Last September, the third-generation Isuzu D-Max achieved a five-star rating in the latest Australasian New Car Assessment Programme (ANCAP), which is said to be stricter. Now, the pick-up truck has earned another five-star crash safety rating, becoming the first pick-up to do so under the Euro NCAP assessment.

The model tested was a left-hand drive twin cab (results valid for 4×4 RHD too), which achieved 32.2 points (84%) out of a possible 38 for adult occupant protection. It scored marginally higher with 86% in the child occupant protection. In fact, the assessment saw the D-Max achieve full score – it protected all critical body areas of both child dummies during the test, which is commendable.

Another strong point for the D-Max is that AEB, or autonomous emergency braking, is fitted as standard. It’s a camera-based system that works from upwards of 8 km/h. Euro NCAP says the system performed well in detection and reactionary tests in the presence of other vehicles, with collision being avoided or mitigated in most cases.

Other driver assist systems include driver monitoring system (detects fatigue via steering and camera inputs), lane centring system, and camera-based traffic sign recognition system. It scored a decent 83% in the Safety Assist assessment. Again, not bad for a pick-up truck.

The points tally took a slight dip in the “Vulnerable Road User” test. Here, the D-Max scored just 69%, giving it an above average rating for pedestrian protection. The D-Max’s AEB system does feature pedestrian and cyclist detection, but these are forward-facing only. However, during the test, AEB avoided or mitigated nearly all instances of a collision.

There is also a new E-Call system which automatically dials the emergency services in the event of an accident. This is a mandatory requirement for the Euro NCAP five-star rating, and the requirements for a full score are significantly higher than in previous years, with heavier and faster trolleys used in the collisions and the mandatory requirement of additional safety features.

Every variant of the new Isuzu D-Max weighs under 2,040 kg, and is therefore subject to normal passenger car speed limits. All 4×4 models that will be sold in Europe are certified with a 3.5-tonne towing capacity, plus a maximum payload of over one tonne.

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