2020 Honda City, Perodua Aruz, Proton X50 - which is safer? The answer might surprise you

Hans · Oct 12, 2020 02:02 PM

If you have been following our page, you would know that the Proton X50 has been awarded a maximum 5-star rating by ASEAN NCAP. As the Proton X50 is structurally similar to the Geely Binyue donor car, one can say that this is the first right-hand drive crash test for the Geely Binyue.

However if you study the ASEAN NCAP’s test report in detail, you will realize that the Proton X50’s scores is actually lower than the Perodua Aruz and 2020 Honda City – 86.54 points for the Honda City, 86.49 points for the Aruz, versus 84.26 points for the X50.

All three cars are rated using the latest 2017 – 2020 scoring methodology (results of tests done before 2017 cannot be compared because the methodology is different).

So how is it possible that a Proton X50, which is a far more sophisticated product than the Perodua Aruz, equipped with the full suite of advance driver assistance (ADAS) features, can score lower than a Perodua Aruz which only has AEB (Perodua calls it ASA 2.0)?

The simple reason is that NCAP scores are weighted and have to consider availability of the said safety features across the range. The Perodua Aruz comes with 6 airbags as standard, while the entry variant of the Proton X50 comes with just 4 airbags.

Still, the X50 manage to do better than the Aruz in side-impact protection, scoring a maximum 16.00 points, versus the Aruz’s 14.64 points. However, the Aruz scored 2 more points for head protection technology, because curtain airbags are available as standard.

Seat belt reminders (SBRs) are also a scoring criteria. The Aruz is equipped with SBRs for both front and rear occupants, while the X50’s SBR is only for the front occupants, so lower points there.

The Aruz lacks blind spot monitor (but its sister-car the Toyota Rush gets it), so no points there for the Perodua. The Proton X50 gets points for blind spot monitor, but since it’s not a standard feature, it doesn’t get full points for it.

But between blind spot monitors and seat belts, the latter certainly takes a higher priority so the blind spot monitor was not enough for the Proton to claw back the loss in points.

As for the Honda City, the variant tested is a Thai specs 1.0-litre VTEC Turbo unit, which doesn’t come with Sensing so those scores are not valid to our market, but it’s still a good reference.

Even if you put aside the question of whether Honda Sensing is availble as standard or not, the performance of the Honda City's crash protection structure is still better than either the Perodua Aruz or Proton X50.

Not all 5-star ratings are the same

The overall star rating don't tell the full story. NCAP rating agencies are always trying to strike a balance between rewarding passive safety vs active safety.

So while the Perodua Aruz gets high scores thanks to its greater SBR fitment and standard 6 airbags, it's crash impact protection scores is lower. This applies to the Toyota Rush also. In fact, the test was done using a Toyota Rush, with scores extended to the Perodua Aruz.

Honda City - Mostly green, showing good structural integrity

Perodua Aruz/Toyota Rush - more yellow and amber zones. Footwell ruptured at frontal collision while driver's door opened during side impact.

Proton X50 - Despite being a bigger SUV, body structure didn't protect as well as the smaller Honda City

The 2020 Honda City scored 44.83 points in adult occupant protection (43.25 points for Aruz, 43.64 points for X50) and 22.82 points in child occupant protection (21.01 points for Aruz, 21.17 points for X50).