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Suzuki Baleno gets 3-star safety rating

Suzuki's premium hatchback Baleno, manufactured only in India by Maruti Suzuki, has received a three-star rating in crash tests with standard equipment by automobile safety agency Euro NCAP. However, in tests with safety pack the global model of the Japanese firm received a four-star rating. According to Euro NCAP, three star rating means "average to good occupant protection but lacking crash avoidance technology."

As per the report compiled by the Euro NCAP, the passenger compartment of Baleno remained stable in the frontal offset test.

Dummy readings indicated good protection of the knees and femurs of both the driver and passenger, it noted.

"In the full-width rigid barrier impact, protection of the driver was rated as good except for the chest, protection of which was adequate," it added.

Dummy readings of chest compression indicated marginal protection for this part of the body but good or adequate protection elsewhere, it said.

In the side barrier test, dummy numbers showed good protection but the score for the head was penalised as the side curtain airbag was deemed not to have deployed in the correct manner in the side pole test, Euro NCAP said.

"In the more severe side pole impact, dummy readings of lateral rib compression indicated weak chest protection and the head protection was downgraded to adequate as a result of the incorrect airbag deployment," it noted.

The front seats and head restraints demonstrated good protection against whiplash in the event of a rear-end collision. A geometric assessment of the rear seats also indicated good protection.

However, the optional 'Radar Brake Support' was not included in this assessment, Euro NCAP said.

The agency gave a four-star rating to the Baleno fitted with safety pack of radar brake support. As per Euro NCAP, a vehicle with four star rating offers overall good performance in crash protection and additional crash avoidance technology may be present.

While refusing to comment on NCAP findings, a company spokesperson said: "In recent months Maruti Suzuki has systematically introduced enhanced safety equipment comprising dual airbags and ABS with EBD as standard in certain models, and as option across all variants of most models. Alto comes with a driver airbag option in all variants".

Last month, Suzuki Motor Corporation (SMC) had launched the Baleno in the Japanese market. It is for the first time that Maruti Suzuki India-made model is being exported to Japan where SMC is based.

Maruti had launched Baleno in domestic market last year.

The premium hatch is being manufactured at the company's Manesar plant.