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Old 18th September 2009, 12:53   #16
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1) Depends upon pocket. A person buying an Alto will go in for AC variant rather than ABS ( if ABS is offered as an option in the most basic Alto ). It ends on the pocket.

2) ABS actually increases braking distance in wet, snow, sand, where ever the friction is low. On dry road and high friction surface like expresshigway, ABS is very nice. ABS helps keep the car in control by avoiding wheel lock. ABS + airbags are necessary if one drives on highway. We missed ABS in Baleno after we had a minor crash way back. http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/street...ely-small.html

This is a situation where ABS would have helped.

In city driving where we need to stop immediately irrespective of surface, ABS is not that much of a necessity, but if there is any hint of car hitting highway, ABS and Airbags are a must, no second thoughts here.

IMHO, atleast ABS should be offered as an option to all cars, irrespective of version. I mean even M800 non AC version must have an option for ABS. ABS helps and there is no doubt on this.
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Old 18th September 2009, 13:01   #17
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Absolutely YES!, if the safety of you and your family is very important to you.
You will figure out the difference of not having ABS when you have driven a car with ABS and have braked on slippery surfaces.

Airbags can be a life saver, something that you would never want to experience though.

Recently I got an i10 and I decided that since it is only for city driving the sportz model is good enough. However there are many a times I regret that I should have opeted for the Asta.

I feel more safe and confident when I driving my other car that has both of these safety features.
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Old 18th September 2009, 13:24   #18
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My thoughts are like this.

If you have the option for ABS and airbags for the money you are willing to spend on a car, yes, you must opt for them. If a car has no ABS, it is off my list, no matter what brand or what other redeeming qualities it has. Even if it is a Lamborghini Gallardo for 10L, it is off my list if it doesn't have ABS.

Airbags are slightly less important in my big list of Things A Car Must Have. But if I have an option for it, I'll take it, eyes closed. For example, I'm a strong believer that the only variant of the i20 that should have sales is the one with six airbags.

Airbags and seatbelts save lives in case of an accident. ABS helps you avoid accidents altogether.
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Old 18th September 2009, 13:31   #19
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Airbags are like a medical insurance that you pay for but may never use. But when in need, they can save your life. That perhaps has more value for a lot of people.

ABS is used more often (in fact every day) and they can save you from a lot of skidding, keep your car in a straight line, reduce unpredictability for other road users, perhaps reduce the nature and extent of car damage, and may even save your life or of other road users.

Some days back I had posted a report on ABS which is here:


Last edited by vasudeva : 18th September 2009 at 13:40.
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Old 18th September 2009, 13:46   #20
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I avoid cars without ABS and airbags,though ABS rarely cuts in when i drive.
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Old 18th September 2009, 13:51   #21
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Nice to see an overwhelming response.

I am getting to see a variety of thinking around. After reading the replies above, I feel that having ABS & Airbags as he deciding factor is a matter of personal choice. Some of the friends strictly want an ABS without any compromise and some of them will go for a car if they like it irrespective of if it has ABS or not.

Also, I think at times the lines got a little blur. The line between "Should we have ABS" and "Should ABS be the deciding factor". If a particular car gives ABS even if at a higher price then I will definitely go for it. No second thoughts about it. But, then if I like a car and it doesn't have ABS then I will still go for that car since it takes care of my other requirements.

I'll honest here. My deciding factor was the spacious cabin. Fortunately or unfortunately, Vista is the one that provides me that. I really pushed myself hard to finalise some other car. I wanted to finalize something from Maruti but then even after pushing hard I somehow could not convince myself.

The question boils down to the kind of trade off you can do. And I believe its not just ABS or Airbags, it just the whole crunch while buying a car. How much you can live with the negative aspects. And there is nothing perfect. And each of us have our own way of deciding these parameters. Moreover with safety features like ABS & Airbags, one should not compromise if the pocket and the variant permits.
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Old 18th September 2009, 14:28   #22
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Hi Leonard,

You have posed a tough question.

In my opinion, it all depends on your own priorities.

The fact that you have been driving for past so many years without ABS and airbags does not necessarily justify the absence of ABS/Airbags in your next car. Because the concepts of safety, the traffic on roads, frequency of accidents, technology and availability are all different now than a few years back. For example, very few in India bothered to use seat belts in 80's, now many do (atleast in the Metros).

