Watch: New Isuzu D-Max revealed as New Zealand's safest ute
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As modern safety technology in cars gets more advanced, testing procedures advance with it, meaning that scoring a five-star rating in ANCAP testing is no easy feat in 2020.
Revealed as the first ute to do so, Isuzu's new D-Max is now the safest ute you can buy in New Zealand, beating rivals such as the Ford Ranger and Volkswagen Amarok in ANCAP testing.
This five-star rating is a combination of many things, including passenger protection, vulnerable road user protection, and automated safety equipment that is tested in a real-world environment.
The new D-Max 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.
Among other things, the D-Max's impressive rating is down to the fact Isuzu was the first brand to install a centre airbag in a ute, designed to prevent passengers from knocking heads in a side-impact collision.
This new centre airbag protection is one example of how ANCAP is making it tougher for new models to earn a five-star rating.
While the outgoing Hilux may share a five-star rating with the D-Max, it was tested before the system was overhauled, meaning that it wouldn't achieve the same score if tested again today.
Following this same theme, the majority of double-cab utes on NZ roads such as the Ford Ranger, Mitsubishi Triton, and Nissan Navara haven't been tested since 2015.
Standard safety tech included with the new D-Max includes autonomous emergency braking with turn assist, forward collision warning, blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, rear cross traffic alert, and more.