Capable Isuzu D-Max Handed a Subtle Makeover
After a delayed official launch due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which disrupted the bakkie's production and supply chain, the new Isuzu D-Max has only been available in South Africa for slightly over a year.
That said, it only launched locally in the first quarter of 2022, and already, the workhorse is receiving a mid-cycle facelift to keep it fresh in its respective segment.
Making its debut in Thailand, the refreshed Isuzu D-Max’s exterior updates give it a fresh new stance though some will agree that the pre-facelift model doesn’t need a replacement as of yet. That’s how fresh it still looks.
However, the updates come courtesy of a revamped front and rear design that consists of a power bulge on the bonnet, a widened and heightened front grille, an air curtain on the left and right of the front bumper, and modernised headlights that now incorporate daytime running lights with three character lights in the upper part of the clusters.
Moving to the back, the light design features a 3-level L-shaped motif as well as a slightly larger spoiler on the top part of the tailgate for improved and functional aesthetics.
Settling inside, Isuzu says it has followed the ‘Strong & Supple’ and ‘High-Class & Sophisticated’ concepts to give the interior a fresh new look while retaining the versatility that has always been associated with Isuzu bakkies.
For starters, there’s a new U-shaped instrument panel while the infotainment system now adopts a user-friendly dial switch. For the instrument panel garnish, door inserts and seat materials, Isuzu has used a signature Miura fold pattern that lends the vehicle a more upmarket feel. As for the TFT display within the dashboard gauge, it has been enlarged to seven inches.
When it comes to safety features, Isuzu says it has added a next-generation stereo camera alongside advanced safety equipment. Regarding the camera, it can detect oncoming and crossing pedestrians as well as objects at an intersection and trigger the braking system to automatically engage.
The facelifted D-Max also comes with rear radars that automatically brake if the situation proves dangerous while reversing. Other features include adaptive cruise control for manual transmission-equipped cars as well as a heating element around the camera lens.
As for improved driving dynamics, Isuzu has expanded the traction control area when the rear diff lock is activated and added a rough terrain mode.
While local specifications haven’t been announced, we expect the current model’s 1.9-litre and 3.0-litre turbocharged diesel powerplants to soldier on unchanged. In the pre-facelift application, the former pumps out 110kW and 350Nm while the latter cranks out 140kW and 450Nm of torque.
These are available with a choice of 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmissions.
There's no denying that the latest iteration of the Isuzu D-Max improves upon the previous one in a number of key respects. Capable on and off the road with a much-improved interior, it’s a strong challenger to mainstream competitors and the refreshed model aims to take things to the next level.