Three go for one

Good news for World Rallycross fans is there will three Hyundai i10 Supercars in action this year with the Finnish GRX Taneco team headed by double World Rally Champion, Marcus Gronholm.

The team will retain its two permanent drivers – Niclas Grönholm and Timur Timerzyanov – who will be accompanied by development driver Reinis Nitišs for several outings. The trio will chase trophies with a 2019 version of the team’s Hyundai i20 Supercars.


GRX Taneco successfully debuted it’s Hyundai i20 Supercar last season and after 12 rounds claimed fourth in the World RX Teams’ standings, with Niclas Grönholm finishing seventh and Timerzyanov 10th in the Drivers’ championship.

“We knew that our first season with a new car would be tough, but we exceeded our expectations in 2018 and throughout the winter break we have been working hard to improve our i20 Supercars and take the next step in 2019,” said GRX Taneco Team Principal Marcus Grönholm.

“With this project we are thinking long term and I am happy that we have the same great core team with us, and the same driver line-up that can continue their work and fight for the leading positions in the championship.”

The team recently completed its first test session of the year in Southern France where they evaluated the first set of updates for the Hyundai i20 Supercar.

“This will be the first time I will drive the same car for a second consecutive season and I will start it with a good knowledge of the i20 Supercar. The base performance was already there and we have worked on tweaks around the car to shave off crucial tenths of a second. The 2019 season (April 05) is just around the corner and I’m really looking forward to the first round at the new track in Abu Dhabi,” said 22-year old Niclas Grönholm.


Triple European Rallycross champion, Timerzyanov said: “Rallycross is my passion and I believe in it, so naturally I am thrilled to start my sixth season of World RX and to do a second year together with GRX Taneco. This season will offer more opportunities for privateer teams, meaning that we also have a bigger chance to show our supporters good results and great action for the fans. It is just 10 rounds, so there will be no sandbagging and everyone will be trying to claim the podium positions.”


Team Manager, Jussi Pinomäki added: “I think the competition this season will be very, very close and this year will prove to be an exciting one for drivers and spectators. Last year we built a good base to work from – all of our technical staff have remained on-board, both Niclas and Timur know the car well, and I am confident that with this package we’ll be able to fight for top positions.

“For further improvements we have also added a third car for several rounds with Reinis as our development driver, to help us gain data and continue the car’s evolution.”

GRX newcomer Nitišs said: “I’m happy to be back in World RX, even though it’s not a full-season programme. Together with Jussi Pinomäki I have claimed two Euro RX titles and I know the people working in the team – everyone is professional, dedicated and passionate. Part of my season will be spent working together with the engineers and team behind the scenes, or testing car updates. But be assured, when I’m racing you can expect no giveaways.”

Multi-platinum selling artist Sean Paul will perform live at the Dayinsure World RX of Great Britain, the UK leg of the FIA World Rallycross Championship, presented by Monster Energy.


The British event, round four of the World RX championship, is the centrepiece of the SpeedMachine Festival at Silverstone from May 25-26. The multi-faceted SpeedMachine brings together an array of motorsport activity, street food and entertainment.

SpeedMachine returns to Silverstone following its successful debut on the FIA World Rallycross Championship calendar last year.

Paul, the Jamaican-born rapper and producer, whose hits include Mad Love, Temperature and Get Busy will headline the entertainment on the evening of Saturday, May 25 with a number of additional guest appearances to be announced soon.

“To have someone of the calibre of Sean Paul as the headline performer for Saturday night at Silverstone underlines SpeedMachine’s status as a must-visit festival of motor racing and entertainment,” says Paul Bellamy, Senior Vice President of IMG Motorsports, the promoter of the FIA World Rallycross Championship, presented by Monster Energy.


Loeb tackles the ‘Monte’

Sebastien Loeb re-ignites his rally career today as part of the starting line-up for the Rallye Monte Carlo in the Hyundai team with regular navigator Daniel Elena alongside him and in an event they have won seven times previously.


