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Rediff.com  » Getahead » Is Scorpio N India's Safest SUV?

Is Scorpio N India's Safest SUV?

By RAJESH KARKERA
December 19, 2022 09:39 IST
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The Mahindra's Scorpio-N becomes the first body-on-frame chassis SUV to secure a five-star Global NCAP rating.

This rating could make it the safest SUV on Indian roads.

The Scorpio N blazing through uncharted terrains

IMAGE: Flying out of a ditch with the Mahindra Scorpio-N. Photograph: Kind courtesy Milind Kale/Milind Kale Photography

Safe cars are what we Indian buyers are now keen on, more than ever.

Till a few years ago, safe cars were seen as a luxury that top models of automobile companies possessed. Not any more.

There are manufacturers out there who boast good sales in spite of their vehicles having indifferent safety standards. Yet, hopefully, in the near future, every car on Indian roads will adhere to certain minimum safety standards.

To provide some rating for car safety there are the Global NCAP ratings promoted by the Towards Zero Foundation, a UK-based charity working internationally in support of the new UN Decade of Action for Road Safety, with the ambitious and courageous goal of halving road deaths and serious injuries by 2030 worldwide.

The Global NCAP test is a voluntary test procedure that car manufacturers all over are embracing to ensure that safer cars are the norm worldwide.

Four Indian cars were tested using a new protocol issued by Global NCAP. As per this protocol, the vehicles can score a maximum of 34 points for AOP or Adult Occupant Protection, as against the older protocol of maximum 17 points.

The four cars tested were the new Maruti Suzuki Swift, the Maruti Suzuki S-Presso, the Maruti Suzuki Ignis and the Mahindra Scorpio-N.

Here's how the test results unfolded:

SEE: Videos of the crash tests. : 2022 Global NCAP<

1. The Maruti Suzuki Swift

 

2. The Maruti Suzuki S-Presso

 

3. The Maruti Suzuki Ignis

 

4. The Mahindra Scorpio-N (The Big Daddy)

Maruti Suzuki fared disappointingly in the tests, while the Scorpio-N performed very well with maximum points for an SUV with a body-on-frame chassis.

When it comes to SUVs, have a look at the latest test results of all the small, medium and large SUVs on Indian roads.

SUVs Adult Occupant Protection Child Occupant Protection
     
Skoda Kushaq/Volkswagen Taigun ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
     
Mahindra Scorpio-N  ★ ★ ★ ★ ★  ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
     
Tata Punch ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
     
Mahindra XUV300 ★ ★ ★ ★ ★  ★ ★ ★ ★
     
Mahindra XUV700 ★ ★ ★ ★ ★  ★ ★ ★ ★
     
Toyota Urban Cruiser ★ ★ ★ ★  ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
     
Mahindra Thar  ★ ★ ★ ★  ★ ★ ★ ★
     
Maruti Suzuki Brezza ★ ★ ★ ★  ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
     
Mahindra Scorpio Classic  Not tested yet  Not tested yet
     

 

Earlier, soon after its launch, we did a very satisfying on-road test of the Scorpio-N, but what about its off-road capability? Is it a safe off-roader too?

The sheer size of the SUV has always made us think that proper off-roading with the Scorpio-N, in uncontrolled surroundings, would not be possible.

But we had an unexpected off-road adventure, over a holiday weekend, when we decided to take a trip to Igatpuri, where Mahindra's off-road academy is located.

The CRDE Mahindra Thar's at the M&M Off-Road academy

IMAGE: The off-road training at the academy starts with a demo of three Mahindra Thars parked in this manner! On the right, with me, is photographer Milind Kale. Photograph: Hitesh Harisinghani/Rediff.com

We were hoping to do all our off-road drives using the tried and trusted Mahindra Thar.

Glimpses of the experiences...

It's easy to notice something unusual by viewing the video above.

The Thar just refuses to get stuck while off the road. All one needs to do is: Have faith and let the vehicle do its thing :) Drive S L O W... :)

After a round of escapades with the Thar, as luck would have it, the Mahindra Adventure Team offered me the Scorpio-N, to try across these uncharted territories.

My first reaction was: Noooo!

You can't expect me to drive a brand-new SUV on a difficult path which is meant for the likes of the Thar. The Scorpio-N has four-wheel drive. But can one put a car like the Scorpio-N at risk on a track which is actually only wide enough for a Thar?

But with a little bit of push from the team, I agreed.

Scorpio N at the Igatpuri Off-roading academy

IMAGE: A first experience with the Mahindra Scorpio-N on Thar territory. Photograph: Rajesh Karkera/Rediff.com

Taking the Scorpio-N up a hill was easy.

I did worry about hitting the mud banks, mainly on the bumpers or the fender of the Scorpio-N I was driving. That is something one would not really think twice about if on was driving a Mahindra Thar.

But here's how well the Scorpio-N handled the slippery steep climbs:

With proven off-road capabilities and a five-star safety rating, the popularity of this Indian SUV will only increase.

But can the automaker cope with the demand when already the waiting period is almost 24 months?

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RAJESH KARKERA / Rediff.com