King of the bushveld

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The unadorned KB has work credentials to shade show-pony bakkies

Isuzu has refreshed its legendary KB range, with styling and tech upgrades aimed at making the KB double cabs more attractive for families, and more athletic while building on Isuzu’s core values of reliability, durability, dependability, and value for money.

Double-cab bakkies continue to grow in popularity as family transport. With an abundance of new and upgraded models hitting showrooms this year, the number of them on suburban streets, worksites and bush tracks will only increase. Isuzu has counter-punched the recently launched new models from Fiat (Fullback), Toyota (Hilux), and Ford (Ranger), and has taken a pre-emptive strike at the impending Nissan Navara, with a major makeover on its KB range, introducing improved refinement, refreshed styling and added creature comforts.

The new KB LX features a more muscular design with a tweaked front-end made bolder by the re-designed hood and a new radiator grille. Further emphasizing the more powerful presence is the new projector-type headlights with LED daytime running lights and front foglights. Matching the strong fascia, the KB’s rear has also been refreshed with a re-sculpted tailgate that now incorporates a spoiler shape design that improves the aerodynamics and styling. LED tail lamps also offer heightened visibility at night. Beefing up the flagship KB’s stance are newly-designed 18-inch alloy wheels that not only improves the looks, but also gives better traction and driving dynamics.

The updates aren’t only confined to the exterior, with a slew of upgrades finding their way into the cabin. First up, the electroluminescent instrument cluster has been re-designed with clearer and sportier graphics. Next, the premium character has been heighted by new luxury features such as the power-adjustable driver’s seat, automatic climate control, and a passive entry system with a push-button engine start/stop. Finally, the touchscreen infotainment system features satellite navigation, internet, and smartphone integration. The screen - a 1080p high-definition TFT unit with a generous 6.5-inch dimension - also acts as the display when browsing, or using the DVD player. 

Local engineers covered over a hundred thousand kilometres refining the suspension of the latest model for a smoother ride across a greater variety of terrain. Power comes courtesy of Isuzu’s powerful yet familiar 3.0-litre DTEQ turbocharged diesel with 130kw and 380nm from the common rail direct injection turbodiesel, whilst average consumption is pegged at a claim 7.9 litres per 100 km for 4x4 double cab.

The KB 300 Double Cab LX is priced from R506 300 up to R585 700 for the range-topping automatic 4X4, and all models come with a 5 year/90000km service plan as well a 5 year/120000km warranty as standard. The KB is a proven product that has built up a huge reputation as a practical and agile performer. With off-road ability second to none, and combined with a 3.5t towing capacity, the fifth-generation KB is still – despite fierce competition – one of the best proper pickups on the market.

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