Turns out Kias and buffaloes don't do so well in a head-to-head.
Organizations such as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Euro NCAP could be considered the motorist's guardian, independently testing new cars for their safety and crash protection. But what happens in the real world can very often differ from what these tests suggest. For that reason, it's often refreshing, and sometimes a little scary, to see what happens in real-life accidents. One such incident occurred recently in India, as Swift Headline reports that a motorist driving a Kia Seltos had an unfortunate run-in with a 600-pound buffalo at 56 mph. As the photos below show, the impact wasn't a light one.
It appears the Korean crossover took the brunt of the impact, with both front airbags deploying. A cracked front bumper, a damaged headlight, and a crumpled hood show where the large, 660-pound buffalo struck the vehicle. Despite the life-threatening incident, Seltos driver Dr. Stephen Sudhakar escaped without even minor injuries, posting the incident on a Facebook Seltos owners' group.
Despite appearing totaled, the Seltos was repairable and, after three months at a body shop, is in daily use again. This real-life moose test shows what happens when you're unable to avoid the moose, or in this case buffalo, ahead of you.
It is, however, worth noting that the Seltos you see above is a very different spec from the one we get in the USA. Dubbed the SP2, US-spec models differ from the example in the accident in a number of ways. Firstly, it's longer (by 2.1 inches), lower, and has a lengthier wheelbase.
More importantly, the models differ when it comes to safety and crash protection. The American SP2 derivative scored an overall four-star rating from the NHTSA, with Australia's ANCAP bestowing a five-star safety rating upon the crossover. Compare that to the SP2i tested by Global NCAP, which received a middling three-star rating (see video above). The organization described driver and passenger head protection as 'adequate', scoring 8.03 out of a possible 17 points.
Global NCAP tests vehicles in their base trim. In this case, a Seltos is equipped with just two airbags, ABS brakes, and front seatbelt pre-tensioners. US models gain stability and traction control, forward collision avoidance, lane-keep assist, and several other active safety features. The airbag count in the US also surpasses that of Indian-spec derivatives, with all models receiving dual front, dual front seat-mounted, and full-length side curtain airbags. US prices for the Seltos start at $22,590 MSRP.