In news that will surprise few, the all-new 2016 Toyota HiLux has locked in a top five-star crash safety rating with the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP).
The new eighth-generation HiLux achieved an overall score of 34.45 out of a possible 37 points, including 13.45 out of 16 in the frontal offset crash test, 16 out of 16 in the side impact test, and 2 out of 2 in the pole test.
The announcement - which follows a 2013 five-star upgrade for the seventh-generation HiLux - opens the door once more to wide availability with fleets, with many organisations now requiring vehicles to carry a top safety rating.
“As more organisations adopt a five-star fleet policy, we will see a significant increase in five-star vehicles on our roads, which will then be passed on to consumers when their fleet service ends in a few years time,” said outgoing ANCAP CEO, Nicholas Clarke.
“As a result, ANCAP predicts a one-third reduction in the number of Australians killed or seriously injured by 2020, compared to 2001 when there were no 5 star rated cars in our roads.”
Importantly, the new HiLux is also the first light commercial vehicle (LCV) to achieve a rating of “good” for pedestrian protection, scoring 30.16 out of a possible 36 points.
“While most locations on the bonnet and bumper provided good results there were some poor results for the upper leg towards the centre of the bumper and towards the lower corner of the windscreen,” the crash report reads.
Data shows that one in eight Australian road fatalities are pedestrians.
“Improved frontal design of vehicles makes an important contribution to reducing the road toll. High front vehicles like the Hilux are especially challenging so Toyota has done well with the Hilux," Clarke added.
He said that the the addition of LED daytime lights as standard equipment is also an advantage in pedestrian safety, with the systems shown to reduce the risk of pedestrians stepping out in front of vehicles.
The HiLux is one of a number of utes to now boast a five-star ANCAP rating, with others including either all or variants of (depending on the model) the Ford Ranger, Mazda BT-50, Volkswagen Amarok, Nissan Navara, Mitsubishi Triton, Isuzu D-Max, and Holden Colorado. The car-based Holden and Ford utes likewise carry five-star ratings.