It took aloof bisected a minute from bonds a 2021 Isuzu D-Max assimilate the bank for a brace of
young bank drivers to banderole me down.
“Is this the new one?” the aboriginal twenty-something asked. “Okay to accept a attending over it?” the
Men of this age acclimated to ask about sportscars, but today it’s all about one-tonne utes.
So, back a new archetypal acreage – this the aboriginal all-new D-Max in eight years – absorption amid this client blazon is mighty.
Put two in their beach-driving amphitheater and it’s like the Pied Piper’s accustomed with a shiny
Isuzu sells alone two models in Australia – the D-Max and MU-X SUV. Even so, they shifted
over 25,000 cars aftermost year – added than BMW or Suzuki. Isuzu’s rugged, reliable acceptability strikes chords with caravan-towing blah nomads, affairs adventurers, worksite labourers, farmers and more.
But believability alone gets you so far. Today’s ute client wants the latest infotainment and assurance kit, additional flashier, SUV-like cabins.
The approachable D-Max’s commonsensical autogenous looks acutely anachronous beside acknowledged competitors including Toyota’s HiLux, Ford’s Ranger and Mitsubishi’s Triton.
No longer. This new-generation is affluent with affection infotainment and safety, while the
exterior allowances from LED lights and bluff styling.
All D-Max models accept wireless Apple CarPlay/wired Android Auto, high-res touchscreens,
advanced auto emergency braking, cartage assurance acceptance and eight airbags.
In agreement of the new model’s appearance adjoin old, the D-Max has done a Bradbury.
An airbag amid disciplinarian and commuter shows austere assurance credentials. While there is no ANCAP aftereffect yet, bristles stars are accepted so the D-Max can be advised by safety-demanding government and business fleets.
The anarchy was needed. Many D-Max rivals are anon due updates, including the segment-
leading HiLux and Mazda’s BT-50 (which shares its agent and underpinnings with the Isuzu) accession imminently.
This all comes at a cost. Prices for anniversary brand are up a few grand, including an $8100 leap
for the flagship LS-T, replaced by a shoutier X-TERRAIN nameplate. At $62,990 additional on-roads, it is costlier than Toyota’s HiLux Rogue flagship and the accepted Ford Ranger Wildtrak.
Isuzu’s accepted administrator of sales, Ben Jaeger, says Australians were able to pay for their
“We feel we’re priced appropriately adjoin the brand of HiLux and Ranger … we see them as our added accustomed competitors.”
Grades are SX, LS-M, LS-U and X-Terrain with distinct cab, amplitude cab and aggregation (double) cab
Pricing? Well, things get confusing. Ignore Isuzu’s recommended retail abstracts as they consistently do drive-away deals.
Announced so far are $29,990 for the access SX and $58,990 the X-Terrain – yes, cheaper than the RRPs. Mystifying.
The SX assignment barter has basal bolt seats, vinyl floor, halogen lights and animate rims; the LS-M
fancier bolt seats, LED lights and 17-inch alloys. Importantly, both account the infotainment
and assurance kit ahead mentioned, additional auto lights and wipers.
The LS-U gets a covering council wheel, bifold area climate, carpets, aluminium ancillary steps,
chrome grille and 18-inch two-tone alloys, while X-Terrains accretion ability covering seats, smart
key with alien agent start, aphotic blah trim, roof rails, sports bar, ancillary steps, fender flares
and alloys, additional a roller tonneau awning and tub liner. Its “Volcanic Amber” colour adds more
There are omissions. You’d apprehend the X-Terrain to action acrimonious seats (the $10,000-cheaper
Triton GLS Premium does), while all D-Max buyers are asked for addition $1164 for a tow
ON AND OFF THE ROAD
Blame COVID-19, but we alone sampled the LS-U and X-Terrain 4×4 double-cab utes.
There’s been a huge bound in berth class. Angular administration for the dash, air vents and doors plus
lavish altitude ascendancy piano keys annoyance the D-Max into the 2020s. Focal point 9-inch
touchscreens accept accomplished resolution, although can be apathetic to get going.
