Isuzu in Australia says it’s “pretty confident” the new D-Max will score a five-star safety rating when it undergoes its ANCAP crash test.

Ben Jaeger, Isuzu Ute Australia’s general manager of sales, told CarsGuide.com.au the Japanese firm was “striving for” full marks in the Australasian New Car Assessment Programme (ANCAP) evaluation.

“The previous D-Max had a five-star ANCAP rating but obviously not across the range. And that did put us out of certain bids for certain larger fleet opportunities, so it’s really important for us from a range point of view to get that five-star rating,” Jaeger said.

“That’s definitely what we’re striving for. Of course, we’re not there yet – still got some work to get there – but we’re pretty confident that we’ll [get five stars].”

Jaeger pointed out “Australia has a very high standard in safety compared to other markets around the world”, which saw Isuzu engineers spend time in the country during the bakkie's development.

Down Under, the new D-Max is expected to be offered with big-car safety kit such as autonomous emergency braking, traffic-sign recognition and adaptive cruise control.

While the new bakkie has already launched in countries such as Thailand (with an Australian market launch set down for September 2020), Isuzu Motors South Africa earlier confirmed local D-Max fans would have to wait until the second half of 2021 to purchase the new-generation, locally built version.