A safety upgrade for the Toyota HiLux has boosted the Australasian New Car Assessment Program's (ANCAP) rating of 4x4 derivatives from four stars to five.
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The upgraded result applies to single- and extra-cab HiLux variants built from August 2013 and follows a series of safety improvements including a successful side pole impact test, improved knee protection and the inclusion of seatbelt reminders.

The Toyota HiLux dual cab 4x4 is expected to follow suit with a five-star rating - joining the likes of the Ford Ranger, Mazda BT-50, Holden Colorado and Volkswagen Amarok - though at this stage continues with its existing four-star rating. There’s no change to the HiLux 4x2, which remains a four-star vehicle.

ANCAP chairman Lauchlan McIntosh says the new ratings for single- and extra-cab HiLux 4x4s are good news for private buyers and larger fleet buyers that require a five-star rating for company vehicles under legal guidelines.

“This is an excellent case study of a very strong shift in the light-commercial vehicle market driven by safety," McIntosh said.

"There is no longer any excuse for fleet buyers when it comes to safety - they should accept nothing less than five-star safety."

For a comprehensive review of the most popular dual-cab utes on the market, read our massive eight ute comparison here.