New Isuzu D-Max, Land Rover Defender receive five-star safety ratings

By Jason Woosey Time of article published Dec 9, 2020

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LONDON - The most recent rounds of Global NCAP crash testing have shown that there some serious safety concerns when it comes to many of the more affordable bakkies and cars on the market. However, as you would expect, the standards are much higher among more premium offerings, as the latest round of testing by Euro NCAP shows.

Euro NCAP tested seven newly-released European-spec cars, and five of them achieved the maximum five-star rating for occupant protection. These were the Isuzu D-Max, Land Rover Defender, Kia Sorento, Audi A3 and Seat Leon. The Defender is the only one of these currently offered in South Africa, however, we should see the new Sorento and A3 during the course of 2021, while the D-Max is due in early 2022. However, it remains to be seen how closely the South African models will resemble their European counterparts when it comes to safety kit.

The two cars that missed five-star status in the latest round of testing were the Honda e electric car and Hyundai’s latest i10, which is related but not identical to the Indian-bulit Grand i10 sold in South Africa. Incidentally the Indian-built Grand i10 got two stars in a recent Global NCAP test.

In the European i10 frontal crash test test, the driver’s pelvis slipped under the lap belt, a phenomenon known as ‘submarining’. The Hyundai i10 also offers a more limited Autonomous Emergency Braking functionality than some other compact cars, Euro NCAP said upon announcing the latest results.

Safe, but not for those in other vehicles

The Isuzu D-Max on the other hand was rated as impressively safe, however its strong and heavy cell could spell trouble for other cars crashing into it, Euro NCAP notes:

“Competing in a segment that is not famous for highlighting safety, the D-MAX crew cab is impressively equipped, with standard restraints, AEB and a new centre airbag,” Euro NCAP noted.

“However, the mobile progressive deformable barrier test showed that its weight and front structure make the pick-up aggressive to other vehicles in a collision.

“The same is true of the Land Rover Defender: larger and heavier than previous models, the new Defender is equipped with modern driver-assistance systems to prevent and mitigate, as far as possible, collisions with other road-users.”

Euro NCAP Secretary General Michiel van Ratingen said that crash compatibility between vehicles has been a problem for many years now. However, the crash testing authority has devised a new frontal test that can assess how a vehicle performs in this regard and can penalise those cars that perform poorly.

“This is a first for safety assessment and should lead to better, more compatible designs in the future,” Van Ratingen said.

See how the latest round of vehicles performed in the videos below:

IOL Motoring

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