The poor performance of the Kia Picanto in emerging market crash tests continues – Latin NCAP has announced that South Korea’s cheap and cheerful city car scored a zero-star rating, another one to add to the list. The Picanto has already received two similar ratings from ASEAN NCAP for Thai- and Indonesian-market models, both without airbags.

The agency tested the most basic variant sold in the region, again without any airbags fitted – the lack of airbags was deemed as the reason for the poor adult occupant protection result, as the body structure was rated as stable after the front impact test.

It also scored just one star for child occupant protection, due to high dummy readings, a lack of a three-point centre seat belt and the wrong instructions for the installation of child restraint systems (CRS), i.e. child seats.

“Latin NCAP is disappointed to see a global car manufacturer like Kia offering a successful model like the Picanto with such poor safety performance,” said Latin NCAP secretary general Alejandro Furas.

Are Malaysian models affected? No – the Picanto scored four stars in Euro NCAP and ASEAN NCAP as well as five stars in the Australasian New Car Assessment Programme (ANCAP) when fitted with six airbags, stability control and a three-point centre rear seat belt, much like the models that are sold over here in Malaysia.

Latin NCAP also retested the Peugeot 208 under its new protocol – the Brazilian-made Gallic hatch scored a four-star adult occupant protection rating in 2014, back when a side impact test was not required. This time, with the side impact test, the 208 mustered just two stars, even with the 64 km/h, 40% offset front impact test remaining the same as it was in 2014.

The agency found that not only was the Peugeot not fitted with side or curtain airbags, it also was missing any form of side impact structural reinforcements in the doors and pelvis protection inner door panel – this led to a high level of intrusion and a weak overall side impact protection for the head and chest. The 208’s child occupant protection rating stayed the same as before, at three stars.

Additionally, the agency noted that although the Picanto was not subjected to a side impact test due to its zero-star rating, it featured basic side impact structural and interior protection, such as side impact beams in the doors, as opposed to the more expensive Peugeot.

Again, the 208’s performance in the Latin NCAP crash test falls short of results of models fitted with the full arsenal of six airbags and stability control. Malaysia specs cars which have different standards in crash protection scored five stars in Euro NCAP and ANCAP, and four stars in ASEAN NCAP.

“Latin NCAP is disappointed with Peugeot’s strategy of selling a car made locally without basic side protection mandatory since 1995 in Europe,” said Latin NCAP president María Fernanda Rodríguez. “The Peugeot 208 is considered a high level and successful car in Europe and one of the latest platforms of the manufacturer. Shame on Peugeot.”