The Automobile Association has published its Entry-Level Vehicle Safety Report for 2020, highlighting the budget cars with the best safety features in South Africa.
The 27 vehicles surveyed were evaluated against the number of active safety features they have including anti-lock braking systems, electronic stability control, and passive safety features such as airbags.
Points are awarded to vehicles for the existence of each of the active and passive safety features. Additional points are awarded to vehicles crash tested under the NCAP system, in this case Global NCAP’s #SaferCarsforAfrica programme.
The 27 vehicles were then categorised into three groups based on their safety ratings.
In terms of true safety points attained, points of 20 or less are considered as having ‘poor’ safety. Safety points between 20 and 50 can be considered as having ‘moderate’ safety, and safety points of 50 and above can be considered as having ‘acceptable’ safety.
In 2020, seven vehicles fall under the ‘poor safety’ category, 16 vehicles fall under the ‘moderate safety’ category, and ten vehicles fall under the ‘acceptable’ category.
Toyota (two cars), Volkswagen (one car), Kia (one car), Honda (one car) and Peugeot (one car) had all their entry-level vehicles score within the acceptable range.
The Peugeot 108 received the highest safety rating of 110 points. The Peugeot 108 was the only entry-level vehicle to include a curtain airbag, and it was also the only vehicle to include all safety features considered in this report.
The vehicle would probably have obtained a higher score had it been crash-tested, the AA said.
The association said it is encouraging that 26 of the 27 vehicles are equipped with Anti-lock Braking Systems (ABS) and that 26 vehicles have front driver and passenger airbags.
The least common safety feature was curtain airbags (only one vehicle) and side airbags (only three vehicles).
“We repeat the call we made then for the government to urgently review current minimum standards which are simply not good enough and to press for the mandatory inclusion of these technologies in all vehicles, including those at the entry-level,” the group said.
“A significant finding of this year’s report is that only three of the vehicles are equipped with Electronic Stability Control.
“This is particularly concerning as ESC is a proven technology which can reduce road crashes. It’s astonishing and discouraging that so few vehicles come equipped with this technology as standard for entry-level vehicles.”