Back in 2005, the European New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) performed its series of safety tests on the Chevy Matiz — the predecessor to the current-day Spark. Designed and developed by GM Daewoo, the Matiz (known as the M200 during development), didn’t perform that well in the Euro NCAP tests, scoring 17 points (3 of 5 stars, but really 2) for adult occupant protection, 30 points (3 of 5 stars) for child occupant protection, and 13 points (2 of 4 stars) for pedestrian friendliness.
As you can see in the video, the entire body of the car seemingly crumbles during the frontal offset test, even though the airbags deploy appropriately. Euro NCAP noted that the deflection of the passenger dummy’s chest as a result of seat belt loading was greater than the driver’s, the structures within the knee-impact area proved to be hazardous to the knees and femurs of the occupants of the front-seats, while the protection to the driver’s lower legs was weak.
Moreover, the safety organization found that the compression of the driver’s chest in the side impact “represented an unacceptably high risk of life-threatening injury”. Because of this, NCAP struck through the final star of the adult occupant rating, making the rating 2, rather than 3, stars. Additionally, rear-facing child seats should not be placed in the front passenger seat since there isn’t a way to disable the airbag, even though the car’s labels met Euro NCAP’s requirements. Finally, the Matiz’s bumper scored no points for protecting pedestrians.
All in all, the Matiz doesn’t seem to be that safe of a vehicle — and is eclipsed by its newer brother — the Spark in every way, shape, and form, including safety. However, the car is still sold in India as the Chevrolet Spark, with the new Spark known as the Beat.