The India-spec Kia Seltos has bagged a 3-star safety rating from the Global NCAP crash tests. The organisation tested the entry-level HTE variant, which comes with 2 airbags and ABS as standard. The compact SUV scored a meagre 2 stars in the child occupation protection.
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As per the report from Global NCAP, the SUV offers adequate protection to the head of the driver as well as that of the front passenger. The head of both the occupants was found to bottom out the airbags. Even the neck protection for both the occupants is good. However, it was found out that the driver’s chest had marginal protection, while passenger chest protection was good. Driver and passenger knees showed marginal protection as they could impact dangerous structures behind the dashboard supported by the Tranfascia tube. Driver tibias showed weak and adequate protection while passenger’s tibias showed good and adequate protection. The bodyshell was rated as unstable and it was not capable of withstanding further loadings. The Footwell area was rated as unstable. The car offers standard SBR for driver and passenger. All of the above-explained the three stars for adult occupant protection.
The child seat for the 3 year old was installed FWF with the adult belt and was not able to prevent excessive forward movement during the impact while it offered poor protection to the head as it contacted with the interior of the car and good protection to the chest. The 18 month old CRs was installed with adult belt rearward facing. The head showed good protection and the chest was protected. The CRSs did not show incompatibility. The manufacturer refused to recommend the CRSs. The vehicle does not offer 3 point belts in all seating positions and it does not offer ISOFIX anchorages. All of the above explained the two stars for child occupant protection.
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Overall, the India-spec Kia Seltos failed to perform as nicely as the model sold abroad. In the ASEAN NCAP, the Seltos available in Australia bagged a full 5-star score. It must be noted here that compared to the SP2 architecture of the car sold abroad, the Indian model is based on the low-cost SP2i version developed especially for emerging markets like that of India. The Kia Seltos was launched in India in September 2019 and was quick to become one of the largest selling SUVs in the country. The first 1,00,000 units of the Seltos sold in India within a little over a year of its launch. Also, worth mentioning here is that the higher variants of this model come with many more features than the HTE version that was tested.
However, even if you were to go for the fully-loaded variant of the Seltos, it still won’t give you a safer bodyshell or footwell. At impact, those will likely be just as unstable as in the entry-level car. For reference, the Kia Seltos that is sold in the United States was awarded a 4-star safety rating by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).