We drive the Isuzu D-Max 3.0TDI
The bakkie segment in South Africa is highly competitive. The likes of the Toyota Hilux and Ford Ranger rule the top spots. Isuzu has been relatively quiet for a few years until recently when they introduced their latest offering. The all-new D-Max brings with it a host of new improvements and we spent time with the 3.0TDI to see what it is all about.
The exterior of the D-Max has been designed to be tough and rugged. The exterior features bold lines and aggressive angles that give the truck a muscular look. The truck also has an aggressive stance, thanks to its wide track and high ground clearance. The D-Max also has a range of exterior features, such as LED headlights, a rear spoiler, and a tailgate that can be opened with one hand.
The interior of the D-Max is spacious and comfortable, with plenty of room for five adults. The cabin is equipped with soft-touch materials, and the seats are supportive and comfortable. The dashboard is well laid out, and the controls are easy to reach and use. The infotainment system is also user-friendly, with a seven-inch touchscreen and a variety of apps. The D-Max also comes with a range of driver-assistance systems, such as blind spot monitoring, lane-keep assist, and adaptive cruise control.
The Isuzu D-Max is offered with either the new 1.9-litre turbo diesel motor or the tried and tested 3.0TDI. The latter offers impressive power and is ideal for tackling tough off-road conditions and towing large payloads. The 3.0-liter turbo diesel engine now produces a whopping 140kW and 450Nm of torque.
This powerplant is mated to a six-speed manual transmission, or an optional six-speed automatic, and transfers power to all four wheels via a selectable four-wheel-drive system. The Isuzu D-Max 3.0 is built upon a rugged ladder-frame chassis that is designed to withstand tough off-road conditions. It features a long-travel suspension system that allows the bakkie to handle the bumps and ruts of off-road terrain with ease. The suspension system also helps to keep the truck stable while towing heavy loads.
The D-Max 3.0 comes standard with a full-time four-wheel-drive system that can be locked into low-range for extreme off-roading. The truck also comes with a host of off-road tech like hill descent control, a rear locker, and an electronic traction control system. The D-Max 3.0 comes equipped with a number of useful features that make it a great choice for tackling tough off-road terrain. It has a high ground clearance of 230mm and a towing capacity of 3500kg, making it ideal for those that need to tow large caravans or trailers.
The new D-Max is a large improvement on the model that it replaces, which was a bit long in the tooth. The newcomer offers a much improved ride quality and overall build quality. The tech is decent and the vehicle doesn't feel as agricultural as before.
With a range of body configurations, to suit a variety of needs the new Isuzu is a must when looking for a bakkie, sure, it might not be as top-shelf as the new Ford Ranger but it does offer a charm as well as price tag that is attractive.
Overall the Isuzu D-Max is an impressive bakkie that offers a great combination of capability and comfort. It is powerful enough for towing and off-roading, and it is comfortable enough for long drives. The D-Max is also available with a range of trim levels and options, so you can customize it to suit your needs. If you’re looking for a rugged and capable bakkie, the Isuzu D-Max is an excellent choice.