The Automobile Association has released the 2019 iteration of its “Entry-Level Vehicle Safety Report”, assessing safety features on 27 sub-R180 000 vehicles offered in South Africa.

The third instalment of the report, says the AA, shows there have been improvements to the safety of entry-level vehicles, but that “more can and must be done in this market”.

The AA says the purpose of its report 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.

“Price is, unfortunately, a driving factor in people’s decisions to buy vehicles. What we would like to see more of is people considering other elements of the vehicles they intend buying such as safety features, which can mean the difference between life and death,” the AA said.

The 27 vehicles included in the report were evaluated against the number of active safety features (ABS and electronic stability control) and passive safety features (airbags) they offer. SA-spec vehicles that have been crash tested as part of the Global NCAP initiative (there were five, in total) are awarded points according to the safety rating they achieved.

The AA emphasises its report is the result of “desktop research, and specifically assesses safety features only” while not considering the structural integrity of the driver/passenger compartment.

Of the 27 vehicles assessed, four vehicles were categorised in the “Acceptable Safety” range, 15 were ranked in the “Moderate Safety” class and eight vehicles were classed as having “Poor Safety” (these were the Datsun Go+ 1,2 Lux, Kia Picanto 1,0 Start, Nissan NP200, JMC Boarding 4x2, Kia Picanto 1,0 Style, GWM M4, Nissan Micra Active 1,2 Visia+ and Haval H1).

In addition to scoring the vehicles on safety features, the report also considered safety weighed against affordability. In this scenario, the score achieved by a vehicle for its safety features was measured against its cost to arrive at a Safety/Affordability rating.

Check out the results in the table and infographic below and read the AA's full, in-depth report here...