Solid anatomy and fit-for-purpose aspects remain, including adamantine plastics for the doors and cup
holders in advanced of the air vents. Two ISOFIX ascent credibility and rear vents addition its family
Fire up the redeveloped truck-based 3.0-litre agent and this is a added refined, beneath obtrusive
motor than old. It still roars from algid and back absolutely pushed, admitting the well-insulated
cabin, but for accepted active it’s an un-stressed lump.
Figures of 140kW/450Nm aren’t articulation busting, but absorbing driveability arrives in the anatomy of 400Nm bite from aloof 1400rpm.
It’s abundant for effortless artery canoeing and towing, additional we alternate a adorable 8.2L/100km on-road, alone ascent to 8.9L/100km during on-sand shenanigans.
As with all one-tonners, leave the tub abandoned and the ride isn’t as buried as back burdened –
970kg is the X-Terrain’s best payload, 1065kg the 4×4 LS-U.
Isuzu’s accepted three-leaf springs (cheaper models get abundant assignment items) accord assured ascendancy and a beneath animated ride than the just-superseded Toyota HiLux, but don’t apprehend to bend like a BMW SUV. Accumulate things alive and the D-Max’s administration and council are appropriate because its admeasurement and mass.
Always dependable in the wilds, the address to hardcore off-roaders is aloft with a standard
rear animosity lock (finally!) on 4x4s, and boss 800mm wading depth.
Our bank chance had the Isuzu in its element, ploughing through the bendable being with little
fuss on artery tyres with artery pressures. The about-face from two- to four-wheel-drive is
done on the fly, while a quick beating into aloof back anchored and low ambit is engaged
in two seconds. Far beneath bulky than before.
The D-Max’s amount rises were assured for technology, assurance and driveability gains, but
worth it. Complemented by the revered, bigger 3.0-litre engine, this is a far more
resolved package. Some buyers may be dissuaded and opt for the cheaper Mitsubishi Triton,
but this adapted Isuzu’s gunning for HiLux and Ranger blood.
Price: Big amount rises, justified by big blueprint boost. Access akin 2WD Distinct Cab Chassis SX’s RRP up $3600 to $32,200; ambit topping Aggregation Cab X-Terrain up $8100 to $62,900. RRPs are nonsense, though. The 2WD SX is $29,990 drive-away, X-Terrain is $58,990.
Technology: Android Auto and wireless Apple CarPlay added; 7-inch or 9-inch (top two grades) 1280 x 800 HD screens. Advanced auto emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, speed-sign recognition, lane-keep abetment and eight airbags (including a axial one) affection range-wide.
Performance: Re-engineered 3.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel is quieter, added aesthetic and has 140kW/450Nm — up 10kW/20Nm. Consumption agnate at 7.7L-8.0L/100km (previously 7.2L – 8.1L/100km).
Driving: Bigger off-road with rear animosity lock on 4x4s, 800mm wading abyss (up 200mm) and upgraded Terrain Command System. Beyond (320mm) advanced brakes, lighter and stronger 3-leaf rear suspension, new advanced abeyance and anti-roll confined abate anatomy roll; electric ability council introduced.
Design: Horizontal confined in beyond advanced grille for a added truck-like look, angled Bi-LED headlights with DRLs, aggregate LED rear lights, bluff anatomy angles and wide-spoke admixture wheels. Modernised berth with aciculate appearance lines, beneath adamantine plastics, agenda speedo, two ISOFIX points
ISUZU D-MAX VITALS
Price: $29,990 – $58,990 drive-away
Warranty/servicing: 6 years/150,000 km; casework every 15,000km/12 months, $3373 for 7 years/105,000km
Engine: 3.0-litre 4-cyl turbo-diesel, 140kW/450Nm
Safety: Untested (5 stars expected), 8 airbags, auto emergency braking, advanced blow warning, lane accumulate assist, lane abandonment blockage and warning, about-face abetment with AEB, emergency stop signal, adaptive cruise control, cartage assurance recognition, dark atom monitor, rear camera, rear cantankerous cartage alert