The Fiat Argo hatchback and its sedan sibling, the Fiat Cronos, are relatively new to the motoring scene in the Southern Hemisphere. The Argo arrived first in 2017 followed by the Cronos a year later to serve Latin American markets, but crash-test news isn't good. Following a series of tests conducted by Latin NCAP, the latest versions of both cars received a zero-star rating.
The poor crash performance reflects on structural and technological deficiencies. The Fiat vehicles do not feature electronic stability control as standard equipment, never mind other features like automatic emergency braking that are now common on many vehicles. Side airbags also aren't standard equipment, which contributed to the poor showing.
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In impact testing, the cars were evaluated for frontal impact, side impact, whiplash, and pedestrian protection, and only managed a poor-to-average score at best in frontal protection. According to Latin NCAP, The Fiat twins exhibited an unstable structure in frontal collisions, with poor performance for side impact and whiplash protection.
Pedestrian protection was also rated low, specifically with regards to passive safety since there are no standard automatic braking systems. The report did highlight "decent" protection for children, but a lack of marking per Latin NCAP requirements affected the score. In fact, pedestrian protection for the Argo and Cronos was the lowest since Latin NCAP began tracking this metric in 2020.
The zero-star rating led Latin NCAP to reevaluate its rating of 2019 Argo/Cronos models, which previously had a three-star rating for adult occupants and a four-star rating for children. After the audit, the rating was downgraded to zero-star for adult occupants.
"If it would not have been tested we would not know about the low safety that the Fiat Argo/Cronos offers not only to its customers, but to all the people that coexist on the streets with this type of vehicle," said Latin NCAP Chairman Stephan Brodziak. "Fiat adds another low-safety car to the list of cars that do not adequately protect road users. We make a call to Fiat to shift towards safer cars."