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HiLux boosted by five-star rating

High five: The Toyota HiLux 4x4 now shares a five-star ANCAP rating with the likes of the Holden Colorado, Ford Ranger and Volkswagen Amarok.

Toyota HiLux 4x4 models score five stars in latest ANCAP tests, no change for 4x2

24 Sep 2013

TOYOTA has shored up its strength in the fleet sector, with several variants of the HiLux workhorse this week upgraded to a five-star ANCAP safety rating.

Australia’s top-selling light commercial scored top marks in the latest round of testing for all 4x4 single cab and extra cab variants built from August 2013, after its Japanese maker added a number of safety features.

The upgrade to the HiLux included the addition of seat-belt reminders, “improved knee protection” and a successful side pole impact test. GoAuto has requested more specific detail from both ANCAP and Toyota at the time of publication.

ANCAP also confirmed the 4x4 dual cab HiLux was yet to be tested, but the safety authority anticipates it will also be awarded a five-star rating.

Two-wheel drive versions maintain their four-star rating as Toyota has not rolled-out the same safety updates to these models.

Today’s news of the HiLux’s new five-star rating comes as little surprise: Toyota said last year that it would make changes in a bid to improve on its four-star rating.

That decision followed mining giant BHP's announcement of a five-star policy for all vehicles purchased for its fleet, not just in Australia, but globally.

Importantly, BHP is among a growing number of major companies pushing for top safety ratings for fleet vehicles.

ANCAP chairman Lauchlan McIntosh said the push from fleet buyers to make vehicle safety a top priority has produced positive results from Toyota.

“The light commercial vehicle market has been very competitive in recent years with more fleet buyers and consumers demanding ANCAP 5 star safety ratings,” he said. “Toyota should be congratulated for bringing the Hilux 4WD utes to this level of safety”“This is an excellent case study of a very strong shift in the light commercial vehicle market driven by safety. There is no longer any excuse for fleet buyers when it comes to safety - they should accept nothing less than 5 star safety.” The current-generation HiLux underwent a serious overhaul in 2011, but Toyota did not take the opportunity to upgrade the safety features and it maintained a four-star rating.

Toyota now joins the growing list of five-star rated light commercial utes that includes the Volkswagen Amarok, Ford Ranger, Mazda BT-50 and the Holden Colorado.

The current Mitsubishi Triton, Isuzu D-Max and Nissan Navara all carry a four-star rating, with Mitsubishi already confirming it will pursue a five-star rating for the next-gen ute due sometime next year.

Budget brand Great Wall has only managed a two-star rating for its V240 ute range, while South Korean brand SsangYong's Actyon Sports is a three-star rated vehicle.

The HiLux is the top-selling light commercial ute in Australia for the first eight months of 2013, with combined sales of 26,576.

It sits behind its Corolla stablemate which is currently the overall top seller locally on 28,596 sales, while the Mazda3 in second spot with 27,729 units shifted.

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