Suzuki’s latest-generation Swift, which was introduced to South Africa in June, fell short of expectations in its Global NCAP crash test, with an adult occupant rating of just two stars.

Global NCAP tested the Indian-made version of the Swift, which is exported to South Africa, and said the two-star rating was the result of high compression to the driver chest, an unstable structure and poor protection for the driver’s feet.

The organisation also gave the Swift two stars for child protection due to the forward facing positioning of the 18 month old dummy in the test.

Global NCAP also noted that compared to the European market version of the Swift, which achieved between three and four stars in the Euro NCAP tests depending on which option pack was fitted, the Indian-market lacks safety features, such as side and curtain airbags as well as traction control.

The Indian market Swift is fitted with dual front airbags, but there is no ABS braking - a feature that is thankfully fitted to the South African models exported from there.

“The latest version of the Swift sold in India has improved and it is good to see dual airbags as standard,” said Global NCAP Secretary General David Ward.

“This confirms the beneficial effect of the Indian Government’s new crash test regulations. But the performance of the Swift sold in Europe and Japan shows that a better safety performance is still possible so Global NCAP would like to see Maruti Suzuki aim higher.”

IOL Motoring