Safety is often put in the back seat for most car purchases. It’s easy to get wowed by features and interior design, but that matters little when you get into a bad crash or accident.
Automotive safety has evolved throughout the years. Metallurgy in cars has improved significantly, but that doesn’t mean that every car on the road is safe. That’s why programs like the ASEAN NCAP provide information and crash data to consumers to tell whether or not a vehicle is safe.
So here are the safest pickup trucks tested by the ASEAN NCAP. It is important to note that this list spans two sets of testing criteria. The 2020 NCAP criterion is more stringent and bears more weight when we ranked this list. So far, only two entries got a test from the NCAP. The new testing criteria will have a score out of a hundred, and the old criteria for adult occupant safety (AOP) is out of 16, and child occupant safety (COP) is scored based on a percentage.
Toyota Hilux (83.42 points)
Toyota is serious about safety no matter what price point you shop at. The Japanese brand definitely goes all out when it comes to playing safe. Since Toyota’s cars are popular, safety is paramount in any car, and for this list, the safest pickup according to the ASEAN NCAP is the Toyota Hilux.
The rig scored 5 out of 5 stars based on the new criteria, which is more stringent than ever before. Both adult and child occupant safety was rated 5 out of 5 and even the safety assist features got the highest star rating, which is utterly impressive.
Isuzu D-MAX (83.16 points)
Isuzu, meanwhile, isn’t one to back down from a fight, and the ASEAN NCAP put the new Isuzu D-MAX to the test. With every new generation, manufacturers can dig deep and reinforce the safety structures to meet or even exceed current safety standards. New for 2021, the NCAP was able to test the D-MAX and give it a coveted 5 out of 5 rating.
The new Isuzu D-MAX is kitted out to the gills in its LS-E variant, and it gets a 5-star rating across the board for adult and child occupancy. Safety assist features are also aplenty and Isuzu has done well to incorporate these items into the spec sheet of the top of the line D-MAX. Turns out, the Hilux and the Isuzu are both of the closes rivals in the segment when it comes to safety, and are neck and neck in terms of the scores.
Ford Ranger (15.45 AOP, and 63% COP)
To get the data for the Ford Ranger, we had to dig a bit deeper. Unfortunately, the ASEAN NCAP has no new tests of the Ranger under the new criteria. Fortunately, however, the current Ford Ranger available in the Philippine market is still based on the T6 platform, which is the unit that the NCAP had when the vehicle underwent testing in 2015.
According to the report, which follows a different scoring system, the Ranger was able to get a 5-star adult occupancy protection rating, but it only netted a 3-star rating for child occupant protection. Still not a bad result, but it would be nice to see the ASEAN NCAP retest the Ford Ranger under the stricter criteria.
Mitsubishi Strada (15.22 AOP, 48% COP)
The Triton, as it is known in other countries, got a 5 out of 5 rating for adults, but the model fell short for children with only 48% scored. The car does well to protect the driver and any adult passengers but fell a bit short for children. It’s a bit perplexing, but it still stands as one of the safer cars to drive.
Though, we have to note once again, that the old criteria were followed. On top of that the ASEAN NCAP hasn’t gotten around to testing the dynamic shield Strada just yet, but the platform is largely the same as the current model we have today.
For the top-spec variant of the pre-facelift, the Nissan Navara was able to get a 5-star rating for AOP, while the COP rating sits at 61%, which is better than the Strada. It’s also worth noting that the vehicle was tested in 2015, so it still is under the old testing criteria of the ASEAN NCAP.
Given that the new model is just a facelift and not a complete redesign, this testing still holds some water, given the new criteria of the ASEAN NCAP, however, it would help to give the Navara a proper shakedown with 2020 testing standards in place.