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Top 16 Safest Cars in India 2020 With Global NCAP Rating

Team AckoDec 6, 2021

If you are shopping for a new sedan, hatchback or Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV), you can take comfort in knowing that today’s cars are much safer than ever before. What was once perceived to be a luxury, safety features such as airbags, ISOFIX mounts, sturdy structural integrity, driver assistance features, etc., are being offered by manufacturers on most cars in India. These safety features are designed to absorb the impact efficiently during an accident or even prevent a crash altogether.

We have outlined the top safest cars in India with a Global New Car Assessment Programme (GNCAP) rating.

Top 16 Safest Cars in India 2020 With Global NCAP Rating

Top 16 safest cars in India with Global NCAP rating

Of the 16 models listed here, 5-star rating cars in India include the newly launched Tata Punch, Mahindra XUV300, Tata Altroz, Tata Nexon and Mahindra XUV700.

Here is the list of the safest cars in India, along with their GNCAP rating.

Sl.No. Car GNCAP Rating with Adult Occupant Protection (AOP) score of the maximum 17 points
1 Tata Punch 5 stars (16.45)
2 Mahindra XUV300 5 stars (16.42)
3 Tata Altroz 5 stars (16.13)
4 Tata Nexon 5 stars (16.06)
5 Mahindra XUV700 5 stars (16.03)
6 Mahindra Marazzo 4 stars (12.85)
7 Volkswagen Polo 4 stars (12.54)
8 Mahindra Thar 4 stars (12.52)
9 Tata Tigor 4 stars (ICE - 12.52/EV - 12)
10 Tata Tiago 4 stars (12.52)
11 Maruti Suzuki Brezza 4 stars (12.51)
12 Renault Triber 4 stars (11.62)
13 Ford Aspire/Figo 3 stars (10.49)
14 Maruti Suzuki Ertiga 3 stars (9.25)
15 Renault Duster 3 stars (9.00)
16 Kia Seltos 3 stars (8.03)

What is Global NCAP?

The Global NCAP or GNCAP is a voluntary project by a UK-registered charity. The program’s primary aim is to promote vehicle crash testing and reporting in upcoming markets worldwide. The vehicle safety rating system rate different types of four-wheelers based on their crashworthiness.

The program tests vehicles through front offset and side-impact collision. In the system of Global NCAP rating for Indian cars, vehicles are driven at 64 kmph into a barrier to check the crashworthiness of the car. The test is categorised into Adult Occupant Protection (AOP) and Child Occupant Protection (COP), and each category is rated based on the vehicle’s safety performance. 

What are the different scores under Global NCAP?

The score of Global NCAP is classified into star ratings. The safest cars are rated 5 stars, while unsafe cars are rated lower based on their safety performance. There are two primary categories that GNCAP rates a car.

  • Adult Occupant Protection (AOP): The score is based on the frontal and lateral impact and whiplash tests. The test is performed to find out the protection of the adult driver and front passenger.

  • Child Occupant Protection (COP): The score is based on the stability provided by the child restraint systems in the side-impact and frontal collision.

List of safest cars in India

Here is the list of GNCAP rated safest cars in India, along with the list of 5-star safety rating cars in India.

1. Tata Punch (GNCAP rating: 5 stars)

The Tata Punch is an entry-level SUV from Tata Motors. It is popularly categorised as a micro-SUV segment. The vehicle competes in the premium hatchback segment, however, with an SUV appeal. 

Tata Motors has ensured that even the tiny Punch meets higher safety standards. The Tata Punch is new to the list of safest cars in India; with a 5-star rating in the AOP category, it scored an impressive 16.45 out of the maximum 17 points. The vehicle also impressed in the COP category with a 4-star rating of 40.89 out of the maximum 49 points.

The Tata Punch comes fitted with two airbags, 4-channel ABS, ISOFIX anchorage for child occupant protection, etc. 

