The all-new Isuzu D-Max has been awarded a five-star rating in the latest and toughest new Euro NCAP test. It is also the first pick-up truck to score a maximum of five stars under the latest test procedures.

The conditions to achieve a five-star rating in the latest Euro NCAP test are significantly higher than in previous years, with heavier and faster “trolleys” used in the collisions and the mandatory equipment for additional safety features.

The list of safety features available as standard in the European market is astounding. It is what the market expects, and something most governments enforce.

Standard items in the ADAS (Advanced Driver Assist Systems) suite include the usual Autonomous Emergency Braking, Lane Departure Warning & Prevention system, Blind-Spot Monitoring with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert and Traffic Sign Recognition. The single rear-facing reverse camera, which we here take it for granted, is a variant-exclusive feature.   

There are eight bags available, inclusive of the recently introduced front centre airbag system. This centre airbag deploys (from the driver’s seat) during side impacts to reduce injuries that could possibly occur when either the driver or front passenger unavoidably bump into each other.

While not specifically mentioned, the majority of vehicles that achieved a five-star rating have been fitted with the front centre airbag system.

Isuzu says an extra cross member has been added to the ladder chassis which has been strengthened even further with certain sections up to 34% wider and 14% higher to increase rigidity and improve passenger safety, particularly during side impacts.

Apart from a strong structure, dynamic performance has also been thoroughly improved. A revised suspension design increases stability and road holding while larger brakes all-around reduces stopping distance and brake fade with an increase in the service life.

All this is great news for Mazda too, as the Hiroshima-based automaker is using the third-generation Isuzu D-Max as a base for its recently introduced all-new BT-50 pick-up.

Based on previous examples of base-model sharing between two companies (Peugeot Traveller and Toyota Proace), Euro NCAP will examine the technical documents provided by the supplier and award the assessment accordingly. As such, we can expect the all-new Mazda BT-50 to be awarded a five-star rating too.

As pick-up vehicles are generally not as popular in Europe as in Australia, the pool of vehicles being tested is few and far between. The most recent entrant is the Mercedes-Benz X-Class in 2017. Popular models like the Toyota Hilux were listed as being tested in 2016, the Nissan Navara and Mitsubishi Triton/L200 in 2015 and the Ford Ranger in 2012.  

Euro NCAP thus strongly advise to not compare the crash test ratings of 2020 with those done years earlier.


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Siew Weng
Enjoys studying specifications and understanding features that aid performance as well as the aesthetics of a vehicle. From spreadsheets and proposals for new products to reporting about the finished product and more.