Hyundai Motorsport goes into its sixth season in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) with two other crews also well versed in the demands of this classic rally. Thierry Neuville and Nicolas Gilsoul took the team’s only Monte-Carlo podium in 2016 finishing third, just one place behind Andreas Mikkelsen and Anders Jreger-Amland whose second place represents the Norwegians’ best result at the event to date.

One of the most iconic and demanding events on the calendar, this year’s Monte will feature a fresh route with up to 40% of the stages remodelled compared to 2018. Yet, the unique challenges of the rally will remain with late evening stages, unpredictable icy and snowy conditions and complex tyre strategies all combining to offer a punishing start to the new season.


All three crews will have had the opportunity to test the Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC ahead of Monte, albeit with differing preparation time. Neuville and Mikkelsen got behind the wheel ahead of the WRC season launch in Birmingham at the beginning of January and the past weekend, while Loeb, who participated in the Dakar Rally in South America, also had a test prior to recce. The team has sought to offset the reduced pre-event test time by doing a thorough seat-fitting for the nine-time world champion during a recent visit to its Alzenau factory.


The event begins this evening, 24 January, with a ceremonial start in Gap acting as a prelude to two night stages, each just over 20 km in length. It will be a baptism of fire for all crews as battle commences for an all-new season.

Friday’s itinerary covers 125 km of special stages on new routes, before the final two days return to more familiar settings. If crews can successfully negotiate the opening three days, the legendary Col de Turini awaits on the final morning. Huge crowds will gather at the summit to watch the WRC cars as the rally builds to its crescendo with a final Power Stage against the mountainous pass of Col de Bra us.


Crew Notes: Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul:
Neuville said: “We are revved up and determined to get the 2019 WRC season off to the best start possible. The tricky, demanding nature of Rat/ye Monte-Carlo is well documented. The combination of tarmac roads with unpredictable snow and ice conditions makes it a rally like no other. It is an event I enjoy. We’ve built up competitive pace in recent seasons, even if the results have not really been there. There will be lots of strategies at play, especially with tyres, and we will need to be absolutely precise with our notes.”

Crew Notes: Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jreger-Amland:
Mikkelsen said: “Here we go again, starting a new championship with two of my favourite events in a row: Monte-Carlo and Sweden. Anders and I have worked hard over the winter to learn from our first full season as a Hyundai Motorsport crew, as we aim to build a consistent and strong assault for 2079. Monte-Carlo is always a special rally, and a very difficult one to begin the year. I have often been quick in this event, having taken two podiums.”

Crew Notes: Sebastien Loeb/Daniel Elena:
Loeb said: “Rallye Monte-Carlo is one of our favourites. Daniel, my co-driver, is Monegasque, so it’s his home rally for him, while it is also something of a home event for me as all of the stages are in France.

“Conditions can affect the road a lot at Monte, whether it’s full tarmac, snow or ice.

“The most complicated thing is to find the right rhythm and not to fall into any traps: there is every possibility of finding ice plates as the temperature drops overnight. You always have to adapt to the changing and unpredictable conditions. I have always been quite good in these circumstances. This year will be a particularly special one with a new team and a new car.”


Team director Andrea Adamo: “We begin a new season in a refreshed state of mind and looking ahead to what promises to be another exciting, competitive championship. Monte-Carlo is the perfect place for battle to commence. Our objective and desire are to be in the fight for the manufacturers’ and drivers’ titles this year. To do that we have to take each rally as it comes, making sure we get absolutely everything out of ourselves on each kilometre of every stage. There’s no room for complacency or error, so we have to be rigorous, we must be focused and we have to work together as a team to deliver for Hyundai at the highest level of world rallying.”

Aiming for the top

With very little time between finishing the marathon Dakar event and strapping himself into a Hyundai i20 Coupé for the start of the Monte Carlo Rally, Sebastian Loeb is going to be a busy man and a core element of the Korean manufacturer’s chase for the title.

Hyundai Motorsport is unequivocal about its intentions to compete once again at the front of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), with its sights set on the manufacturers’ and drivers’ titles.


