Ford managers who are reading this, in case it doesnt justify your sales numbers, please do not take it off ( a la Hyundai on the i20). Atleast let those who want it and are willing to pay for it have it.


Just some interesting Trivia :

Honda : Has Brio, Amaze,Mobilio, Jazz , Honda City and the CRV on sale in India. ONLY the CRV gets more than 2 airbags.

Maruti : Does not offer more than 2 airbags on any of its models.

Chevrolet : Only the Cruze and the Captiva gets extra protection. Captiva gets full front,side and curtain airbags, whereas the Cruze gets only 4, front-side and Front airbags ( but it does have side impact beams).

Mahindra : Offers 6 airbags from W8 variant of the XUV500 plus side impact beams. None of their other vehicles get ( may the Rexton does)

Hyundai : Offers 6 airbags on the Verna(top end) , Creta (top end) and the Elantra, Santa Fe. (No mention of side impact beams on the Creta or the Verna)

Renault : Offers full 6 airbags only on the Koleos. The Fluence get 4 like the Cruze. The duster/Scala also deserved it atleast in the top spec - missed opportunity

Volkswagen /Skoda : Polo, Cross Polo and Vento get only 2 ( but standard across all variants). Only the Jetta gets 6 airbags ( but standard on all its 3 variants- unlike the Octavia). Octavia ( only on top variant) Superb and Yeti gets 6 airbags. Rapid gets 2 like the Vento.

Toyota : Offers 2 as standard on almost all of its products. But neither the Innova , Corolla nor the 30 L Fortuner gets 6 airbags ( they get only 2 !!). But the Camry and Prado gets 7 airbags.

Tata : Off all its products - just the "Aria" on the top end got 6 airbags, guess they should have offered it on the Safari too.

Ford : Fiesta classic, Figo and New fiesta get only 2 airbags, Eco sport and Aspire get 6 ( on top end)

Lets hope every manufacturer gives full safety ( ABS, ESC, EBD, 6 airbags, side impact protection, rear wiper/defogger) atleast on one variant in every car of theirs - wishful thinking may be.
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Old 14th August 2015, 11:04   #11
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Default re: Sub-15 lakh cars with 6 Airbags in India

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.

Indian highways and power of vehicles increased many fold in the last 10 - 15 years. But unfortunately the safety features kind of remained with the Ambassador and Premier Padmini standards

Last edited by RSimonS : 14th August 2015 at 11:07.
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Old 14th August 2015, 11:23   #12
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Default Re: Sub-15 lakh cars with 6 Airbags in India

Quote:
Originally Posted by RSR View Post
Airbags and affordability


Mahindra XUV5OO 2.2 mHawk W8 6 MT - 14,40,461 (also gets ESP, RM, HH & HDC)
Thanks RSR for this thread.
I am surprised that the only Desi manufacturer in this list is Mahindra and not Maruti/Suzuki.
Hope they will learn about growing awareness on safety in India and offer affordable safe options/models on their cars here.

Last edited by Acharya : 14th August 2015 at 11:30.
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Old 14th August 2015, 11:25   #13
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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
A big step, only let down by not offering Titanium (O) in AT and no ABS for <Titanium variants.
Even though the Titanium (O) in not available in AT, the AT Titanium has 6 Air bags and ABS from the higher version.

Rahul
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Old 14th August 2015, 11:30   #14
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Default Re: Sub-15 lakh cars with 6 Airbags in India

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.

Follow our used car checklist to the T and you should be safe. Ask me, I'm already a happy owner of my 5th pre-worshipped ride .
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Old 14th August 2015, 12:01   #15
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Quote:
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.

Follow our used car checklist to the T and you should be safe. Ask me, I'm already a happy owner of my 5th pre-worshipped ride .

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. These cars may be cheaper to buy when they get into 15 lakh range in used car market (read buyable by a average Indian customer who can put A maximum of 15 lakh) but the insurance,spare parts replacement etc with no doubt create a crater in his pocket.
But having said that,the comparison of i20 and swift is a viable option to the customer prioritising the term AFFORDABILITY.
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