The 2015 Hyundai i20 scored 4 stars out of 5 in the Euro NCAP crash tests that took place recently. In contrast, the hatchback’s predecessor had got 5 stars in the same tests. The 2016 Skoda Superb scored an impressive 5 stars in the crash test while the Fiat Panda Cross performed poorly, getting 3 stars.
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The European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) assesses the safety of a car retailing in Europe. The Euro NCAP was founded in 1997 by the Transport Research Laboratory for the UK Department for Transport and is backed by various European governments including the European Union. The Euro NCAP crash tests are known to make or break a particular vehicle’s fortunes in the car market. The safety of India specific models including the Maruti Swift and the Datsun GO was left in question after both these models performed poorly in the Global NCAP crash tests.
The latest vehicle to be tested by Euro NCAP is the 2015 Hyundai i20 (GLS trim), which is called the Hyundai Elite i20 here in India. The model tested had a 1.2-litre petrol engine and weighed in at 1100 kgs. The i20 which is currently the segment leader in the premium hatchback space in India performed well in the tests, scoring 4 stars out of 5. The only region where the vehicle missed out on a star was in the side impact barrier and side pole test. According to the results, the rear edge of the curtain airbag was trapped by a part of the interior trim.
Kindly note that the Indian version does not get side curtain airbags and only gets two airbags up front. So if the India specific model was to be tested, the Elite i20 would most definitely have got less than 4 stars. The i20’s competitor, the Swift got 3 stars for the Z trim in India while the Indian Polo received 4 stars for all trims as all variants are equipped with dual airbags as standard.
Anyhow, the crash test result would not hamper the performance of the Hyundai Elite i20 as earning 4 stars is seen as a very good result too. However, it is interesting to note that the previous generation i20 scored five stars in the same test. The new Skoda Superb which will be launched in India next year was tested alongside the 2015 i20 and the luxury sedan was able to score a top-notch 5 stars in the same test. Meanwhile the Fiat Panda Cross scored a poor 3-stars which is unsatisfactory for a car coming from the Italian brand.