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Heavy Build Cars and Light Weight Cars Safety, Strength Difference in India

Heavy Build Cars and Light Weight Cars Safety, Strength Difference in India

Considering Cars with Heavy Weight from Safety Aspect against Cars with Light Body Weight in India. Are Light Weight Cars are Unstable or Weak in Structural Safety

 

Car Body Kerb Weight - Heavy and Light Build Cars

Car is one among the finest Art of Engineering been introduced by Karl Benz by end of 19th Century. The Finest Mobility Option is continually been improvised with Modern Features, Styling with Impressive Performance and so far has reached a stage where almost close to 10 Crore Passenger Cars are sold every year Globally. 

But – Car despite been a state of art engineering with finest Mobility Revolutions also has flip side due to people losing lives in Road Accidents

» 10 Lakh People losing Lives every year in Road Accidents around the world and in India alone 1.5 Lakh people lose lives in Road Accidents every year

» Estimates over 50 Lakh People gets Major Injuries or Life Long Disability every Year due to Road Accidents Globally

 

But are Light Weight Cars are Unstable or Weak in Safety

It seems that  a preconceived notion is coming to Indian market that all cars which are relative light in body weight are relatively weak in structural ability, safety strength as against Cars which are relatively heavier in body weight. Lets demystify it

Its important to know how Light Weight Cars are been designed by OEM

» By compromising on quality

Or

» By Engineering Design - High Tensile Steel, Carbon Fibre is been used 

When a car Frontal Impact happens then lot of factors impact in safety including

» Speed as the most Important Aspect. Accident at speed of 100 Kmph can end up been fatal on whatever car you driving in 

» Chassis Design, Crumple Zone, Airbags

» Build Quality whether made of High Tensile Steel and how rigid is the build

Here are Most Important things you should note about Light and Heavy Weight Cars

  • Light Weight design without compromising Safety is what Auto Manufacturers are working up and is not a consideration in India, but even across the world. 
  • There is no fact that basis weight - one determines the strength of Car. Its a Plain Myth that Weight Determines the safety Strength of the vehicle. Mahindra Scorpio - When tested in 2017 got zero star safety rating despite 1900 Kg Weight and also Fiat Punto known as car with Tank like Build scored Zero in NCAP Crash test rating in 2017 December. But Toyota Etios having just 900 Kg Kerb weight scored 4 Star in NCAP Crash Test
  • Its the Engineering Design with Crumple zone, Airbags and Speed is what Utmost Important. Although – Heavier Body Weight on Stand-alone basis does not signify how Safe a car is.  
  • A Light weight stand alone does not signify that car is unstable, its the High Tensile steel which is been used. But also importantly are the safety features, platform
  • However, In this Race of Building Economical, affordable cars to have higher sales, better margins, targets of Profitability – some Manufacturers are using Economy grade material and this has came up when bodies like Global NCAP and Euro NCAP has released a report that some cars sold in India and other developing countries are so weak in body structure that even an Airbag would be of no use. Thus a car with Light Body Weight has a probability of Compromised Engineering.

The Strong Structural Ability of the car comes with More High Tensile Grade Steel which is used in the car

.

  • There is also a science to it as per Newton Second Law of Motion if the same force (which is speed  in case of car) applied on two objects with different mass (means 2 cars with different weights) -the effect on small object (means car with lesser weight) will be higher.
  • Owning a car with Safety Features - ABS, ESP (Stability control), Hill Hold Assist, 6 Airbags remains the best scenario and competition helps. Gone are days when all these used to be in only Luxury segment. Now Ford Ecosport is having these, Toyota Yaris, XUV300 also to have. VW Polo GT, Ameo DSG and Vento also has ESP, Hill Hold Assist - although dual Airbags  and Hyundai I20, Freestyle coming with 6 Airbags - slowly we will find international level safety features in the cars.

Overall Conclusion: Its incorrect to presume that Heavy Weight Cars are safer, but there is a higher probability of Light Weight Cars been unsafe due to compromised Engineering. 

So if you want to buy Car - buy a car which comes with Proven Global NCAP Rating, Safety Features of ABS, EBD, Airbags along with advanced Steer Assist Features of ESP and Traction Control and drive within Speed Limits to have a safe drive experience.

