Isuzu D-Max beats Ford Ranger, VW Amarok in safety testing

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Words: Matthew Hansen
17 Sep 2020

Just a few days after Isuzu New Zealand announced local pricing for its upcoming D-Max, it’s been confirmed that the all-new ute has also passed ANCAP crash testing with flying colours.

The D-Max scored a five star rating, based on the safety organisation’s latest, most stringent test procedures. Drilling deeper, it scored 83 per cent for Adult Occupant Protection, 89 per cent for Child Occupant Protection, 69 per cent for Vulnerable Road User Protection, and 81 per cent for Safety Assist.

Read more: Kiwi pricing revealed for all-new Isuzu D-Max

The rating places the D-Max in fine company, the outgoing Toyota Hilux being one of the few other utes to achieve a five star ANCAP safety rating in recent times since test procedures were overhauled, achieving the feat just last year.

Interestingly, the majority of double-cab utes currently on sale haven’t been tested in several years. While the Ford Ranger, Nissan Navara, and Mitsubishi Triton have five-star ANCAP ratings to their name, all were last tested by the firm way back in 2015 to less rigorous standards. It’s even worse for the Volkswagen Amarok, which was last tested in 2011.

The D-Max’s safety suite (called the Isuzu Intelligent Driver Assistance System), which is standardised for all models, includes autonomous emergency braking with turn assist, forward collision warning, blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, rear cross traffic alert, and more. It also comes with adaptive cruise control for most models, save for the manual base-model LX.

“The D-Max rating has been highly anticipated by fleet and private buyers, and re-establishes the safety benchmark for the competitive ute segment which has traditionally tended to lag that of passenger cars and SUVs,” said ANCAP Director of Communications and Advocacy, Rhianne Robson.

“It is reassuring to see manufacturers take responsibility and prioritise safety to provide their customers with the safest vehicles they can.”

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