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SUVs score five-star safety ratings

Isuzu and Toyota models win praise for crash-protection measures. PLUS – videos
Posted on 28 September, 2021
SUVs score five-star safety ratings

Two SUVs, the Isuzu MU-X and Toyota Yaris Cross, have collected maximum five-star safety ratings from ANCAP following extensive tests.

Carla Hoorweg, chief executive officer of the independent vehicle safety authority, says: “Both the Isuzu MU-X and Toyota Yaris Cross are very well equipped in the areas of physical crash protection and active collision avoidance, making them safe choices within their respective segments.”

The performance of the seven-seat MU-X follows similar results from its partner model, the Isuzu D-MAX, with both vehicles scoring well across all four key areas of ANCAP assessment.

Due to the similarities between the two models, many of the test results obtained through testing of the D-MAX last year were able to be carried across to the MU-X, with supplementary testing conducted where the latter’s design and safety performance was likely to differ. 

The MU-X, pictured, was subject to a fresh frontal offset test, which produced a score of 87 per cent for adult occupant protection compared to 83 per cent for the D-MAX. It scored extra marks for improved protection offered to the chest and upper legs of the driver and chest and lower legs of the front passenger. 

However, ANCAP notes the protection offered to occupants in the second row was poorer than the D-MAX’s perfect score in this test but still remained within the five-star threshold.

The MU-X boasts a full suite of airbags, including a centre airbag to prevent severe occupant-to-occupant and occupant-to-vehicle contact in far-side impact crashes.

Hoorweg adds: “The MU-X takes advantage of the safety features already demonstrated in the D-MAX, and it’s pleasing to see this strong performance carried over into the large SUV segment.

“Safety is a must for those in the market for a seven-seat family vehicle, and the MU-X provides a safe choice for active families.”

Sam Wallers, general manager of Isuzu Utes NZ, says: “With the all-new MU-X sporting the same comprehensive suite of active and passive safety equipment as the new generation D-Max, expectations were high for the MU-X. 

“We’re proud that this ANCAP announcement reaffirms our commitment to safety with both our MU-X and D-Max models having achieved the maximum five-star safety rating.”

The Toyota Yaris Cross also impressed ANCAP experts with its active and passive safety features, similar to those found in the Yaris hatch.

“The Yaris Cross achieved maximum points for its protection of adult occupants in the side-impact, oblique pole and whiplash tests,” explains Hoorweg. 

“Occupant-to-occupant protection was also good, with the Yaris Cross fitted as standard with dual centre airbags between the front seats to minimise potential head injury in side-impact crashes.”

ANCAP notes the protection offered by the small SUV to pedestrians, if struck, was good. Its ability to actively avoid collisions with pedestrians through its autonomous emergency braking (AEB) system also scored well in forward-travel test scenarios.

In contrast, the standard AEB system does not react to vulnerable road users in reverse and a nil score for AEB backover was applied. 

The AEB system in the Isuzu MU-X is also incapable of detecting and reacting to pedestrians in reverse, and also scored zero for AEB backover.