Automobile safety is the study and practice of design, construction, equipment and regulation to minimize the occurrence and consequences of automobile accidents. Cars of today come equipped with a lot of active & passive safety features which are there to protect the occupants as well as the pedestrians.
Related: Do Airbags Guarantee Your Safety?
One of the main safety features in any modern day automobile is the airbags, accompanied with pre-tensioned seatbelts. While seatbelts are the primary safety equipment, which you should always buckle up before you set off, the next main thing that is considered a vital safety feature and also supplements the seatbelts is the airbags.
Front airbags (driver & passenger) were declared as mandatory safety equipment for cars in developed markets including the US & Europe since late 90s. Today in certain markets, most vehicles offer up to 8 airbags as standard. However in Pakistan, safety isn’t in the priority list for consumers as well as the automakers.
A recent incident when the teenage son of senior PPP leader Qamar Zaman Kaira, lost his life in a tragic car accident, ignited a lot of debate on mainstream media regarding absence of safety features in cars assembled in Pakistan. Although the car involved in accident was a 2002 Corolla (used JDM) still the airbags were not deployed perhaps because either the occupants were not wearing seatbelts or the airbags were simply not present/ functional as there is no check and balance on the import of refurbhised JDMs.
Airbags as Standard Equipment in Local Assembled Cars
In a time when airbags are considered a mandatory safety requirement around the world, most locally assembled cars still come without a single airbag. However thankfully there are certain options for buyers in our market that are equipped with airbags, such as:
When it comes to airbags, the FAW V2 has always been equipped with driver & passenger airbag as standard. It appeared in our market as CBU import in 2014 and since August 2017 is being assembled locally. The V2 comes equipped with 2 airbags in local assembled versions too and is available for PKR 14.99 lac.
For a long time, the Corolla offered only 1 airbag in its 1.8 liter Altis variants. However recently Indus Motors have started to offer 2 airbags with the entire range of Corolla, which means from the flagship Altis Grande right down to the entry level Xli, all Corolla versions now come with driver & passenger airbags as standard. The Corolla is available for PKR 24.99 lac for the base 1.3 liter XLi to as high as PKR 36.99 lac for the flagship 1.8 liter Altis Grande CVTi.
The current breed of Toyota Fortuner comes with 3 airbags as standard. In addition to driver & passenger airbags, there is a knee airbag offered for the driver as well. The Fortuner is priced from PKR 79.99 lac for the 2.7 liter petrol version to PKR 86.49 lac for the 2.8 liter diesel version.
The entire Toyota Hilux range comes equipped with 2 airbags as standard, however the Revo variants just like Fortuner have 3 airbags on offer. The Hilux single cab range is priced between PKR 31.59 lac to PKR 48.49 lac for the 4×4 version. The Hilux E cost PKR 52.49 lac whereas the Revo variants are priced between PKR 55.99 lac to up to PKR 62.49 lac.
For a long time Honda civic too, came equipped with a single airbag however thankfully today the entire Honda Civic range comes equipped with driver & passenger airbags as standard. The Honda Civic is priced from PKR 34.99 lac for the base 1.8 liter Oriel to PKR 43.99 lac for the top-spec 1.5 liter Turbo RS variant.
The Honda BR-V comes equipped with only 1 airbag as standard, which is for the driver. The BR-V is priced from PKR 27.49 lac for the base MT to up to PKR 30.99 for the top-spec S variant.
The newly launched Kia Sportage that is being assembled in Pakistan comes with driver and front passenger airbags as standard. Available in two trims the Sportage FWD is priced at PKR 48.99 lac whereas the flagship AWD version costs PKR 53.99 lac.
Airbags as Optional Equipment in Local Assembled Cars
Then there are certain vehicles in which only certain trims are equipped with airbags, these include:
Airbags are only available with the VXL trim in Suzuki Cultus. The VXR trim comes without a single airbag. The Cultus VXL is priced at 18.55 lac for manual and PKR 19.75 lac for the AGS (Auto Gear Shift) version.
In June 2019, Pak Suzuki launched Alto 660cc replacing the 800cc Mehran as the entry level hatchback in their lineup. Available in three versions, sparring the base VX version, the VXR and VXL comes equipped with driver & passenger airbags. The Alto 660cc is priced at PKR 12.38 lac for VXR and PKR 14.33 lac for the VXL version.
Isuzu D-Max offer 2 airbags with its top-end V-Cross trim only. The rest of the lineup including the PKR 4.5 million Hi-Lander comes without any airbag. The D-Max V-Cross is priced between PKR 50.0 lac to PKR 54.0 lac.
Local Assembled Cars with No Airbags
The 5th gen Honda City that has entered the 10th year of production in Pakistan doesn’t offer a single airbag in any of its trim. It is priced from PKR 19.19 lac for the base 1.3 liter variant and goes as high as PKR 22.74 lac for the 1.5 liter Aspire Prosmatec.
The rest of the local assembled lot including the Suzuki Wagon R, Suzuki Swift, Suzuki Bolan, FAW X-PV, United Bravo and the newly launched Changan Karvaan all fail to offer any airbag.
While airbags have saved thousands of lives, they also have the potential to cause injury or even death to children or to occupants who aren’t using a seatbelt. Children under 12 should be seated in the rear in an appropriate restraint system and rear-facing child seats should never be installed in front seats equipped with airbags. To read more about airbags click here.
A computer animation professional with over 23 years of industry experience having served in leading organizations, TV channels & production facilities in Pakistan. An avid car enthusiast and petrolhead with an affection to deliver quality content to help shape opinions. Formerly written for PakWheels as well as major publications including Dawn. Founder of CarSpiritPK.com