Tata Punch crash test results

Category Star rating
Adult protection 5 stars
Child protection 4 stars

Tata Punch safety features

  • Dual airbags

  • ABS and EBD with brake sway control

  • ISOFIX anchorages

  • Reverse parking camera

  • Front fog lamps with cornering function

  • Auto headlamps

  • Rain sensing wipers

  • Rear defogger

2. Mahindra XUV300 (GNCAP rating: 5 stars)

The Mahindra XUV300 is the first vehicle from the Mahindra to receive a 5-star rating from GNCAP. The compact SUV comes loaded with safety features, including six airbags in the top variant. 

The XUV300 received a 5-star rating in the AOP category with a score of 16.42 out of the maximum 17 points. The vehicle scored a 4-star rating in the COP category with 37.44 out of the maximum 49 points.

Mahindra XUV300 crash test results

Category Star rating
Adult protection 5 stars
Child protection 4 stars

Mahindra XUV300 safety features

  • Six airbags

  • All four disc brakes

  • Front parking sensors

  • Electronic Stability Program (ESP)

  • ABS and EBD with cornering function

  • Front and rear fog lamps

  • ISOFIX anchorage

  • Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)

  • Seat belt reminder

  • Rear defogger

  • Panic Braking Signal

  • Hill Start Assist

  • Anti-theft alarm

  • Speed-sensing door lock

  • Impact sensing door unlock

  • Immobiliser

3. Tata Altroz (GNCAP rating: 5 stars)

Tata Altroz is the first premium hatchback to receive a 5-star rating from the Global NCAP. The Tata Altroz is also a fully engineered car in India to receive the safety award from the agency, making it one of the safest premium hatchbacks in India. The crash test results of the Tata Altroz revealed that there is good protection for adult occupants seated at the front protected by airbags in the frontal crash test. Some of the safety features of the Tata Altroz include dual front airbags, ABS with EBD, ISOFIX mounts, among others.

Tata Altroz crash test results

Category Star rating
Adult protection 5 stars
Child protection 3 stars

Tata Altroz safety features

  • Dual Front Airbags

  • ABS with EBD

  • Corner Stability Control (CSC)

  • Reverse Parking Camera

  • ISOFIX Mounts

  • Voice Alerts

  • Parking Assistance

  • Height Adjustable Seat Belt

  • Fog Lamps

4. Tata Nexon (GNCAP rating: 5 stars)

Tata Nexon was the first made-in-India vehicle to receive the much-coveted 5-star rating from the Global NCAP. The Nexon was crash-tested by the agency and the SUV scored 16.06 points out of the maximum of 17 points for the adult occupant protection category, which gave the Tata Nexon the 5-star rating. The Tata Nexon also scored 25 points out of the possible 49 points in the child occupant protection category. The Nexon’s safety features include dual airbags at the front, ABS with EBD, among others.

Tata Nexon crash test results

Category Star Rating
Adult Protection 5 Stars
Child Protection 3 Stars

Tata Nexon safety features

  • Dual Front Airbags

  • ESP

  • Electronic Traction Control

  • Emergency Brake Assist

  • Hill Hold Assist

  • Brake Disc Wiping

  • ABS with EBD

  • ISOFIX Mounts

  • Reverse Parking Assist Camera

5. Mahindra XUV700 (GNCAP rating: 5 stars)

Mahindra XUV700 is the second SUV from the manufacturer to be awarded a 5-star rating by the GNCAP. The vehicle received a 5-star rating for AOP with a score of 16.03 of the maximum 17 points and a 4-star rating in the COP category with 41.66 of the maximum 49 points. 

The SUV was found to offer good protection to the driver and passenger’s head, neck, chest and knees. The model tested was equipped with two airbags, ISOFIX anchorage, ABS, and seatbelt pre-tensioners. 

