The 2021 Isuzu D-Max caps off a celebratory launch with a full five-star ANCAP safety rating, and under a tougher testing schedule.
The all-new Isuzu D-MAX is the first vehicle to be tested in Australia against the new stringent 2020 ANCAP testing and rating criteria, achieving a maximum five-star safety rating across the entire Isuzu D-MAX range.
In September 2020, Australia’s leading independent vehicle safety authority, ANCAP SAFETY published a five-star safety rating for the MY21 Isuzu D-MAX, praising it for re-establishing “the safety benchmark for the competitive ute segment.”
Rhianne Robson, ANCAP Director of Communications and Advocacy said of the result, “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.”
It’s a great result for Isuzu and its long-anticipated model launch but made even more so because the ANCAP testing regime was overhauled in 2020, ideally making it more difficult for a vehicle to rate the full top mark five stars.
For 2020, ANCAP overhauled their testing regime, to better reflect common crash scenarios and the types of vehicles that Australians were driving-evolving the testing protocols to capture a broader range of injury risk scenarios and encouraging the fitment of safety features to help minimise those risks.
Some of the new additions to the ANCAP test and rating criteria included an increase to both speed and mass of the striking vehicle in the side impact test to better reflect the increased mass of the vehicles on the road today, and new Far-Side Occupant Protection tests, to assess occupant safety during side-impact crashes.
The new Isuzu D-MAX has been extensively constructed using ultra-high and high-tensile steel for increased body and chassis strength, with large deformation zones around the cabin capable of absorbing high-energy impact forces during a collision. D-MAX is also the first ute and one of a small handful of vehicles to introduce an additional centre airbag across the entire range. Comprising of dual front, dual side, dual full-length curtain, a front knee and a centre (far-side) airbag, these supplementary restraint systems (SRS) have been designed to offer maximum impact protection for D-MAX occupants. The idea behind the centre airbag is it’s designed to protect the front seat occupants from damagingly interacting with each other during a heavy side impact.
“ANCAP’s new far-side impact testing has been introduced to assist in reducing occupant-to-vehicle and occupant-to-occupant interaction and injury in cases where the crash impact occurs on the opposite side to the driver,” said Mrs Robson.
Far-side impact performance equates to 10.5% of the Adult Occupant Protection component of the ANCAP score, with the new Isuzu D-MAX scoring a solid 3.5 out of four points in this area. With eight airbags within the cabin, the Isuzu D-MAX recorded a score of 83% for Adult Occupant Protection.
Equipped with class-leading levels of safety equipment as standard, ANCAP commended Isuzu on developing the new D-MAX with a strong and specific focus on safety.
“We’ve tended to see vehicles in the ute segment introduce safety upgrades iteratively throughout mid-cycle upgrades, whereas the D-MAX has been designed with some of the highest levels of safety from the outset,” remarked Mrs Robson.
Achieving the maximum five-star ANCAP rating against the strictest protocols and standards has always been a core goal for the new D-MAX, with Isuzu Engineers focusing the development to meet Australia’s stringent safety standards.
“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 UTE Australia Managing Director, Hiroyasu Sato.
If you’d like to watch the new D-MAX go through the process then the video below is for you.
The All-New Isuzu D-MAX is available from Isuzu UTE Dealers now. For more information click here