Jaco Van Der Merwe
Head of Motoring
3 minute read
9 Dec 2021
3:38 pm

WATCH: The best and the worst in #SaferCarsForAfrica crash tests

Jaco Van Der Merwe

While some of SA's favourites scored some decent results, it was Mahindra who came out tops in safety for both adults and children.

The Mazda 2 has achieved one of the highest crash test ratings in the #SaferCarsForAfrica programme.

The Mazda 2 scored four stars for adult occupancy and the Nissan Almera three in the latest round of #SaferCarsForAfrica crash test results conducted by Global NCAP and the Automobile Association (AA) of South Africa.

In addition to the adult occupancy ratings, both cars received three stars for children. Out of the 18 cars that have been crash tested since the start of the #SaferCarsForAfrica programme in 2017, the Almera sedan’s test results rate as average, with the Mazda hatch’s results slightly above average. Both are sold standard with two airbags in South Africa.

What was of concern to Global NCAP is seat failures in both cars during the crash tests which were conducted in a laboratory in Munich. In the case of the Almera, it was seat detachment and backrest failure in the case of the Mazda 2.

In the case of the Mazda 2, the official crash test report stated that: “driver seat backrest impact on driver’s back can increase risk of injuries,” while the footwell area was also rated as unstable.


In the crash test report for the Nissan Almera, the crash test report states that “driver seat partial detachment from the rail can increase risks of injuries”. It also says the footwell area and bodyshell were unstable and that the bodyshell “was not capable of withstanding further loadings”.

According to the AA, the seat failures did not have significant effects on the assessment ratings, which are based on injury criteria. but Global NCAP has raised them with each manufacturer in all urgency.

“Global NCAP calls on both car makers to review these failures as a matter of urgency,” said Alejandro Furas, Global NCAP Secretary General.

“We would also call on them to improve the basic safety offered in these models as standard, adding Electronic Stability Control (ESC), pedestrian protection and side body and head airbags as soon as possible.”   

ALSO READ: Cruel blow for Mahindra after XUV300’s 5-star safety rating

Willem Groenewald, CEO of AA South Africa, said that the organisation will continue to push for safer cars.

“The results of the fifth round of testing are encouraging, especially the four-star rating achieved by the Mazda 2. However, the results show there are still some safety deficiencies on vehicles available in South Africa and this should, again, serve as a marker to manufacturers and safety authorities of the need for improved basic safety features which should be offered as standard on all models available locally,” said Groenewald.

Out of the 18 cars that have been tested in the #SaferCarsForAfrica programme, the Mahindra XUV300 has performed the best. It achieved five stars for adult occupancy and four for children.

The #SaferCarsForAfrica programme currently tests frontal crash protection for occupants only. Side impact and pedestrian protection assessments will form part of Global NCAP’s future crash test protocols in Africa.

For more information on the crash tests results from the #SaferCarsForAfrica programme, click here.