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2021 Isuzu D-MAX Awarded 5-Star ANCAP Safety Rating

Isuzu’s all-new D-MAX is the first vehicle to be tested in Australia against the new and tougher 2020 ANCAP testing and rating criteria, and it’s been awarded the maximum 5-star safety rating across the entire range.

ANCAP praised the D-MAX for re-establishing “the safety benchmark for the competitive ute segment.”

“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 Director of Communications and Advocacy, Rhianne Robson.

For 2020, ANCAP overhauled its 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.

“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 Mrs Robson.


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 2021 D-MAX has been 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.

All D-MAX Crew Cab models are fitted with capacity to accommodate two ISOFix child seats and recorded a score of 44 out of 49 points or 89 per cent for Child Occupant Protection, which is among one of the highest scores awarded by ANCAP.

The D-MAX is one of a small handful of vehicles to introduce an additional centre airbag across the entire range; including the entry-level Single Cab Chassis SX. Embedded within the inner side of the driver’s seat, the new centre airbag is designed as a countermeasure during side-impacts to protect both front occupants from colliding with each other.

“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 per cent of the Adult Occupant Protection component of the ANCAP score, with the All-New Isuzu D-MAX scoring 3.5 out of 4 points in this area.

With 8 airbags overall, the Isuzu D-MAX recorded a score of 83 per cent for Adult Occupant Protection.


Expanding the testing regime to cover a broader range of likely injury scenarios, the 2020 ANCAP requirements increase focus on active safety assist technologies and pedestrian and cyclist safety, as part of the updated Vulnerable Road User Protection score.

In this regard, the D-MAX is fully-loaded with a comprehensive suite of driver assistance technologies, packaged up in its Intelligent Driver Assistance System (IDAS). IDAS uses radar sensors and an advanced Hitachi 3D stereo binocular camera system that detects and measures distance, size, velocity and depth of vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists and other potential obstacles around the D-MAX.

The IDAS suite of electronic driver aids includes Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) with Turn Assist, Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Traffic Sign Recognition (TSR), Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM), Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), Lane Keep Assist (LKA), Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Emergency Lane Keeping (ELK) among others. IDAS has seen extensive local testing, with Isuzu saying its engineers have tuned TSR, LKA, LDW and ELK for Australian roads.

IDAS is complimented by a range of standard driver assistance systems across all D-MAX models, including a Reversing Camera, Intelligent Speed Limiter, Driver Attention Assist, automatic wipers and automatic headlights with automatic high beam control. LS-M, LS-U and X-TERRAIN models benefit from Bi-LED headlights with LED daytime running lights.


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.

The All-New Isuzu D-MAX is available from Isuzu UTE Dealers now.

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