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Four-star safety for Nissan Navara dual-cab

Smashing: The Nissan Navara has had its ANCAP crash rating revised to four stars, up from the three-star result it previously attained.

New safety measures on Nissan’s facelifted Navara reflected in higher ANCAP rating

9 Feb 2012

THE Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) has lifted the safety rating of the popular Nissan Navara D40 dual-cab ute to four stars – bettering the three-star result the vehicle was awarded in 2008.

The upgraded rating – a result of significant improvement in the frontal offset crash test – applies to the facelifted version of the four-cylinder turbo-diesel D40 Navara dual-cab to be launched in Australia next week.

Although the result will boost the standing of Navara in the marketplace, four stars are still short of the maximum five stars awarded to rival one-tonne utilities such as the Ford Ranger, Mazda BT-50 and Volkswagen Amarok.

The latest result does, however, put Navara on a level pegging with the Mitsubishi Triton and the top-selling Toyota HiLux.

Recently appointed ANCAP chief executive officer Nicholas Clarke explained to GoAuto today that Nissan Australia requested the organisation put the facelifted 2012 model through its independent test process.

“Nissan submitted this vehicle having done some work to strengthen the occupancy cell and strengthen the way the vehicle performed in the offset test,” he said.

12 center imageLeft: ANCAP chief executive officer Nicholas Clarke.

“Obviously we’re happy with it – we’d like it to be five-star but we appreciate the Navara in its current generation is a somewhat older design, and I expect that Nissan will improve it to five stars for the next major design overhaul.

“I think to be fair to Nissan, with an older design, its cost them a fair bit to actually upgrade the current design.”

The results from the local crash test showed a big improvement in the Navara’s frontal offset crash performance compared to the original tests.

The overall result for the Navara was 27.5 out of 37, compared to 22.88 out of 37 recorded in the previous batch of tests in 2008.

The frontal offset test result for the facelifted model was 10.5 out of 16, a jump from the 6.88 recorded previously. Furthermore, the tests from 2008 deducted an extra point due to an unstable passenger compartment, but did not do the same in the 2012 test.

Mr Clarke pointed out the improved result was indicative of the move by many businesses to instate mandatory safety levels on their vehicle fleets.

Fleet deals make up a large proportion of sales for utes like the Navara.

“We’ve got fleets saying now at least four stars for light commercials and five stars for passenger vehicles and that’s really on the back of ANCAP’s work,” he said.

“We’re delighted that the fleets are moving that way and we’re delighted that manufacturers like Nissan are responding in due course. It’s a win win win.”

At this stage, the revised four-star rating does not apply to the range-topping ST-X 550 variant, which is powered by a larger V6 turbo-diesel engine. The latest tests were only based on the 2.5-litre four-cylinder version.

“Nissan have got to come back to us to demonstrate through their own crash tests that the performance of the V6 vehicle is in the same range as the vehicle that we tested,” said Mr Clarke.

GoAuto will provide full details of the facelifted Navara line-up following the vehicle’s local press launch next week.

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