Motoring Correspondent
3 minute read
30 Jun 2022
11:48 am

Here are Global NCAP’s safest cars in Africa, and several that are not so safe (at all)

Motoring Correspondent

The campaign has tested 19 cars since being introduced five years ago.

Image of the Suzuki S-Presso being crash tested as part of Global NCAP #SaferCarsForAfrica. Image: Global NCAP

The Global NCAP’s list of the safest cars on the continent, under their #SaferCarsForAfrica campaign, has revealed some shockers, as well as some safety stalwarts making a return to the list.

The #SaferCarsForAfrica programme’s first results were launched in 2017, and the goal was the improvement of safety standards set for car manufacturers by governments.

Global NCAP and the Automobile Association have used the findings from these tests to lobby government’s regulatory bodies to increase standards and requirements for car makers.”

It is unclear how much has changed since the first results were released five years ago, but what is clear is that some manufacturers clearly take safety more seriously than others.

Which are the safest cars in Africa?

The safest car on the continent is once again the Mahindra XUV 300, which was the only one of the vehicles tested to score five stars for passenger safety, and four stars for child safety.

Several other popular family vehicles followed closely on the Mahindra, namely the Mazda2, Toyota Etios, Toyota Avanza and Honda Amaze, all of which scored four stars for adult protection, with varying levels of performance for that of children.

The three star list is even longer, with eight cars making the cut for adult protection. Once again, their protection of children varied and was in some cases severely lacking.

Surprisingly poor performance from a favourite

Under the origination’s #SaferCarsForAfrica campaign, the Suzuki S-Presso scored three stars, but only two for child safety with its structure being deemed “unstable” and the lack of ISOFIX mounting points a major factor in the reason for the latter’s performance.

The S-Presso’s performance comes on the back of the zero star rating awarded by NCAP’s #SaferCarsForIndia campaign in 2020, despite this model being fitted as standard with a driver’s airbag. Dual front cushions are offered across the S-Presso range in South Africa.

“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,” Global NCAP’s, Secretary General, Alejandro Furas said after the results’ reveal.

ALSO READ: Suzuki S-Presso hit with three-star Global NCAP rating

“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”.

With the latest ranking, the S-Presso joins a series of other models tested by Global NCAP to have achieved three stars, namely the previous generation Hyundai i20, Kia Picanto, Nissan Almera, Renault Sandero, Volkswagen Polo Vivo, the now discontinued Toyota Yaris and its Suzuki stablemate, the Ignis.

All these vehicles can rest slightly easier though, since despite their poor showing they are nowhere near as bad as the Chery QQ3, GWM Steed, and Nissan NP300 Hardbody, all of which came in with a scarily unsafe zero stars.

In order from bottom to top, here are cars tested by Global NCAP for #SaferCarsForAfrica since 2017:

Zero stars

  • Chery QQ3;
  • GWM Steed;
  • Nissan NP300 Hardbody

One star

  • Datsun Go+

Two stars

  • Renault Kwid
  • Haval H1

Three stars

  • Renault Sandero
  • Volkswagen Polo Vivo
  • Toyota Yaris
  • Nissan Almera
  • Kia Picanto
  • Hyundai i20
  • Suzuki S-Presso
  • Suzuki Ignis

Four stars

  • Mazda2
  • Toyota Etios
  • Toyota Avanza
  • Honda Amaze

Five stars

  • Mahindra XUV 300

Detailed findings for each model tested in the latest round can be found on