Let’s face it; driving in India is a pretty daunting experience, more so for the inexperienced. Even on the best of days the traffic is infuriating. The concept of lane discipline is unheard of to many motorists, buses and three wheelers (in all probability) cut in front you out of nowhere and then there’s the usual smattering of cows, sitting idle either in the middle of narrow city streets or on the national highways.
To top it all, the roads themselves are in a state of disrepair. The appalling conditions are one of the prime reasons for such a high rate of road accidents in India.
When looking to buy a new car, it makes sense that you spend good amount of time making sure how safe it is. While the fact remains that carmakers are busy coming out with new models every other week, it should be noted that they are also rapidly blending performance and creature comforts with cutting-edge safety technologies which are worth paying for.
Here’s our list of the top five safest cars for under Rs 10 lakh in the market.
The EcoSport is among the most sophisticated vehicles one can buy, this side of Rs 10 lakh. With standard safety features in top-spec variants including ESP (Electronic Stability Program), traction control, ABS and six airbags (for the driver and passenger and side curtain airbags for front and rear seats) there are lots of reasons to feel safe in this compact crossover.
What’s more, the Microsoft-developed SYNC tech will not only make and receive calls, play music or have your text messages read out to you, it will even make an automatic call to the emergency service number - 108, if the car has been involved in a serious accident and airbags are deployed.
The Micra is nearly all new for 2013 and even the most basic petrol and diesel variants come equipped with a driver-side airbag and speed sensing door lock system.
The top-of-the-line XV Premium diesel variant is brimmed with safety tech. You get four airbags, ABS, EBD, speed sensing door lock system, immobilizer with alarm and some more.
Who says small cars aren’t safe?
Ever since it hit the market, the i20 is well known for being one of the safest cars in its class. The new i20 takes the game forward with the addition of usable gizmos like rain sensing wipers and automatic headlamps.
Besides automatic headlamps and wipers, the i20 offers up all the usual set of safety features expected from a car of its size. You get six airbags - dual front, side & curtain, ABS with EBD and reverse parking sensors.
The Duster offers a good mix of size, safety features and robust build quality to make it one of the safest affordable cars to be in, should there be any mishap. Safety features onboard include dual front airbags, ABS, EBD with Brake Assist and a protective under guard for the engine.
Hyundai continues its streak of safe vehicles with the Verna, which, like the i20, gets as many as six airbags. ABS with EBD and disc brakes on all four corners ensures that the Verna sticks to the road and stops efficiently come rain or shine.
Other safety tech includes seatbelt pretensioners, rear parking sensors and an electro chromic mirror which automatically senses and reduces light interfering from vehicles following you, thereby reducing glare.