The rating is in regards to the Navara D40 dual cab 4x4 diesel, with a build date from November 2011 for 'VSK'-VIN-plated vehicles, and from December 2011 for NMT-plated vehicles. These received a number of safety improvements over the 2011 model.
According to NSW Centre for Road Safety acting general manager Marg Prendergast, the Navara would have been eligible for a five-star rating if it came standard with features such as side and side curtain airbags, and electronic brake distribution.
NRMA vehicle safety expert Jack Haley told CarAdvice that the structural performance of the Navara had improved on the latest model, but said it would need to be improved further for it to be considered for a five-star rating.
The front offset impact damage on this latest test showed the main structure held together well, however, protection against serious leg injury for the driver was marginal. An overall score of 27.5 out of 37 was given.
Although many fleet buyers are demanding a minimum of a four-star rating for their vehicles, the Ford Ranger and Volkswagen Amarok remain the only two utes on the market that have been given the full five-star rating in standard trim.