Big Range, Big Hopes For New Isuzu D-Max

  Colin Windell

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 12 Apr, 2022



This seventh-generation Isuzu bakkie, manufactured in Gqeberha, follows a R1,2- billion investment in Isuzu local operations. The newcomer will be produced for the domestic market in South Africa and exported to 25 left and right-hand drive markets across the world.

The much-anticipated launch of the all-new Isuzu D-Max has arrived with a bold, full-frontal assault on the light commercial market with 23 derivatives immediately available in Single Cab, Extended Cab, and Double Cab choices.

There are two engine options, five specification levels, manual and automatic transmissions and 4x2 or 4x4 drivetrain options.

This seventh-generation Isuzu bakkie, manufactured in Gqeberha, follows a R1,2- billion investment in Isuzu local operations. The newcomer will be produced for the domestic market in South Africa and exported to 25 left and right-hand drive markets across the world.

The local model range consists of five Single Cabs, six Extended Cabs and 11 Double Cab derivatives.

Designed with more space and better performance in mind  

“Isuzu’s LCV offerings have always been key players in the local market, delivering exceptional reliability and durability for our customers, whether used in hard-working commercial applications or spearheading the popular double cab segment. We are confident the new Isuzu D-MAX will continue in this proud legacy and raise the bar even higher for the brand,” says Dominic Rimmer, Senior Vice-President, Technical Operations at Isuzu Motors SA.

The new D-Max design preserved the Isuzu's core and trusted characteristics such as power, strength and reliability and added distinctive sporty styling, significantly improved comfort, an extensive range of new technologies and trendsetting safety features. 

The Isuzu D-MAX gets a more aggressive front fascia and grille, with slimmer, more angular lights with Bi-LED projector headlamps and LED daytime running lights on the high-series models, complemented by LED edge lighting for the turn indicators on the mirror housings, new LED combination tail lamps, and an integrated LED high-mount brake light. 

The roofline in the new model is 10mm lower compared to its predecessor. The bonnet and load area are heightened by 15 and 30 mm respectively, while the wheelbase is extended by 30 mm. 

The B pillar, available in double cab models, makes it easier to get in and out by moving it forward by 25 mm. 

The load box floor gains 15 mm and 30 mm in depth for the box sides, and the tailgate is now 1 530 mm wide. 

The overall interior space comes with an increased legroom at the rear. The rear seat positions have been moved outward for a 20 mm increase in shoulder room and an enlarged backrest rake. 

Drivers get more options for comfort with a steering wheel slightly smaller than before and increased seat adjustment options. 

The instrument binnacle features analogue dials for the rev counter, speedometer, and a 4,2-inch LCD multi-information display (MID). 

A fully integrated Wide Extended Graphic Array (WXGA) display infotainment system is prominent in the centre stack, in 7-inch or 9-inch versions depending on the model. The system is touch screen activated and includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The V-CROSS comes fitted with leather seats with eight-way power adjustment. The gun-metallic finishes on the grille, fender flares, door handles, mirror caps, roof rails and the hooped sports bar differentiate it from the rest of the range.

The new Isuzu D-max fold boasts a standard rail-direct injection 1,9-litre Ddi engine on all single cab models and is available on extended and double cab derivatives. It has a maximum power output of 110 kW at 3 600 r/min, with peak torque of 350 Nm available between 1 800 r/min and 2 600 r/min. 

The upgraded 3.0 Ddi engine, available on mid to high series extended and double cab models, provides more torque at lower engine speeds, superior pull off and acceleration, significantly reduced noise levels and optimised consumption.

In its latest guise, the 3,0-litre unit delivers 140 kW of peak power at 3 600 r/min, with its maximum torque figure of 450 Nm available from 1 600 r/min to 2 600 r/min.

Tech, safety, and infotainment 

Standard safety credentials include anti-lock brakes, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BAS). Also added to the mix are Electronic Stability Control (ESC) with Traction Control, Hill Start Assist (HSA), Hill Descent Control (HDC) and Trailer Sway Control.

The range-topping V-CROSS adds the Intelligent Driver Assist System (IDAS). It incorporates a comprehensive suite of active and passive safety features such as:

  • Forward Collision Warning (FCW), 
  • Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), 
  • Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), 
  • Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS), 
  • Lane Departure Prevention (LDP) and 
  • Lane Keep Assist System (LKAS), 
  • Blind Spot Monitor (BSM), 
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert, 
  • Parking Aid (front and rear) and 
  • Multi Collision Brake (MCB)
  • Advanced Driver Assist System

The V-Cross enforces safety even further with eight crash bags depending on specification level - along with the dual front passenger bags, roof rail (curtain) bags, seat side bags, driver’s knee airbag and a far side crash bag for additional head protection between front seat occupants. 

The base or standard D-MAX models have five specification levels offering an AM/FM radio with an integrated CD player and Bluetooth, manual air-conditioning, an immobiliser and tilt and telescopic adjustment for the steering wheel and follow me home headlamps.

Added to the L specification level are an anti-theft alarm, power windows and satellite audio controls on the steering wheel. In addition, the ISOFIX child seat anchors in the double cab models.

The LS models flaunt 17-inch alloy wheels, a 7-inch screen for the infotainment system that offers Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity. Furthermore, six speakers, USB ports in the front and rear, cruise control, seven crash bags, halogen daytime running lights, a rear-view camera and black side steps.

In LSE models, the size of the alloy wheels is 18-inches, with a standard Tyre Pressure Monitoring System. The infotainment system has a 9-inch screen, eight speakers, and a passive entry start system (PESS). 

Warranty and maintenance 

All-new Isuzu D-MAX models retail as standard with a comprehensive 5-year/120 000 km warranty, roadside assistance, and a five-year unlimited distance anti-corrosion warranty. 

In addition, the purchase price includes a 5-year/90 000 km service plan with service intervals scheduled every 15 000 km or annually, whichever comes first.


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