Global NCAP just did a crash test on the new Maruti Suzuki Alto K10. It got a 2-star safety rating for protecting adults and a 0-star safety rating for protecting children. This is one of the first crash tests that Global NCAP has done this year. The Maruti Wagon R and the Volkswagen Virtus and Skoda Slavia are also in this group. The model we tested was made in India for the Indian market. It came with standard dual front airbags, seat belt pre-tensioners, and front seat belt reminders.
This is not the first time Alto has been tested by Global NCAP, though. The previous-generation Alto 800 was one of the first cars to be tested by the vehicle safety watchdog under the Safer Cars for India program, and it scored 0 stars for adult production and 2 stars for child occupancy, though under a much older protocol.
Maruti Alto K10 Global NCAP: adult occupant protection explained
The 2023 Alto K10 got 21.67 points out of a possible 34 points for protecting adult occupants. It got 8.2 points in a frontal offset deformable barrier test and 12.4 points in a side moving deformable barrier test.
In the frontal impact test, GNCAP said that the Alto K10 did a good job of protecting the driver’s and passenger’s head and neck, but it did a fair job of protecting their chests. The knees of the driver and passenger were only partially or not at all protected because they could touch dangerous parts behind the dashboard. In the side impact test, the protection for the head and pelvis was good. The protection for the abdomen was good, but the protection for the chest was bad.
Global NCAP also said that both the footwell area and the bodyshell were stable and could handle more weight. It did not, however, test the Alto K10’s side pole impact because it does not have side airbags.
The Alto K10 also doesn’t come with Electronic Stability Control (ESC) as standard, so it wasn’t tested for safety assist systems either. Lastly, it does not meet the UN127 or GTR9 rules for protecting pedestrians.
Explaining child safety in the Maruti Alto K10 Global NCAP
When it came to keeping children safe, the Alto K10 only got 3.52 out of a possible 49 points. This only includes the CRS (child restraint system) installation score, since it got 0 points for the dynamic score.
The Alto K10 was tested with a dummy of a 3-year-old child sitting in a forward-facing child seat with an adult seatbelt. The seatbelt wasn’t able to stop the child from moving too far forward during the crash, putting the child’s head at high risk. The 18-month-old dummy child was tested in rear-facing child seats with adult seatbelts. The head was well protected, but the chest was not.
The Alto doesn’t come with three-point seat belts for all five passengers, and it also doesn’t have CRSs, which are highly recommended. It also doesn’t have standard ISOFIX anchorages on any of the seats, which is part of the reason why it has a low rating for child safety.
.@Maruti_Corp declined to nominate a Child Restraint System. The lack of three point belts in all seating positions and the lack of standard airbag disabling for a rear facing CRS in the front explain the zero score for child protection.
— GlobalNCAP (@GlobalNCAP) April 4, 2023
Even though Alto got a low score in the Global NCAP crash tests, it’s important to remember that the hatchback is aimed at the cheaper end of the market and comes with the standard features for that segment. Also important, the body shell was rated as stable and even able to handle more loads.
In fact, this is better than some of Maruti’s more expensive and larger models, like the Swift and Ignis, which both have a 1-star rating and an unstable body shell according to newer, stricter standards. The Alto is one of Maruti’s newer cars, unlike the Swift or Ignis, which have been around for a long time.
This shows that Maruti has made safety improvements, even in their most affordable model. But features like ESC, ISOFIX anchorages, and more airbags should have been standard, or at least available on the higher-spec trims.