The team finished as runners-up in 2018, for the third time in a row, having taken the title fight down to the wire. In one of the closest, most hotly contested seasons in recent years, a three-way battle was only concluded at the season finale in Australia.

Hyundai Motorsport has stated its intentions at the Autosport International show in Birmingham recently, where the team was introduced.

Running a revised crew line-up and with an extended calendar of 14 rounds in 2019, Hyundai Motorsport will aim to revisit the competitive form that helped it score three victories and 11 podium finishes last season.

With WRC’s regulations remaining stable, the team has been able to evolve the technical foundations of its rally winning Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC. All aspects of the car have been rigorously assessed in order to perform consistently across all terrains in the coming season. A brand new event in Chile will join the existing events on the world tour.


Andrea Adamo, Hyundai Motorsport’s new team director who replaced Michel Nandan at the end of 2018, said the targets for Hyundai Motorsport in its sixth season are clear: “Our objectives for WRC remain the same as they have been for the past years, namely to fight for the manufacturers’ and drivers’ titles. This is important for Hyundai and our N brand. The WRC is incredibly competitive and the other teams will want to approach the new season with the same winning mind-set. We have to make sure we’re delivering and performing at our best at all times.”

Three Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC cars will compete in each of the 14 rounds on the calendar in 2019. Last year’s runners-up in the driver’s and co-driver’s championship, Thierry Neuville and Nicolas Gilsoul, will be joined by Norwegian crew Andreas Mikkelsen and Anders Jaeger-Amland in all events, while the seasoned WRC champion Sébastien Loeb will compete in 6 of this year’s races.


Loeb, nine-times WRC champion who will drive his first event in the Hyundai i20 WRC in Rallye Monte-Carlo, has signed a two-year contract for 2019 and 2020 with Hyundai Motorsport. Dani Sordo and Carlos del Barrio – twice podium scorers last season – will take part in eight events, starting at Rally Mexico.

Neuville says: “We have used the opportunity of the winter break to recharge our batteries for another assault on the WRC titles. We showed a lot of promise last season and gave it our best shot but, for various reasons we could not sustain our challenge. We recognise that consistency is an important area of improvement for our team, as well as creating strength in depth across all crews.”


Mikkelsen said he was ready to put “a difficult 2018” behind him and approach a new season with renewed purpose and attack. “Although the results were missing last year, we learned a lot about the Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC and I feel we are better prepared for 2019.”

Loeb added: “I am pleased to be joining such a great line-up of crews for my first season with Hyundai Motorsport. It is clear to me the car was a competitive package in 2018, which enabled the team to fight for the championship titles right to the very end.

“Thierry has improved a lot in recent years and is a genuine title contender. He is fast on every surface, which is important. Andreas, too, has proven his speed. Dani is the guy I know best in WRC, as we were teammates in the past. It promises to be a great season. I hope I can get up to speed with the Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC quickly and show competitive pace.”


“We have all the ingredients to win in WRC. There is nothing lacking compared to our rivals. We are right up there in terms of our engineering capability. We are arguably the strongest in terms of our crew line-up – Thierry, Andreas, Dani and Sébastien are all top-level drivers. I am confident we have the package to win,” says Adamo.

Major upgrades for Santa Fe

Hot on the heels of the launch of the updated Hyundai Tucson, the company has released the fourth-generation Santa Fe in South Africa that features a new all-wheel drive system and eight-speed gearbox along with upgraded tech inside the cabin.


This “ambassador for the brand’s new design language”, as Hyundai Motor Group’s new design chief Luc Donckerwolke refers to the new Santa Fe, was first launched in 2001 and 5 331 units have been sold in South Africa since then.

The new-generation Santa Fe is introduced in South Africa in three derivatives:
• Santa Fe R 2.2 Premium automatic (with front-wheel drive);
• Santa Fe R 2.2 Executive automatic (with front-wheel drive); and
• Santa Fe R 2.2 Elite automatic (with HTRAC all-wheel drive).

