The Made-in-India Maruti Suzuki Baleno has bagged a zero-star safety rating from the Latin NCAP. The unit used for crash testing boasted of dual front airbags as standard fitment. It achieved 20.03 percent in the Adult Occupant box, 17.06 percent in the Child Occupant box, 64.06 percent in Pedestrian Protection and Vulnerable Road Users box and 6.98 percent in Safety Assist box. The Maruti Suzuki Baleno was tested in frontal impact and side impact, whiplash and pedestrian protection. Though, pedestrian protection performance showed a reasonable level.
In the frontal impact, the Maruti Baleno showed stable structure performance. Side impact test showed high intrusion in the door with poor protection to the chest of the adult door during the test. Whiplash test showed marginal neck protection. The zero stars result is explained by the poor side impact protection, low whiplash score due to the lack of UN32 proof for rear impact test, lack of standard side body and head protection airbags, lack of standard Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and the decision of Suzuki of not recommending Child Restraint Systems (CRS) for the test. Stephan Brodziak, Latin NCAP Chairman said, “It is unfortunate to have another zero stars car from Suzuki, in this case the Baleno model, which in some countries is marketed as "Good, Nice, Baleno", to which we should add "Low safety".
The Baleno is offered in Europe with 6 airbags and ESC as standard, while the model in Latin America is not offered with side body and side head airbags (curtain airbags) and ESC as standard. The Japanese brand did not allow the testing of the optional equipment to show its performance which further casts doubt on the effectiveness of those extra safety elements. Alejandro Furas, Secretary General of Latin NCAP said, “Baleno’s zero star is part of an ongoing disappointment, after Swift's zero star rating some weeks ago. With specially poor safety performance in adult and child occupant protection on offer from Suzuki as standard to Latin American consumers."