Mahindra XUV700 crash test results

Category Star rating
Adult protection 5 stars
Child protection 4 stars

Mahindra XUV700 safety features

  • Seven airbags

  • ABS

  • ESP

  • Driver drowsiness detection

  • Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS)

    • Forward Collision Warning

    • Autonomous Emergency Brakes

    • Adaptive Cruise Control

    • Lane Keep Assist

    • Smart Pilot Assist

  • Auto high-beam assist and booster headlights

  • Personalised Safety Alerts

6. Mahindra Marazzo (GNCAP rating: 4 stars)

One of the few MPVs in the market, the Mahindra Marazzo is also among the top 5 safest cars in India. The Marazzo scored 4 stars in the adult occupant protection category and two stars in the child occupant protection category despite featuring ISOFIX mounts. Some of the safety features of the Mahindra Marazzo include airbags, ISOFIX mounts, ABS with EBD, among others. Mahindra Marazzo crash test results

CategoryStar Rating Star Rating
Adult Protection 4 Stars
Child Protection 2 Stars

Mahindra Marazzo safety features

  • Dual Front Airbags

  • Disc Brakes on All Wheels

  • ABS with EBD

  • ISOFIX Mounts

  • Rear Parking Camera and Sensors

  • Cornering Lamps

7. Volkswagen Polo (GNCAP rating: 4 stars)

The German carmakers’ Volkswagen Polo scored an impressive 4-stars in the adult occupant protection category with 12.54 points out of the possible 17. As for the child occupant protection category, the VW Polo scored 29.91 points from a maximum of 49 points. The Volkswagen Polo gets safety features such as airbags, ABS, among others.

Volkswagen Polo Liva crash test results

Category Star Rating
Adult Protection 4 Stars
Child Protection 3 Stars

Volkswagen Polo safety features

  • Dual Front Airbags

  • ABS

  • Rain-Sensing Wipers

  • Speed-Sensing Door Locks

  • Rear Parking Sensors

  • Rear Windshield Washer and Wiper

  • Rear Defogger

8. Mahindra Thar (GNCAP rating: 4 stars)

Mahindra Thar is a lifestyle SUV with off-road capabilities that is also a safe vehicle. The GNCAP awarded Mahindra Thar a 4-star rating in the AOP category with a score of 12.52 of the maximum 17 points, and it was rated 4 stars in the COP category with a score of 41.11 of the maximum 49 points. As per the test, the Thar offered good protection for the driver and passenger’s chest.

Mahindra Thar crash test results

Category Star rating
Adult protection 4 stars
Child protection 4 stars

Mahindra Thar safety features

  • Dual airbags

  • ABS and ESP

  • Interior roll cage

  • Hill Hold Assist

  • ISOFIX anchorage

  • Rear Parking Assist System

9. Tata Tigor (GNCAP rating: 4 stars)

Tata Motors’ another product which scored 4-stars is the Tiago. Both the tested vehicles are of the facelifted versions. Under the adult occupant protection category, the Tiago/Tigor scored 4-stars. While the car does not feature the ISOFIX mounts for the child protection category, it still managed to score 3-stars. The Tata Tiago/Tigor offers several safety features such as airbags, ABS with EBD, among others.

Tata Tigor crash test results

Category Star Rating
Adult Protection 4 Stars
Child Protection 3 Stars

Tata Tigor safety features

  • Dual Front Airbags

  • ABS with EBD

  • Corner Stability Control

  • Rear Parking Sensors and Camera

  • Follow Me Home Lamps

  • Speed Sensitive Auto Door Locking

  • Rear Wash Wiper (Tiago) with Defogger

10. Tata Tiago (GNCAP rating: 4 stars)

Tata Motors’ another product which scored 4-stars is the Tiago. Both the tested vehicles are of the facelifted versions. Under the adult occupant protection category, the Tiago scored 4-stars. While the car does not feature the ISOFIX mounts for the child protection category, it still managed to score 3-stars. The Tata Tiago offers several safety features such as airbags, ABS with EBD, among others.