The new-generation Santa Fe features an advanced four-wheel drive system in the Elite derivative with an enhanced torque application depending on wheel grip and the speed of vehicle, called HTRAC. Hyundai’s next generation all-wheel-drive technology controls the torque distribution and braking power of the front and rear wheels variably. It supports drivers in all kinds of driving situations, whether on slippery roads or in regular road conditions and enhances stability in cornering.

The power for the new Santa Fe’s drivetrain comes from the 2,2-litre CRDi engine that delivers 142 kW maximum power and 440 Nm maximum torque. Linked to the newly developed 8-speed automatic gearbox, which is engineered with a transversal layout, it delivers enhanced fuel efficiency of 3% to 4%.

The new gearbox layout offers a more compact set-up and an increased gear span for enhanced performance and reduced fuel consumption. The gear ratio is widened by 18,3 %, resulting in an improved engine response during start and acceleration.

The fourth-generation Santa Fe offers one of the best-in-class safety packages and industry-first safety features. The innovative Rear Occupant Alert (in the Elite derivative) monitors the rear seats to detect passengers and alerts the driver when leaving the car. The Elite also comes with an Electronic Child Safety Lock.

The Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist ¬– a standard feature in the Executive and Elite derivatives – is a Hyundai first. When reversing out of areas with low visibility, the system not only warns the driver if vehicles approach from the rear side – it also applies the brakes automatically. The Executive and Elite also boasts a Blind Spot Detection system.

The Safety Exit Assist, also standard in the Executive and Elite derivatives, prevents accidents when vehicles approach from behind by temporarily locking the doors before being opened, so that passengers will exit the car safely.

All derivatives have anti-Lock Braking, ESP (Electronic Stability Program), DBC (Downhill Brake Control) and HAC (Hill start Assist Control).


The new-generation Santa Fe benefits from superior rigidity through the application of high strength steel, high impact energy absorption and minimised distortion in order to protect passengers in the event of a collision.

Thanks to hot stamping being applied over an enlarged area along with larger weld diameters, the car’s overall weight is reduced while providing top-level crashworthiness. The Santa Fe features more high-strength steel than any other Hyundai vehicle with 57% – that is 15% above the previous model.

Around the interior of the Santa Fe a total of six air bags are installed (two front ai rbags, two side air bags and two curtain air bags from first to second row protecting both driver and passengers).

The 7-inch infotainment system in the Santa Fe – which is a standard feature in all three derivatives – integrates all media and connectivity features, allowing drivers to always stay tuned to the traffic ahead.


The Display Audio offers customers accessible connectivity with the seven-inch high-resolution colour LCD touchscreen to connect their smartphones via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. Passengers can also use the navigation applications of their smartphone, to be displayed on the touch screen. The system recognises the passenger’s voice allowing them to dictate messages or to make phone calls. The Display Audio also features an integrated rear-view camera with dynamic guidelines.
For further connection of customer’s devices, the Santa Fe comes standard with a USB port and an AUX jack.

The front introduces the Cascading Grille design that is complemented by the Composite Light – a design comprising LED Daytime Running Lights positioned on top of the headlights. The Elite and Executive have full LED headlights, while the Premium derivative is equipped with halogen lights. The Elite’s headlights have dynamic bending into a corner as an added feature.

The exterior dimensions make the new Santa Fe appear even more prominent. With a length of 4 770 mm, a width of 1 890 mm and a longer wheelbase of 2 765 mm, the Santa Fe has an even stronger stance on the road and provides more comfort for its passengers.


The new Santa Fe increases comfort on short and long trips for passengers in the second and third row – even for adults. In the second row, leg room is increased by 38 mm and the seat is 18 mm higher. The new one-touch walk into the third row eases passenger access to these seats. Headroom in the third row has been improved by 22 mm.

Standard luggage capacity is increased by 31 litres to 547 litres behind the second row of seats, and can be extended to 1 625 litres with both the third and second row of seats folded down.

The prices of the new Santa Fe range are:
• Santa Fe R 2.2 Premium automatic – R599 900
• Santa Fe R 2.2 Executive automatic – R659 900
• Santa Fe R 2.2 Elite automatic – R749 900.

