The recently launched Nissan Navara NP300 has been awarded the maximum ANCAP five-star safety rating against its latest — and toughest — 2015 testing regime.
Despite some differences in specification, all versions of the Nissan Navara (the on-sale dual-cab, as well as the king-cab and single-cab variants due to launch within the next few months) get the maximum score.
As such, it joins rival utes such as the Ford Ranger, Mazda BT-50, Mitsubishi Triton in getting five stars across all variants. Other ute rivals such as the (soon-to-be-replaced) Toyota HiLux, Isuzu D-Max and Volkswagen Amarok get five stars in some body-styles, but not all.
All Navara NP300 models currently on sale — the dual-cabs — get seven airbags including front/rear curtains plus requisite tech such as stability control, electronic brake force distribution and emergency brake assist. A reverse-view camera is only available on the higher ST and ST-X versions though, unlike the forthcoming new HiLux where it’s standard across the range (that tech is also standard on all pick-up style Tritons).
The Navara’s excellent score is important commercially too, because it opens the door to more fleet sales — many have five-star requirements — that its four-star D40 Navara successor missed.
ANCAP said the Navara NP300 performed well in the most recent round of testing, meeting 2015 five-star standards in physical crash performance and in the provision of key safety features and safety technologies alike.
Nissan did have to sort out one notable issue, though: the webbing-loop style child-seat restraints.
“In an example of the importance of independent crash testing, in the initial test of the Navara dual-cab, ANCAP identified a failure of the webbing loop which routes the child restraint top tether,” the safety watchdog claimed.
“The rating was therefore withheld until a satisfactory remedy was developed.
“Nissan developed an improved design of the webbing loop and ANCAP conducted a satisfactory follow-up crash test. ANCAP has been advised that all affected Navara models have been upgraded with the improved top tether routing.”
This is welcome news, though as we pointed out in our recent review, it’s a little disappointing the Thai-made Navara NP300 doesn’t also come with ISOFIX anchors.
Increasingly, utes of this type are seeing duty as family haulers, and the Navara with its refined independent rear suspension is clearly aimed at these so-called weekend warriors. Nevertheless, credit where credit is due.
Are you a ute buyer, or a prospective one? Is a five-star safety rating a key selling point? Tell us in the comments below.