Australian crash testing authority ANCAP has re-tested the related Isuzu D-Max and Mazda BT-50 utes, and Isuzu MU-X SUV, again awarding them a five-star safety rating against outgoing 2020-2022 protocols.

    This comes after Isuzu D-Max, Mazda BT-50 and Isuzu MU-X models built from July 2022 received a design change to the driver’s knee airbag and instrument panel.

    These two changes see the adult occupant protection score for all three vehicles adjusted to 86 per cent. For the D-Max and BT-50 utes this is an increase of 3.0 per cent, whereas for the MU-X SUV this is a decrease of 1.0 per cent.

    ANCAP notes in its detailed safety report the MU-X lost points for the protection of the driver and front passenger’s chest and lower legs in both the frontal offset and full width frontal tests.

    Both the current Isuzu D-Max and Mazda BT-50 were originally tested by ANCAP in 2020, whereas the Isuzu MU-X was tested in 2021.

    The rest of the assessment scores for these vehicles remain unchanged from the first time they were crash tested by ANCAP, with the Isuzu D-Max and MU-X getting scores of 89 per cent for child occupant protection, 69 per cent for vulnerable road user protection, and 84 per cent for safety assist.

    The Mazda BT-50 mirrors the scores across all the categories except for vulnerable road user protection, which received a slightly lower 67 per cent due to the unique front end design. The flagship BT-50 Thunder is unrated too.

    Interestingly, ANCAP will require a minimum vulnerable road user score of 70 per cent in its 2023 protocols to attain five stars, suggesting it’s good timing for Isuzu and Mazda that these vehicles had a re-rest under the current regime.

    Although the testing protocols haven’t changed from the last time these vehicles were crash tested, this refreshed five-star ANCAP safety rating means it will be valid for longer.

    ANCAP recently said that from December 31, 2022, its five-star safety ratings will only be valid for six years. This means the five-star ANCAP safety rating for the Isuzu D-Max, MU-X, and Mazda BT-50 will now be valid until December 31, 2028.

    Vehicles that have a five-star ANCAP safety rating with a date stamp of 2015 or earlier will no longer be valid and instead be listed as unrated.

    This affects vehicles such as the Mitsubishi Triton, Nissan Navara, Toyota Prado, and Mitsubishi Pajero Sport which were all tested by ANCAP in or before 2015.

    As previously reported, ANCAP is introducing a tougher new testing protocols from January 2023, with an emphasis on driver assist features and vulnerable road users.

    It’s also introducing new vehicle submergence testing which will assess whether the car doors are able to be opened without battery power, and whether electric windows remain functional and able to be opened for up to two minutes after submergence.

    MORE: Everything Isuzu D-Max
    MORE: Everything Isuzu MU-X
    MORE: Everything Mazda BT-50

    Jack Quick

    Jack Quick is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne. Jack studied journalism and photography at Deakin University in Burwood, and previously represented the university in dance nationally. In his spare time, he loves to pump Charli XCX and play a bit of Grand Theft Auto. He’s also the proud owner of a blue, manual 2020 Suzuki Jimny.

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