Built in India by Maruti Suzuki, the local Suzuki S-Presso has a higher specification level than the models sold in India and elsewhere.
The S-Presso in South Africa is fitted with two crash bags as standard. During the assessment the S-Presso structure demonstrated an unstable performance and the driver’s chest showed a weak protection level, marginally avoiding a two-star rating. Levels of child occupant protection showed the same performance as the version sold in India.
The Suzuki statement says: “As a brand that provides affordable, reliable, and safe vehicles in South Africa, we are encouraged by the 3-star (adult occupant) Crash Test rating of the South African S-Presso. The S-Presso is one of the most affordable vehicles in South Africa and offers better safety, affordability and features compared to its budget-segment competitors.
Suzuki S-Presso Available in South Africa
“In-line with Suzuki’s commitment of continuous safety enhancement, the S-Presso will join three other Suzuki models (the Celerio, Swift and Dzire) as the only vehicles equipped with ESP and ISOFIX below the R200 000 price point in future model updates.”
Alejandro Furas, Secretary General of Global NCAP said: “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. There has been significant progress with vehicle safety in the Indian market with a welcome requirement for the fitment of six crash bags 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.”
David Ward, Executive President of the Towards Zero Foundation added: “As our current test protocols come to an end in Africa it is important to see manufacturers continue their commitment to high standards of vehicle safety. Some continue to do well but we remain disappointed with others. Sadly, Maruti Suzuki fall into this later category, where the rhetoric on safety is simply not matched by the reality.”
Willem Groenewald, CEO of the AASA said: “While the adult occupancy result for the S-Presso is encouraging there is room for improvement, especially in relation to the child protection rating. The safety of motorists in South Africa is critical and we welcome the visible efforts by manufacturers in this regard and urge them to continue investing in this important facet of their production.”