Category Star rating
Adult protection 4 stars
Child protection 3 stars

Tata Tiago Safety Features:

  • Dual Front Airbags

  • ABS with EBD

  • Corner Stability Control

  • Rear Parking Sensors and Camera

  • Follow Me Home Lamps

  • Speed Sensitive Auto Door Locking

  • Rear Wash Wiper (Tiago) with Defogger

11. Maruti Suzuki Brezza (GNCAP rating: 4 stars)

The Maruti Brezza scored 4 stars at the Global NCAP crash tests making it one of the safest Maruti cars in India. While it scored well in the adult protection category, the test results under the child protection category are marginal. Some of the safety features of the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza include airbags, ABS with EBD, ISOFIX mounts, among others.

Category Star Rating
Adult Protection 4 Stars
Child Protection 2 Stars

Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza safety features

  • Dual Front Airbags

  • ABS with EBD

  • Reverse Parking Camera and Sensors

  • Hill Hold Assist

  • ISOFIX Mounts

  • High-Speed Warning Alert

  • Rear Wiper and Washer

  • Seatbelt Reminder for Front Passengers

12. Renault Triber (GNCAP rating: 4 stars)

The Renault Triber is the first vehicle from the manufacturer to be rated with 4 stars by the GNCAP. The test revealed that the 7-seater Multi-Purpose Vehicle (MPV) from Renault offered good protection to the driver and front passenger’s neck, head and knees. 

In the AOP category, the MPV was rated 4 stars with a score of 11.62 of the maximum 17 points, while in the COP category, the MPV was rated 3-stars with a score of 27 of the maximum 49 points, despite not being equipped with ISOFIX anchorage.

Renault Triber crash test results

Category Star rating
Adult protection 4 stars
Child protection 3 stars

Renault Triber Safety features

  • 4 airbags

  • ABS and EBD

  • Speed Alert Warning

  • Rear Parking Sensor

  • Pedestrian Protection

  • Load Limiter and pre-tensioners (driver only)

  • Speed Sensing Door Lock

  • Impact Sensing Door Unlock

13. Ford Aspire (GNCAP rating: 3 stars)

The Ford Aspire caters to the sub-compact sedan segment which scored 3-stars under the adult occupant protection category with 10.49 points against the maximum of 17. As for the child occupant protection category, the Ford Aspire scored 2-stars with 14.22 points out of the possible 49. The Ford Aspire comes with safety features such as dual airbags, ABS with EBD, etc.

Ford Aspire crash test results

Category Star Rating
Adult Protection 3 Stars
Child Protection 2 Stars

Ford Figo/Aspire safety features

  • Driver and Passenger Airbags

  • Rear Parking Camera and Sensors

  • ABS with EBD

  • Driver and Passenger Seatbelt Reminder

  • High-Speed Sensing Alert System

  • Side and Curtain Airbags

  • Door Ajar Warning

  • Perimeter Alarm

14. Maruti Suzuki Ertiga (GNCAP rating: 3 stars)

One of India’s best-selling MPV, the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga scored 3-stars in the adult occupant protection category with a score of 9.25 for a maximum of 17 points. In the child protection category, the Ertiga scored 3-stars with a score of 25.16 over 49. The Maruti Ertiga includes safety features such as airbags, driver seat belt reminder, ABS with EBD, etc.

Maruti Suzuki Ertiga crash test results

Category Star Rating
Adult Protection 3 Stars
Child Protection 3 Stars

Maruti Suzuki Ertiga safety features

  • Dual Front Airbags

  • ABS with EBD

  • Hill Hold Assist

  • Electronic Stability Program

  • ISOFIX Mounts

  • High Speed Alert System

  • Speed Sensitive Auto Door Lock

  • Rear Parking Camera and Sensors

15. Renault Duster (GNCAP rating: 3 stars)

One of the first compact SUVs in India, Renault Duster scored 3-stars with 9 points out of maximum 17 in the adult occupant protection category. In the child occupant protection category, the Renault Duster scored 17.75 points out of the maximum of 49 winning 2-stars. The safety features in the Renault Duster include airbags, ABS with EBD, Brake Assist, among others.

