With sales of the latest Mazda BT-50 already underway in Australia, the Australasian New Car Assessment Programme has announced that the pick-up truck has been awarded with a five-star safety rating.

The rating applies to dual-cab versions that are currently on sale in the country, as well as the single- and Freestyle extra-cab variants that are set to arrive later on. According to ANCAP’s official safety report, the BT-50 scored over 80% in three out of four categories, namely adult occupant protection (83%), child occupant protection (89%) and safety assist systems (81%).

It is in vulnerable road user protection where the BT-50 fell short, scoring just 67%, which is slightly less than the 69% achieved by its mechanically-identical sibling, the Isuzu D-Max – both pick-ups scored the same in the other three categories

“Due to differing front bumper, bonnet and fascia design and styling, supplementary testing of the Mazda BT-50 was conducted by ANCAP to determine any differences in pedestrian protection performance. These additional tests revealed a very slight increase in potential injury risk, with the BT-50 achieving a slightly lower score of 67% in the area of vulnerable road user protection,” read the report.

Despite this, ANCAP praised the BT-50 and D-Max for setting a new standard in the utes category, especially with a stricter testing regime coming into effect for 2020. Changes include a more complex assessment of autonomous emergency braking (AEB) systems and revised crash tests.

In Australia, all BT-50 models come as standard with front and side airbags, driver’s knee airbag, AEB, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, rear cross-traffic alert, a speed limiter and a multi-collision braking system to avoid a secondary impact.