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SA's safest cars for less than R150 000 revealed

2016-09-23 14:54

SAFE BUDGET CARS: The AA reveals its safest cars for less than R150 000 in SA. Some automakers have more than one model which rank as 'poor' in safety. Image: iStock

Johannesburg - The Automobile Association (AA) released its first annual 'Entry Level Vehicle Safety Report'.
The report rates the safety features of 23 vehicles available in South Africa currently priced less than R150 000.

The 23 vehicles assessed were categorised into three groups (Acceptable, moderate and poor safety) based on their safety ratings. 

In addition to the safety features, international safety ratings and price were used to establish a baseline score for each of the vehicles. The highest rating any car could achieve was 9.00 points on the AA’s Safety/Affordability index, based on all the considered elements.
The AA said: "Of the 23 cars assessed, four came out with acceptable safety ratings, while eight achieved moderate safety ratings. However, in this price range, 11 were rated as having poor safety features."

Click here for the full report.

Some of the worst performers (in alphabetical order) are:

Chery QQ 1.1 TXE
Datsun GO 1.2 Lux
Kia Picanto 1.0 LS
Tata Indica LE AC

The best performers (in alphabetical order) are:

Citroen C1 VTi 51kW feel
Renault Sandero Expression
FAW V2 1.3 DLX
FAW V2 1.3 #LIKE

What do you think of the AA's entry-level car report? Do you agree with its findings? Email us or get in touch via Facebook and Twitter.

The the AA noted: “Too often people look only at the price tag, and 'gimmick features' of a new car, and don’t put safety in their basket of requirements. But, many safety features are available, especially on newer models, which can make the difference between life and death. This is also important when considering that many people who are attracted to buying (or driving) entry level vehicles are often those with the least driving experience. It makes the availability of safety features critical to overall road safety.” 

The purpose of the research is to highlight the importance of safety features in new cars, understand how these features can save lives, and encourage new car buyers to consider safety in their decisions, and not only price.

Click here for a full of the vehicles assessed, and their safety ratings.list

Reliability and maintenance costs important

Apart from safety features, the AA said it is important that buyers investigate the reliability and maintenance costs of the vehicle they buy. It noted that a car that is not maintained regularly and properly, or is unreliable on the road, is not safe regardless of the score it has achieved on the AA Safety/Affordability Index.
The AA said the report shows that it is possible to spend under R150 000 and get safety features as standard in the mix. But, worryingly, the AA said, there are also certain makes that only appear to appeal to the price-sensitive buyer, and which offer no notable safety features at all.
The AA concluded: “What we’d like to see is that all car manufacturers include more safety features in their vehicles, and to make more use of international safety ratings such as NCAP from the region of manufacture or the region of importation. In this way, we believe, customers will be better placed to know what they are getting in terms of safety.”  

Road deaths in SA

The Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) recorded that 12 944 people died on South African roads in 2015.

While efforts to reduce this number are ongoing, it comes against the backdrop of data from the National Traffic Information System (eNaTIS) that shows that the vehicle population in the country has steadily increased by two million vehicles between 2011 and 2016, with 11 897 737 vehicles (of all classes) on the country’s roads.

These two figures – the high fatality rate, and the increase in the number of vehicles – again highlight the need to strive for safer driving for everybody, reports the AA.

What can be done to improve safety?

The organisation lists the following as ways to improve safety; increased road safety awareness initiatives, better policing and enforcement of road regulations, and a wholesale improvement in driver attitudes. It also emphasises the need for improved safety features in the vehicles people drive.

What do you think of the AA's entry-level car report? Do you agree with its findings? Email us or get in touch via Facebook and Twitter.


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