Mahindra Scorpio-N scores 5-star in GNCAP, and reasons of 0-Star in ANCAP
The Mahindra Scorpio debuted in Australia in April 2023 and later in New Zealand in August 2023, with this ANCAP safety rating encompassing Z8, and Z8L variants.
The Mahindra Scorpio-N, which had previously earned a commendable 5-star safety rating from the Global NCAP, faced a surprising turn of events during its evaluation by the Australian NCAP. The Scorpio-N, set to launch in Australia on April 20th, underwent testing by the Australian NCAP and was unexpectedly awarded a 0-star safety rating.
It’s noteworthy that the Australian law also mandates that all new cars must have AEB post March 2025. Since this law wasn’t applicable in November 2022, Mahindra introduced the Scorpio-N to the Australian market at that time. Although the Scorpio-N secured a 5-star rating in the Global NCAP, the lack of ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) features, such as Lane Keep Assist, Lane Departure Warning, Blind Spot Detection Monitoring, Adaptive Cruise Control, or Autonomous Emergency Braking, contributed to its 0-star rating in Australia.
The pivotal reason behind this drastic shift in safety ratings is linked to a recent local law imposed by the Federal Government in Australia. According to this regulation, cars will not be permitted for sale in Australia after March 2025 unless equipped with Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) as a mandatory safety feature. Unfortunately, the Scorpio-N lacked this crucial safety feature during its Australian NCAP evaluation, resulting in a 0-star rating.
Mahindra had initially introduced the Scorpio-N to the Australian market in November 2022, well before the implementation of the AEB requirement. While Mahindra has not commenced sales of the Scorpio-N in Australia, the vehicle will eventually be eligible for sale in the country. However, due to the absence of AEB, it will carry a 0-star safety rating according to ANCAP standards.
Importantly, this unique circumstance in Australia does not impact the Scorpio-N’s safety standing in India, where it retains its 5-star rating under the ‘Safest Cars for India’ initiative. In contrast, the forthcoming launch of the XUV700 in Australia, equipped with ADAS features including Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Keep Assist, High Beam Assist, Traffic Sign Recognition, Front Collision Warning, and Autonomous Emergency Braking, positions it favorably to achieve better safety scores under the ANCAP evaluation compared to the Scorpio-N.
Assessment on Scorpio-N
During the ANCAP crash test, the Scorpio-N demonstrated mixed protection levels, ranging from Good to Poor, for adult occupants in various crash scenarios, including frontal offset, full-width frontal, side-impact, and oblique pole tests. Notably, the SUV received a ‘weak’ chest protection rating in the full-width frontal test and showed areas of improvement in rear passenger protection.
The Mahindra Scorpio-N, after undergoing an ANCAP (Australasian New Car Assessment Program) crash test, has been assigned a zero-star safety rating. In this evaluation, the Scorpio-N achieved a 44% rating for adult protection and an 80% rating for child protection. However, it received a 23% score for vulnerable road user protection and a concerning 0% score for safety assist systems. This starkly contrasts with its previous assessment in December 2022 when it secured a 5-star rating from the Global NCAP under less stringent testing parameters.
Critical safety features such as an autonomous emergency braking (AEB) system and a lane support system (LSS) are absent in all Scorpio variants. The lack of a seatbelt reminder (SBR) system for second or third-row seating positions is another notable omission, with SBR available only for the front seating positions.
The decline in scores can be attributed to the absence of active collision avoidance features or Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), which have become mandatory under the latest ANCAP regulations. The disparity in safety ratings between the ANCAP and Global NCAP tests arises from differing testing protocols.
The ANCAP assessment focuses on six-seat variants present in Australia, while New Zealand offers a seven-seat variant with a center seat in the second row. The latter is equipped with a lap-only seatbelt in the second-row center seating position, which, ANCAP points out, does not provide the same level of protection as a lap-sash (three-point) seatbelt. ANCAP strongly discourages the use of lap-only seatbelts for occupants of any size.
Moreover, the Mahindra Scorpio does not offer a driver monitoring system (DMS), a speed limit information function (SLIF), or a child presence detection (CPD) system.
Highlighting a specific concern, top tether anchorages are not provided for the center seating position in the second row of seven-seat variants in New Zealand or for third-row seating positions in any variant. ANCAP explicitly advises against installing child restraints in these seating positions due to the absence of top tether anchorages.
Scorpio-N Safety Features
Standard safety features include dual frontal, side chest-protecting, and side head-protecting airbags for the first and second rows. However, it’s noteworthy that the side head-protecting airbags do not extend to safeguard occupants seated in the third row. Additionally, a center airbag designed to prevent occupant-to-occupant interaction is not a feature in the Scorpio.
Despite the safety concerns highlighted in the crash test, the Mahindra Scorpio-N remains a popular choice among buyers, equipped with features such as cruise control, front and rear cameras, dual-zone climate control, six airbags, ABS with EBD, hill-assist control, and wireless phone charging. The SUV offers two engine options—a 2.0-litre petrol unit and a 2.2-litre diesel engine—delivering different power and torque outputs, and both are available with manual or automatic transmissions. The 173bhp diesel variant also comes with a 4-wheel-drive system, providing additional versatility for prospective buyers.