When I chose my new car recently, presence of these features was a big requirement for me. The other factors are important too, but for me they came later. Thats because a) I have seen these being useful even in city accidents b)More importantly, even if one takes the vehicle on highways rarely, IMHO, even one in ten thousand chance of these features saving an injury or life is worth more than the initial amount I would be paying to get a car with the features. c) Another factor to consider is that one can not get these fitted as aftermarket accessories even if I wished.
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Old 18th September 2009, 14:40   #23
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Leonerd, do you buy medical or life insurance? You should think of ABS in the same light provided you can afford it. If you can't afford it, then there is no debate. But if you were planning on using the money saved on a jazzier ICE or a holiday etc, that would be a mistake in my opinion. My next car will definitely have ABS.
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Old 18th September 2009, 22:39   #24
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Originally Posted by suman View Post
And, IIRC, in your case it was just impatience to get hold of the car that made you go in for the non ABS version
Nopes. The very issue that even after 60+ days of waiting, the direct contact (very senior production planner) was not even willing to commit delivery of ABS in any color over the next 40-60 days was what killed it for me.

Of course, it was diesel blindness which turned me away from the very competent and awesome i10 1.2!!
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Old 19th September 2009, 06:01   #25
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Here's my prespective.
Back then
- My family has owned Fiats, Maruti's and Tata's.
- I have had my shares of days of driving like a maniac, fortunately never to have got into an accident. But overall, my family has.
- No total losses yet but certain some serious damage at times. No ABS or Airbags.

- Now I have a family, most importantly a daughter.
- Owned a Camry in the US. V6 XLS fully loaded model. All 4 disc brakes.
- Although my driving patterns changed to be more docile, there are always moments when I think I am in a F1 driver. My daughter at times will say I am too fast, wavy.
- While travelling long distances, there have been umpteens unforseens hard braking required where I knew I could trust my Camry. Couldn't say the same thing when I would rent a Chevy Town and Country, Hyundai Santa Fe but still better with front discs and rear drums.

Point is
Now that I am back, I looked for nothing less that ABS and Airbag variants of the car which mostly means top end variants. I drive 50% on highways and 50% in the city.

My heart wanted the Linea so bad but since the MJD E+ was darn expensive for me, opted for the Punto MJD E+. Nothing without Airbags and ABS for me going forward in my lifetime.

You may chose to put a price tag for your life, but most certainly not your co-passengers. Family changes perspective. With options available on almost all cars sold today, I would recommend go for a segment lower but dont compromise on these utmost necessary safety features. Else stretch your budget.
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Old 19th September 2009, 06:36   #26
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Default Decision between Verna vs Linea(Airbags made the difference)

Hi All,

I have a booked a Linea emotion pack MJD. One of the deciding factor was that the airbags was available in the Linea, but not in a Verna top end model
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Old 19th September 2009, 17:48   #27
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India has the highest road fatality ratios worldwide. We don't drive on regular highways, they are lethal widow-makers. In consideration of this all too important fact, informed car buyers and ALL Team-BHPians must only buy new cars with the ABS / Airbag option. These two crucial safety devices can make the difference between life & death.

Our Govt took a fantastic initiative by making seatbelts mandatory a couple of years back. It's the turn of ABS now.
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Old 19th September 2009, 23:02   #28
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my one word answer 'yes'
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Old 19th September 2009, 23:27   #29
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Tough question, really. Obviously a car with ABS and airbags is better but if you don't have those as options for your car, it can be extremely hard to decide what to do. Try to get those two in but if you can't, don't worry too much about it. Belt up and drive carefully. That itself can make a huge difference.
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Old 19th September 2009, 23:29   #30
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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Our Govt took a fantastic initiative by making seatbelts mandatory a couple of years back. It's the turn of ABS now.
What is implementation of the law ? In my city that has highest no. of cars per 1000 humans in Gujarat, this law is a waste.
Next about ABS, IMHO the first thing we need is some grey cells. I am not against ABS, but its too much to ask for to make it mandatory. We have to get the initials correct.
Even good tyres are required for ABS to play its intended role. But reality is that most of the cars run tyres till they get bald. The taxi cars running, mostly Tavera, Innova, Qualis, Sumo and Indica, have tyres that are close to being non existent. Most of private cars are no different.
Technically ABS will actually increase braking distance if the tyres are in bad shape. Already most of the driver's in India have poor judgment and have poor reaction times, adding ABS can actually lead to more accidents.

What we need first if not ABS/Airbags, its better headlights, crash testing as per EuroNCAP standards and then these active safety features.
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