 

Here is Comparison of Top 5 Heavy Build Cars against Cars with Lightest in Body Weight in Hatchback and Compact Sedan Car Segment (as Mass Market Cars) in India - based on Kerb Weight

Lightest Body Weight Cars     Top 5 Heaviest Body Weight Hatchback, Compact Sedan Cars
Model Kerb Weight   5 Star Cars Kerb Weight
Renault Kwid 690 Kg (800cc) / 720 Kg (1 Litre)   Tata Punch 1000 kg+
Maruti Alto 720 Kg   Tata Altroz 990 Kg +
         
Other Light Weight Cars  Kerb Weight   5 Star Rated SUV  Kerb Weight
Maruti Wagon R 805 Kg   Mahindra XUV700 1960 kg+
Hyundai Grand i10 Nios 895 Kg   Mahindra XUV300 1350 Kg
Maruti Celerio 820 Kg   Tata Nexon 1250 Kg+
Maruti Ignis 825 Kg   Tata Punch 1000 Kg
Maruti Swift, Dzire 855 - 860 Kg   Skoda Kushaq 1185 kg
Maruti Baleno 920 Kg   Mahindra Scorpio N 1900 Kg

Kerb Weight of Cars Mentioned

Fortunately - All Mid Sedan, Executive Sedan and Higher along with SUV Cars weighs > 1000 kg in Kerb Weight

 

Looking for Safe Car

» Safest Hatchback Cars

» Cars with Best Build Quality

» Sedan Cars with Best Safety

We got once Offline Mail from a User that why Car Manufacturers do not Build Heavier Safe Cars. Answer is -

1. A Heavier Car needs more Powerful Engine and thus using same Engine without tuning for Higher Power, the Performance will be impacted in a heavier vehicle.

2. Also, the Fact that been the car heavier - the End Mileage will be lower and lastly the costing Part too.

3. The Braking Distance can also be Impacted if Brakes are not upgraded

4. The Final Costing will be relative higher

So as to build Light Car takes care of Performance, Mileage and Costing and will keep customer happy by showing these USP of offering end product as affordable one.

While Honda Car India selling Jazz globally build a product with 1010 Kg product - Maruti Suzuki build Baleno having Kerb weight of 860 - 895 Kg in Petrol. Its evident that Baleno is more fun to drive car in Petrol, has better Mileage and also is relatively priced lower as against Jazz

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Comments 3

Guest - Vinod on Friday, 17 February 2023 19:34

Article is incomplete in many respects. The article was on weight and safety. It said how else cars can be safe. For example it mentions High tensile body structure but doesn’t say which has it. Again it talks of global ratings. Doesn’t mention criteria. Finally, the last sentence in the article is a totally unconnected conclusion, that balenno is a fun to drive car, as if the article was about fun and mileage! The article should have at least listed cars with safety features not only weight and 5 star.

Article is incomplete in many respects. The article was on weight and safety. It said how else cars can be safe. For example it mentions High tensile body structure but doesn’t say which has it. Again it talks of global ratings. Doesn’t mention criteria. Finally, the last sentence in the article is a totally unconnected conclusion, that balenno is a fun to drive car, as if the article was about fun and mileage! The article should have at least listed cars with safety features not only weight and 5 star.
Guest - Guest on Tuesday, 09 January 2018 20:09

Your is mostly right except for ford Figo, please double check.

Your is mostly right except for ford Figo, please double check.
Guest - Sudhanshu on Monday, 13 November 2017 16:39

Irony is we in India goes for cars which are
1. proven in terms of affordable costs - Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai
2. good mileage
3. yes good and easy to drive too

All heavy build cars mentioned as fiat punto evo, tata bolt, polo, jazz and i20 - are all low in sales except i20
i believe i20 sales are also mostly in diesel due to bigger diesel engine with higher power

i have test driven honda jazz, i20, bolt and polo petrol and would like to tell that all these 4 cars feels much solid build,
a safety feel for family comes in when compared against car like baleno.

also in driving these cars - they are not bad especially i20, jazz and polo petrol - for day to day drive all 3 are good
still baleno sells as its pickup is even better due to shedding off body weight

but for safety will buy i20 petrol which comes with 6 airbags and comes with much better strong feel

Irony is we in India goes for cars which are 1. proven in terms of affordable costs - Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai 2. good mileage 3. yes good and easy to drive too All heavy build cars mentioned as fiat punto evo, tata bolt, polo, jazz and i20 - are all low in sales except i20 i believe i20 sales are also mostly in diesel due to bigger diesel engine with higher power i have test driven honda jazz, i20, bolt and polo petrol and would like to tell that all these 4 cars feels much solid build, a safety feel for family comes in when compared against car like baleno. also in driving these cars - they are not bad especially i20, jazz and polo petrol - for day to day drive all 3 are good still baleno sells as its pickup is even better due to shedding off body weight but for safety will buy i20 petrol which comes with 6 airbags and comes with much better strong feel
Sunday, 26 March 2023

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