The Baleno is not equipped with a driver airbag as standard in all EU markets, so Euro NCAP tested this car without one. In the frontal impact, its driver would have been likely to sustain a severe head injury. He would have also risked severe chest injury in the side impact so the second star is 'flagged' to indicate unacceptably high risk levels. The car would not meet forthcoming side-impact legislation for new models. Two of the three leg impact test sites on the bumper met proposed pedestrian protection requirements.
The passenger compartment lost its integrity and the driver's door and sill became overloaded. The firewall and floor joint began to separate, the sill opened up at the base of the front pillar and the firewall began to tear. The driver's head struck the steering wheel despite the webbing lock fitted to his seat belt and his chest was also heavily loaded by the belt. Both impact areas for his knees contained stiff structures and there were fixtures which could also have caused localised damage if struck by his knees. The brake pedal was also displaced upwards where it could impale the driver's lower legs, and protection for his feet and ankles was poor. There was excessive footwell intrusion and the rupture in the firewall presented an additional risk.
The dummy's head scuffed the central door pillar and the window frame but protection was good. All of his ribs were highly loaded resulting in poor chest protection. However, loads acting on the driver's abdomen and pelvis rated as 'low'.
The recommended forward-facing child restraints were compatible with the car's rear belts. But in the frontal impact, the three-year-old's head moved forward excessively and chest protection was just below the minimum limit. Neck protection was just adequate for the 18-month-old. In the side impact, neither child's head was contained by the restraints.
Protection for a child pedestrian's head was generally good, although two bonnet areas were unforgiving. All adult head-impact sites gave poor protection, as did every site on the bonnet's front edge. However, two of the three sites on the bumper met proposed legislative requirements.