Global NCAP says the Suzuki S-Presso has scored a “disappointing zero-star rating” in its latest round of crash tests.

According to the safety organisation, the Indian-built S-Presso failed to score a star for adult occupant protection but managed two stars for child occupant protection. It’s worth pointing out Global NCAP evaluated India's entry-level variant with a single airbag and ABS, while the base model in South Africa ships with two airbags and ABS.

Still, the organisation says the budget car’s structure (including the footwell area) was rated as “unstable”, adding that it is “not capable of withstanding further loadings”. Global NCAP furthermore pointed out the S-Presso does not offer IsoFix child-seat anchors.

As a reminder, Global NCAP tests only frontal crash protection for occupants and not side impact and pedestrian protection.

Meanwhile, entry-level versions of the Hyundai Grand i10 and Kia Seltos – both likewise imported to South Africa from India – were also tested. The Grand i10 scored two stars for adult occupant protection and two stars for child occupant protection, with its structure also rated as “unstable”.

The Seltos achieved three stars for adult occupant protection and two for child occupant protection. While its structure was rated as a “borderline case unstable”, we should point out the base version offered in South Africa ships with six airbags and IsoFix anchors (unlike the Indian-spec entry-level Seltos, which makes do with two airbags and no anchor points).

“It is very disappointing that Maruti Suzuki, the manufacturer with the largest share of the Indian market, offers such low safety performance for Indian consumers. Domestic manufacturers like Mahindra and Tata have demonstrated high levels of safety and protection for their customers, both achieving five-star performance,” said Alejandro Furas, secretary general of Global NCAP.

Watch the three crash-test videos below...