Need a new car but worried about its safety? The Automobile Association (AA) has released its latest study revealing the safety of entry-level cars in South Africa. The 2019 AA Entry-Level Vehicle Safety (ELVS) Report that assesses safety features on entry-level vehicles shows there have been improvements to the safety of entry-level vehicles, but that more can and must be done in this market.

Of the 27 vehicles assessed, seven vehicles were categorized in the “Acceptable Safety” range, which was a marked improvement on the previous report which only had two vehicles in this category. Sixteen of the vehicles were ranked in the “Moderate Safety” class, while four vehicles were classed as having “Poor Safety”. There is no doubt that safety features such as ESC and ABS save lives, and the motoring public should be given these tools as matter of course in the vehicles they purchase, not as ‘nice-to-haves’. The AA says these technologies should be standard on all new vehicles.

In addition to scoring the vehicles purely on safety features, the ELVS Report also considers safety weighed against affordability. The score achieved by a vehicle for its safety features is measured against its cost to arrive at a Safety/Affordability Score.

The purpose of the ELVS research 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. The 27 vehicles surveyed for this instalment of the Entry-Level Vehicle Safety Report were evaluated against the number of active safety features they have (anti-lock braking systems, electronic stability control), and passive safety features (airbags).

Here are the results of the ELVS Report:


These are vehicles that’s scored 2.99 on the test

  • Datsun GO+ 1.2 Lux
  • Kia Picanto 1.0 Start
  • Nissan NP200
  • JMC 4×2 Boarding


These are cars that scored between 3-3.99 points

  • Toyota Etios 1.5 Xi Hatchback
  • Honda Amaze 1.2 Trend
  • Suzuki Ignis 1.2 GL
  • Suzuki Celerio 1.0 GA
  • Datsun GO Mid
  • BAIC D20 Hatch 1.3 Comfort
  • Datsun GO+ Mid
  • Datsun GO+ Panel Van
  • Kia Picanto 1.0 Street
  • Suzuki Swift Hatch 1.2 GA
  • Suzuki Swift DZire Sedan 1.2 GA
  • Mahindra KUV100 1.2 NXT K4+
  • Honda Brio Hatch 1.20 Trend
  • Hyundai I10 Grand 1.0 Motion
  • Renault Kwid 1.0 Expression 5dr
  • Kia Picanto MT 1.0 Style
  • GWM M4
  • Nissan Micra Active 1.2 Visia+
  • Haval H1


These are cars that scored over 4 points.

  • Volkswagen Take Up!
  • Renault Sandero 66kw Turbo Expression
  • Toyota Aygo 1.0
  • Smart ForTwo

Not your everyday selection of cars but definitely an eye opener.

By Noni Nchwe