All prices include Hyundai Automotive SA’s 7-year/200 000 km manufacturer’s warranty (consisting of the standard 5-year/150 000 km warranty plus the additional 2-year/50 000 km drivetrain warranty extension).

An additional part of the package is a 5-year/90 000 km service plan, and roadside assistance for 5 years or 150 000 km.

Top contenders named

The race is now on for the coveted title of South African Car of the Year with 12 finalists having been whittled out of a starting list of more than 20.

The list comprises vehicles from Italy, Japan, Korea, Germany, France and Sweden and, in keeping with the diverse South African automotive landscape, it covers almost every motoring genre.

George Mienie, AutoTrader CEO and sponsor for the event, believes it is fitting to see the spread of vehicle categories contained within the list of finalists.

“South African motorists have access to vehicles from all over the world and to every conceivable type. This is reflected in the list of finalists,” he says.

“The South African Guild of Motoring Journalists believes each and every finalist is a contender worthy of wearing the 2019 AutoTrader SA Car of the Year crown.

“The judges will have their work cut out for them when it comes to evaluating the finalists because they represent the crème de la crème of the crop, but we believe we have a jury that has vast experience in judging our competition.

“Colin Windell and Stuart Johnston are current jurors who were part of the Jury at the very first historic Car Of The Year Competition 33 years ago.”

Although the cars and price categories vary considerably, it must be emphasised the finalists are not judged against each other. Rather, each Juror has extensive data available to them allowing direct comparison of the competing vehicle against its peers in its own market niche.

As anticipated, voting revealed such close scores the SAGMJ increased the Finalists from 10 vehicles to 12 worthy contenders. They are, in alphabetical order:

1. Alfa Romeo Stelvio
2. Honda Civic Type R
3. Hyundai Kona
4. Lexus ES
5. Mercedes-Benz A-Class
6. Mitsubishi Pajero Sport
7. Nissan Micra
8. Porsche Cayenne
9. Renault Duster
10. Suzuki Jimny
11. Suzuki Swift
12. Volvo XC40

The 25 Jurors will be given the opportunity to drive all the finalist vehicles over the next three months under normal driving conditions experienced by the average consumer. The formal evaluation days that will be held in Gauteng in March 2019 will allow judges the opportunity to reacquaint themselves with the vehicles.

At these evaluation days – the most critical of which will be the scheduled procedures to be held at Kyalami – the COTY Jury will assess the cars independently, with routes and modules designed to test the vehicles on specific criteria. The Jury will also have access to performance test data, comparative pricing and specification data, as well as comparative parts pricing data.


Top racers confirmed

Eighteen of the world’s top rallycross drivers and nine different marques will be making the trip to Cape Town for the start of the Gumtree World Rallycross of South Africa at Killarney Raceway on November 24/25.


Kids under 12 are free, and there is loads of off-track entertainment, such as the majestic Silver Falcons Air Show and the Monster Energy Rig.

Current World Champion Johan Kristoffersson, who drives a factory-developed Volkswagen Polo Supercar for Team PSRX Volkswagen, tops the entry list. The Swede currently tops the 2018 Championship Leaderboard, intent on defending his 2017 title.

Compatriots Robin Larsson of Olsbergs MSE, Mattias Ekström of EKS Audi Sport, Timmy Hansen of Team Peugeot Total and his brother Kevin of Team Peugeot-Hansen are also in the mix, ensuring Sweden maintains a strong presence on the Cape track.

French legend Sebastien Loeb of Team Peugeot Total is the world’s most successful rally driver and will be looking to add to the six podiums he took in 2017, but he will have stiff competition at Killarney from Latvian champion Janis Baumanis of Team Stard and the highly experienced Russian Timur Timerzyanov of the GRX Taneco Team. All three are currently neck-and-neck in this year’s top 10.


Kristoffersson’s racing partner, Norwegian Petter Solberg will also be here, as will fellow countryman Andreas Bakkerud of EKS Audi Sport and the rising young Finn Niclas Grönholm of GRX Taneco Team.

