The new Isuzu D-Max has become the first ute to score a maximum five-star rating under the latest crash testing scheme.
The Australiasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) has introduced tougher new testing procedures for 2020, which have increased both the speed and mass of the vehicle used for side impact testing.
Despite this stricter regime, the new D-Max passed with flying colours, scoring strongly across ANCAP’s various tests.
Critically, all 20 variants of the new D-Max - including single cab, space cab, crew cab and cab chassis - all scored the maximum safety rating.
“The D-Max rating has been highly anticipated by fleet and private buyers, and re-establishes the safety benchmark for the competitive ute segment where the introduction of safety features has tended to lag that of passenger cars and SUVs,” said ANCAP communications boss Rhianne Robson.
The D-Max scored 31 out 38 points in the adult occupant protection, with head protection for both driver and passenger rated as “good” thanks to Isuzu’s introduction of a centre airbag to stop head collisions. Although ANCAP did note that protection for the driver’s chest and upper legs was only “marginal”.
Given the increasing popularity of utes amongst families, the D-Max’s child occupant protection score was particularly impressive. It scored 44 out of a possible 49 points, an 89 per cent score, for looking after younger passengers, which is one of ANCAP’s top scores in this category.
Another new requirement for 2020 testing is greater emphasis on active safety assist technologies that are designed to protect pedestrians and cyclists. Under this scenario the D-Max scored 12.9 out of 16 points thanks to its suite of active safety features that includes autonomous emergency braking, forward collision warning, lane-keep assist and traffic sign recognition. ANCAP tests these systems more thoroughly now and rated them all “good”, except for the emergency lane keeping system, which was rated as “adequate” by the safety body.
“Safety has always been of paramount importance to us at Isuzu Ute Australia, and with standardised levels of safety and driver assistance technologies previously unseen in a ute, I am very pleased with the all-new D-Max achieving the top safety rating against the newer, tougher testing criteria,” said Isuzu Australia boss Hiroyasu Sato.