Isuzu D-Max 2020 to get standard AEB as brand targets five-star safety rating

The just-revealed Isuzu D-Max will get even more safety kit than first expected when the Japanese workhorse arrives in Australia next year, with the brand’s local arm targeting a five-star ANCAP safety rating.

We’ve only so far seen the Thai specification of the new D-Max, which confirms that keyless entry, push-button start, voice recognition, auto headlights, dual-zone climate and front and rear parking sensors join the standard kit list on top-spec models, while international safety kit appears limited to blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, round-body parking sensors, hill start assist and hill descent control.

That would rule the D-Max out of contention for a five-star ANCAP rating, with Australia’s testing body now requiring autonomous emergency braking to qualify for better marks. 

But CarsGuide understands Australian-spec vehicles will be fitted with the potentially life-saving tech as standard.

Changes to the 2019 testing criteria has placed more weight on active safety kit, with the important of AEB increasing when shooting for top crash-test marks. 

And that’s exactly what the D-Max, expected in Australia in the second half of 2019, will be aiming for, with radar cruise control, multi-speed AEB and blind-spot monitoring to be offered as standard on every trim level.

The safety stuff is joined by an cabin-tech overhaul, with a choice of 7.0- or 9.0-inch touchscreens that will run both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

Under the bonnet, the 3.0-litre diesel engine has been re-tuned for bigger outputs (140kW at 3600 and 450Nm at 1600rpm) while updated suspension, faster steering, bigger brake rotors and a wading depth increase to 800mm complete a fairly comprehensive mechanical overhaul.

The 2020 D-Max is expected to be officially revealed on October 19, and isn’t expected in Australia until the second half of 2020.