Making up the rest of the pack are GC Kompetition drivers Guerlain Chicherit and Anton Marklund, ALL-INKL.COM Munnich 77 drivers Timo Schedier and Rene Munnich, Gregoire Demoustier of Sebastien Loeb Racing, Oliver Bennett of Oliver Bennett and Kevin Eriksson of Olsbergs MSE.


On Thursday, November 22 the World Rallycross Parade makes its way from the back of the Table Bay Hotel to the Amphitheatre at the V&A Waterfront where drivers, including Kristoffersson, Loeb and Solberg, will be signing autographs at a special meet and greet.
Official Drivers Entry List
# Driver                           Nat   Car                                                     Competitor                  Nat
1 Johan Kristoffersson SWE VW Polo R PSRX                               Volkswagen Sweden SWE
4 Robin Larsson            SWE Ford Fiesta                                         Olsbergs MSE             SWE
5 Mattias Ekstrom         SWE Audi S1 EKS RX quattro                  EKS Audi Sport           SWE
6 Janis Baumanis          LAT Ford Fiesta                                          Team Stard                  AUT
7 Timur Timerzyanov RUS Hyundai i20 GRX                                Taneco Team               FIN
9 Sebastien Loeb           FRA Peugeot 208 WRX                               Team Peugeot Total  FRA
11 Petter Solberg          NOR VW Polo R PSRX                                 Volkswagen Sweden SWE
13 Andreas Bakkerud NOR Audi S1 EKS RX quattro                     EKS Audi Sport          SWE
21 Timmy Hansen       SWE Peugeot 208 WRX                                Team Peugeot Total  FRA
36 Guerlain Chicherit FRA Renault Megane RS                              GC Kompetition         FRA
42 Oliver Bennett        GBR Mini Cooper                                           Oliver Bennett          GBR
44 Timo Schedier         DEU Seat Ibiza                                              ALL-INKL.COM Munnich Motorsport                                                                                                                                  DEU
66 Gregoire Demoustier BEL Peugeot 208                                   Sebastien Loeb Racing FRA
68 Niclas Gronholm    FIN Hyundai i20 GRX                                 Taneco Team               FIN
71 Kevin Hansen         SWE Peugeot 208 WRX                              Team Peugeot-Hansen SWE
77 Rene Munnich         DEU Seat Ibiza                                             ALL-INKL.COM Munnich Motorsport                                                                                                                                  DEU
92 Anton Marklund  SWE Renault Megane RS                                        GC Kompetition FRA
96 Kevin Eriksson     SWE Ford Fiesta                                                Olsbergs MSE          SWE

Hardbody is zero rated

The venerable Nissan Hardbody workhorse bakkie has been given a straight red card by Global NCAP after scoring zero in the latest round of South African testing in conjunction with the Automobile Association (AASA).

Nissan NP300

The four models tested showed a wide range of safety performance, from zero to three stars for adult protection with the Nissan NP300 ‘Hardbody’ scoring the lowest ratings, which result in a high probability of life threatening injury in a crash.

The models tested were: Nissan NP300 Hardbody, Hyundai i20, Kia Picanto and Toyota Yaris. Global NCAP chose the entry-level version of each model and all were fitted with at least one air bag as standard. The results highlight significant differences in the structural integrity of the vehicles tested.

Collins Khumalo, CEO of the AA of South Africa says: “Of concern with these results is the most expensive vehicle tested in this round – the Nissan NP300 Hardbody – produced the lowest score of all tests completed to date, achieving a 00,00 score and zero stars. There should be no zero rated vehicles on our roads.

“What these results show is three vehicles priced lower than the Nissan produced three-star ratings for adult occupancy indicating safety does not have to be tied to price. They also emphasise cars may not be what they seem based purely on looks and descriptions and, until many more vehicles are tested, this issue may be a much bigger problem throughout Africa than we originally believed.”

David Ward, Secretary General of Global NCAP added: “A trio of three star results are acceptable but the zero star Nissan NP300 is shockingly bad.

