Isuzu Ute has addressed a safety discrepancy in its D-Max range by making certain 4x2 versions five-star ANCAP-rated.
From November build, 4x2 High-Ride Crew Cab variants get the maximum safety score, bringing them into line with 4x4 Crew Cab models that attained five stars from November 2013.
The safety update means Isuzu will better compete in the fleet space, where an increasing number of big-volume buyers demand five stars for OH&S requirements.
That said, the company’s single cab offerings in either drivetrain configuration still get four stars though they all offer six airbags — a not uncommon situation in the LCV market.
At present, all versions of the Ford Ranger and Mazda BT-50 get five stars, making them class leaders. Other rivals such as the Toyota HiLux, Volkswagen Amarok and Holden Colorado have only some five-star iterations.
On all four-door D-Max models, you get dual frontal, side chest and side head airbags (curtains) as standard. ABS, electronic brake distribution (EBD) and electronic stability control (ESC) are also standard. Advanced seatbelt reminders are fitted to both front seats.
Both 4x2 and 4x4 Crew Cab D-Max models get 33.58 out of 37 in ANCAP testing, with perfect results in the side impact and pole tests.
The safety update will surely help Isuzu make up even further ground in the somewhat flat LCV market locally. In the 4x4 market it has seen its D-Max sales grow an impressive 18 per cent in a segment down 4.7 per cent.
But the 4x2 market has been weaker for the Japan-based brand that builds its utes for Australia in Thailand. Sales at that end of the market are down 4.4 per cent, but Isuzu’s have dropped 8.2 per cent.
Full Australian VFACTS sales figures will be released this week but CarAdvice understands the company had a huge month in October, finishing ahead of the Mazda BT-50, growing its market share to nearly 8 per cent and edging to within about 200 sales of the soon-to-be-replaced Nissan Navara.