Renault Duster crash test results

Category Star Rating
Adult Protection 3 Stars
Child Protection 2 Stars

Renault Duster safety features

  • Dual Front Airbags

  • ABS with EBD

  • ESP

  • Hill-Start Assist

  • Pedestrian Protection

16. Kia Seltos (GNCAP rating: 3 stars)

Kia Motors' first offering in India, the Seltos SUV, was rated 3 stars in the AOP category by the GNCAP. The Kia Seltos is one of the highest-selling midsize SUVs in the country, with over 1 lakh units being sold within a year of its launch in September 2019. 

The agency used the HTE variant of the Kia Seltos for crash testing that is not equipped with all the safety features that higher variants boast of. 

The SUV scored 3 stars in the AOP category with a score of 8.03 of the maximum 17 points. In the COP category, the Kia Seltos scored 2 stars with 15 points of the maximum 49 points.

Kia Seltos crash test result

Category Star rating
Adult protection 3 stars
Child protection 2 stars

Kia Seltos safety features

  • Six airbags

  • ESC/ABS/VSM/HAC

  • All-wheel disc brakes

  • Tyre pressure monitor

  • Rearview camera with guidance

  • Driving rearview monitor

  • Rain sensing wipers

  • Traction modes (sand/mud/wet)

  • Front parking sensors

  • 360-degree camera

  • Blind view monitor

  • ABS with EBD

Top 5 safest SUVs in India

Here are the top 5 safest SUVs in India based on the GNCAP rating.

  • Tata Punch

  • Mahindra XUV300

  • Tata Nexon

  • Mahindra XUV700

  • Mahindra Thar

Also, read: Car Insurance for SUVs

Top 5 safest hatchbacks in India

Here are the top 5 hatchbacks in India based on the GNCAP rating.

Safest cars in India under Rs. 10 lakhs

Here are the safest cars and SUVs in India under Rs. 10 lakhs (ex-showroom).

  • Tata Punch

  • Mahindra XUV300

  • Tata Altroz

  • Tata Nexon

  • Volkswagen Polo

Why are safety ratings necessary for cars?

The structure of a car or SUV and its safety features can help decrease the intensity of or even avoid an accident with others. Car safety features have evolved over the years with advancements in structural integrity, better crumple zones, airbags and seat belts. 

Safety ratings by programmes such as GNCAP offer an insight into the safety aspects of a vehicle. Here are some of the reasons why car safety ratings in India is important for buyers.

  • Provides an insight into how safe vehicles are likely to be.

  • Provides a realistic and independent assessment of the safety performance of a car.

  • Buyers can make an informed decision based on the protection a car offers.

General safety features to consider while buying a car

Here are some of the important safety features that you should consider while purchasing a car.

  • Dual airbags

  • ABS with EBD

  • Structural rigidity

  • ESP (Electronic Stability Program)

  • Three-point seat belt with pre-tensioners

  • Reverse parking sensors/camera

Frequently asked questions

Here are some of the common questions about safety rating and its importance.

Which cars have a 5-star rating in India?

As per the Global NCAP rating, cars in India with the highest 5-star ratings are Tata Punch, Mahindra XUV300, Tata Altroz, Tata Nexon and the Mahindra XUV700. Keep in mind that the list might change every time the agency tests a new vehicle.

Which Indian cars have passed the Global NCAP crash test?

The crash test done by the GNCAP is not to assess the car if it has passed the test or not. However, it does provide star ratings from zero to a maximum of five based on its crashworthiness.

What is the function of ABS and EBD?

ABS or Anti-lock Braking System detects loss of traction to a wheel and stops it from locking up, while EBD or Electronic Brake Control offers the right amount of braking for each wheel.

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