“It is astonishing a global company such as Nissan can produce a car today as poorly engineered as this. The NP300 ‘Hardbody’ is ridiculously misnamed as its body shell collapsed. Nissan also claim the car benefits from a so called ‘safety shield’ but this is grossly misleading. Our test shows the occupant compartment completely fails to absorb the energy of the crash resulting in a high risk of fatality or serious injury. “

Nissan NP300 ‘Hardbody’

The NP300 ‘Hardbody’ achieved an alarming zero star rating for its poor adult occupant protection mainly in the driver head and chest areas in the frontal crash test at 64 km/h. The vehicle structure collapsed during the crash test and it was rated as unstable.

The steering wheel column did not collapse penetrating the passengers’ compartment, creating an additional risk for the driver as it moved straight into the dummy chest. This performance showed a significant risk of injuries for the driver despite the car being equipped with double frontal air bags.

The high probability of life threatening injuries to the driver’s head and chest resulted in the zero star adult occupant protection rating. Even with an air bag the driver’s head and chest showed high biomechanical readings.

The NP300 ‘Hardbody’ achieved two stars for child occupant protection, the low result is mainly explained by the decision of the car manufacturer to install one of the Child seats without following Child seat manufacturer instructions.

Toyota Yaris

The Yaris achieved a three star rating for adult occupant protection in the frontal crash test at 64 km/h. The vehicle structure was rated as unstable and offered marginal to good general adult occupant protection.

The car provides seat belt reminders for both frontal positions. The car included seatbelts with pretensioners for both front passengers. Using the child seats recommended by Toyota, the Yaris achieved a three star rating for child occupant protection.

Toyota Yaris

Hyundai i20

The i20 achieved a three star rating for adult occupant protection in the frontal crash test at 64 km/h. The vehicle structure was rated as unstable as well as the footwell area. The protection levels ranged from marginal to good in adult occupant protection. The car offers seatbelt pretensioners for both front passengers and seatbelt reminder for the driver.

Using the child seats recommended by Hyundai, the i20 achieved a two star rating for child occupant protection explained by the limited protection offered to the 3-years old dummy and lack of ISOFIX anchorages.

The i20 structure is different to that of the European model. Safety equipment in South Africa does not offer Electronic Stability Control (ESC), side body air bags and side curtain air bags, which are standard in Europe.

Hyundai i20

Kia Picanto

The Picanto achieved a three star rating for adult occupant protection in the frontal crash test at 64 km/h. The vehicle structure was rated as stable while the footwell area was rated as unstable.

The car offers seatbelt pretensioners for both front passengers and seat belt reminder for the driver only. Using the child seats recommended by Kia the Picanto achieved a two star rating for child protection.

The detachment of the ISOFIX anchorages for the 3-years old CRS during the test explains the low score for child occupant protection. The manufacturer did not yet offer an explanation to this problem, but the child seat manufacturer which is also investigating, took immediate action and removed the Picanto from their recommended list of cars for this CRS model.

Kia Picanto

Global NCAP awards a separate child safety rating to each car in order to highlight the different levels of protection vehicles provide to passengers on the rear seats. Because the only safe way for young children to travel is properly restrained in a child seat, the assessment checks how compatible the car is with the child seats recommended by the manufacturer, as well as the protection provided in the crash test. Airbags are not a substitute for seatbelts, passengers must always wear seatbelts.

Only the Yaris and Picanto offered standard ISOFIX anchorages for child restraint systems (CRS). The NP300 Hardbody showed incompatibilities with the recommended CRS. Only the Yaris offered three-point seatbelt for all passengers facilitating the required conditions to safely install a child seat in all seating positions, while all the others offered a lap belt in the middle position which makes it impossible to properly install a CRS.

Saul Billingsley, Executive Director of the FIA Foundation says: “The #SaferCarsForAfrica campaign introduces essential transparency to the South African car market, and these results show consumers are still getting a raw deal. The ironically-named ‘Hardbody’ is the worst of the bunch, but all these car makers should be doing better, and offering the same high standard of safety in South Africa, and across the African continent, as they do in Europe and the US.”