The all-new Isuzu D-Max has received 5 stars in the latest rounds of strict NCAP safety tests.
The double-cab bakkie was put through the mill in the Australian/New Zealand version of the Euro NCAP safety testing. Called ANCAP, this rigorous testing focuses on not just impact assessments but also on preventative technologies. In both aspects, the new Isuzu D-Max impressed. Unlike the Euro NCAP test results quoted, the ANCAP test right-hand-drive cars making it a more indicative result for SA market vehicles.
For the Aussie and New Zealand markets, technology like autonomous emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, lane departure warning, emergency lane-keeping and advanced speed assistance systems are fitted across the entire Isuzu D-Max range. In terms of airbags, there are dual front airbags, side chest-protecting airbags, curtain airbags as well as a driver's knee bag. The introduction of a centre airbag to protect front passengers during side impacts is a first for the segment and helped contribute to its 5-star score.
“Our 2020 requirements again set the bar higher to promote further vehicle safety improvements and address some of the ongoing challenges on our roads,” said ANCAP Director – Communications & Advocacy, Rhianne Robson. “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,” Mrs Robson said.
When it came to the actual crash testing and structure analysis, ANCAP said, "the protection offered to adult occupants in the side-impact and oblique pole tests was good, with full points achieved, including for occupant-to-occupant head protection through the inclusion of the new centre airbag. Full points were also achieved for the protection of child occupants in the frontal offset and side-impact scenarios."
It remains to be seen what level of safety features and technology the SA-built Isuzu D-Max units will feature. The new double-cab launches in SA in 2021.