The Suzuki S-Presso came to market early in 2020 and is now a common sight on South Africa’s roads, but just how safe is the quirky budget car in the event of a front offset collision at 64 kph? Not very safe at all, especially for children, as revealed by the latest test crash results! If you have a young family and are considering the budget-friendly S-Presso, you might want to look at other options.
For the record, the S-Presso is equipped with 2 airbags and ABS with EBD. Note that electronic stability control is not fitted.
The latest #SaferCarsForAfrica crash test results conducted by Global NCAP and the AA have resulted in a 3-star score for adult occupant protection and a 2-star score for child occupant protection.
The tests were conducted under current test protocols as of 30 June 2022 and as of July 2022 new test protocols will include side-impact, Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and pedestrian protection requirements.
David Ward, Executive President of the Towards Zero Foundation said, “As our current test protocols end in Africa it is important to see manufacturers continue their commitment to high standards of vehicle safety. Some continue to do well but we remain disappointed with others. Sadly, Maruti Suzuki falls into this latter category, where the rhetoric on safety is not matched by the reality.”
The crash test results further highlighted the unstable performance of the S-Presso’s structure while driver’s chest weakness and low levels of child occupant protection (same as the Indian model) also came to the fore. The lack of ISOFIX mountings, three-point seatbelts and absence of a recommended Child Restraint System (CRS) contributed towards the poor score.
Alejandro Furas, Secretary-General of Global NCAP said, “The safety performance of the S-Presso in South Africa has been far from satisfactory and claims of improvement are not reflected in levels of child occupant protection which remain the same as the Indian version we tested in 2020. There has been significant progress with vehicle safety in the Indian market with a welcome requirement for the fitment of six airbags as standard. We hope that Maruti Suzuki will not apply a double standard for the vehicles they sell in Africa compared to those sold in India.”
Willem Groenewald, CEO of the AASA said, “While the adult occupancy result for the S-Presso is encouraging there is room for improvement, especially in relation to the child protection rating. The safety of motorists in South Africa is critical. We welcome the visible efforts by manufacturers in this regard and urge them to continue investing in this important facet of their production.”
Since publishing this article, Suzuki South Africa has provided the following comment regarding the latest crash test results, “As a brand that provides affordable, reliable and safe vehicles in South Africa, we are encouraged by the 3-star (adult occupant) Crash Test rating of the South African S-Presso. The S-Presso is one of the most affordable vehicles in South Africa and offers better safety, affordability and features compared to its budget-segment competitors. In line with Suzuki’s commitment to continuous safety enhancement, the S-Presso will join three other Suzuki models (the Celerio, Swift and Dzire) as the only vehicles equipped with ESP and ISOFIX below the R200 000 price point in future model updates.”