Safety organisation Global NCAP has confirmed the South African-spec Mahindra XUV300 as its first five-star vehicle in Africa.

In January 2020, the safety body awarded the Indian-spec XUV300 an overall five stars for safety (five stars for adult occupant protection and four stars for child occupant protection). Following a “production compliance review”, Global NCAP now says this rating applies to the SA-spec model as well, since the Indian and African programmes “share the same assessment protocols”.

Interestingly, the model tested in India featured two front airbags as standard, just like the base model here in South Africa. Locally, the high-spec variants boast seven airbags and stability control as standard.

In addition, Mahindra SA says the local XUV300 features three-point seat belts on all seats, while the Indian model makes do with a lap belt for the rear-centre passenger (the latter, in addition to “poor” Isofix markings, explained the Indian-spec model’s four- rather than five-star rating for child occupant protection in the original test).

“We are delighted to see the first five-star result in our Safer Cars for Africa project. This is a landmark moment for vehicle safety in Africa. We are particularly pleased to recognise the continued safety commitment from Mahindra,” said David Ward, Towards Zero Foundation president.

“The XUV300 was engineered in India and demonstrates the capability of the domestic Indian auto industry to achieve excellence in safety design and performance for global export markets,” he added.