In China, the Geely Binyue and Honda Vezel (also known as the Binzhi) are relatively popular B-segment SUVs, with both recording six-figure sales figures consistently. Over here, we know the SUVs as the Proton X50 and HR-V, and just like in China, they are popular options among car buyers.
Recently, Chinese media outlet Drag Racing decided to carry out an experiment to see how the Binyue and Vezel would fare if they collided against each other. In most crash tests, cars are tested independently, and in the case of the X50 and HR-V, both have already received a five-star safety rating from the New Car Assessment Program for Southeast Asian Countries (ASEAN NCAP).
To determine which SUV’s body structure is safer, the publication carried out a frontal offset crash test, with locally-sourced units travelling towards each other at 64 km/h. The video of the experiment, which has since been uploaded to the AutoWorld YouTube page, shows the dramatic collision and plenty of slow-motion snippets for the Drag Racing team to analyse.
According to the publication, both cars collided at the precise position planned, and the smashed front ends are to be expected given the nature of crumple zones that deform on purpose to help dissipate as much force as possible.
The airbags of both SUVs were also deployed within just 30 milliseconds, although the seat belts locked much quicker on the Binyue (nine milliseconds) to hold the test dummies in place compared to the Vezel (15 milliseconds). The publication notes that the seat belts are equipped with a small explosive charge (much like in an airbag) to instantly lock the seat belts in a collision, holding passengers in place in case of an accident.
While the restraining systems of both cars performed well, Drag Racing also observed the passenger structure to see if the damage sustained could result in injuries being inflicted on passengers. Based on the footage, the Binyue performed better than the Vezel, as the A-pillars, doors, roof and underbody of the Geely model did not deform as severely. However, both cars still managed to keep their passenger structures relatively intact, with no immediate intrusions, to keep occupants safe.
There are a few things to note with regards to this experiment. Firstly, the Binyue was first released in 2018 and is a much newer car compared to the Vezel that has been around since 2015. As such, the Geely SUV benefits from more modern safety technology developments, likely contributing to the results. Honda has already released the third-generation Vezel/HR-V this year, which should perform much better in a crash test compared to its predecessor.
Secondly, the results of this test should only be applied to the local Chinese market given that local units were used. Differences in materials sourced and production processes depending on where the car is built would mean that this test isn’t representative of versions sold in other markets.
It’s also worth mentioning that China has its own safety assessment programme called N-NCAP, which attempts to mimic the Euro NCAP standard. The Vezel was listed as having the highest five-star rating in 2015, but the results of the Binyue have yet to be posted by C-NCAP.
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