Isuzu unveils upgraded D-Max design
While there were rumours of a new, smaller turbodiesel engine, the existing 1.9 and 3.0-litre engines remain unchanged regarding power and torque. Introduced in South Africa last year due to pandemic-induced delays, even though its design is four years old, Isuzu showcased the redesigned D-Max pickup in Thailand. Its availability in other markets remains to be determined.
Built on its established body-on-frame structure, the updated D-Max retains its previous dimensions and three body variants. The pickup underwent a minor redesign and now boasts revamped headlights featuring wraparound daytime running lights, a fresh bumper and grille, an expanded alloy wheel range, and additional paint choices.
Changes to the rear include a revised bumper, a lengthened tailgate "spoiler," and modified light assemblies showcasing a three-tiered L-pattern.
The top-of-the-line V-Cross now sports a Magnetite Grey grille from the latest MU-X, new wheel arch protectors, colour-matching upper rear fenders, a distinctive Namibu Orange Metallic shade, and revamped 18-inch alloys.
Although the cabin design remains untouched, it has been updated with superior, soft-touch materials, a new seven-inch digital dashboard for premium models, and an exclusive brown and black leather combo for the Thai market.
The most noticeable modification is in the infotainment system, which now offers wireless Apple CarPlay (Android Auto remains wired). Touch-sensitive controls have replaced physical shortcut buttons, supplemented by two knobs for volume and tuning. Enhanced user experience and type-C USB ports have also been incorporated.
Depending on the version, standard features include remote start, power front seats, rear-seat air vents for double cab variants, a six- or eight-speaker audio system, and automatic wipers.
Safety has been bolstered with an upgraded forward camera linked to the Autonomous Emergency Braking system and a Rear Cross Traffic Alert that engages the brakes when a potential collision is sensed. Models with the six-speed manual now have an Adaptive Cruise Control tailored for manual configurations.
Despite last month's buzz about a potential new 2.2-litre turbodiesel, the existing 1.9 and 3.0-litre engines remain. The 1.9-litre RZ4E-TC delivers 110kW/350Nm, while the 3.0-litre 4JJ3-TCX provides 140kW/450Nm. Both can be paired with a six-speed manual or automatic, offering either rear-wheel or selectable four-wheel drive, the latter featuring a new rear lock differential and a specialised mode for challenging terrains.
In Thailand, where the D-Max dominates sales, 21 variants are available: the single cab (Spark), the extended cab (Spacecab and Spacecab Hi-Lander), and the double cab. Various trim levels are available for each.
The D-Max will be available in Thailand from October 12, with prices ranging from 545,000 baht (R284,991) for the base model to 1,257,900 baht (R657,780) for the V-Cross 3.0 ZP 4×4 automatic. Isuzu South Africa has not confirmed its introduction, but should it be approved, a release might be expected around late 2024.