The version of the Toyota Hilux sold in Australia has been awarded a five-star rating by ANCAP under the safety authority’s latest, more stringent tests.

Recent mid-life safety upgrades for the bakkie offered Down Under include the addition of a full suite of collision avoidance technologies, such as autonomous emergency braking (capable of detecting and reacting to other vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists), active lane keep assist and an advanced speed assistance system.

While all 2,8-litre Hilux double-cab models (as well as the single 4,0-litre V6 derivative) offered in South Africa ship standard with seven airbags each (along with the likes of ABS with EBD, brake assist, traction control and stability control), the locally built variants don’t yet feature the collision avoidance tech outlined above.

Back in 2015, the Australia-spec Hilux also scored five stars, but that came under ANCAP's less stringent testing procedures.

In the latest evaluation, the 2019 Hilux scored 96 percent for adult occupant safety, 87 percent for child occupant safety, 88 percent for vulnerable road-user protection and 78 percent for its safety assistance equipment.

“This is certainly an important move for Toyota customers, the segment, and more broadly, the market,” said James Goodwin, ANCAP chief executive.

“Significant upgrades have been introduced to the updated Hilux to enhance occupant protection and prevent collisions with other road users.”

“While already a five-star vehicle, it is encouraging Toyota Motor Corporation Australia is the first to put forward a vehicle with improved safety specification to undergo re-testing against current, more stringent ANCAP criteria in order to update its rating datestamp,” he added.

“The standard inclusion of these advanced driver assistance systems across the Hilux range is a welcome move and one which will make this model even more appealing to private and fleet buyers with many fleets insisting on five-star rated vehicles with a ‘tested’ datestamp of no older than three years,” Goodwin said.

Watch the crash-test footage below...