The new Isuzu D-Max gets X-Rider styling
Since its introduction to the South African market in 2016, built on the 6th generation D-Max bakkies, the Isuzu X-Rider nameplate has been a well-liked option and a fashionable offering. Its unique features helped it make a lasting impression on the value-focused bakkie community.
When it was initially launched, the X-Rider was only available with a 5-speed manual transmission, which left a longing in the hearts of those who yearned for the relatively smooth waltz of an automatic. About a year later, Isuzu introduced the 5-speed automatic variant to the local market, which was a welcomed addition to the range.
Based on the 7th generation of the D-Max, the X-Rider nameplate is back, and like before, it brings a host of distinctive features and more. For customers who want something different, these include, in X-Rider fashion, a black gloss grille that is adorned with bold red ISUZU lettering and X-Rider badges on both the front doors and tailgate.
LED fog lights, LED rear lights, and LED headlights are also added to the X-Rider. The tailgate handle, B-pillars, side mirror housing, door handles, and curving sports bar are all accented in black, while the roof is fitted with dark grey rails.
The new X-Rider sits on a set of 18-inch diamond-cut alloys with red Isuzu branding on black centre caps. For towing duties, it comes standard with a towbar with a 2.1-tonne tow rating. Buyers will be able to choose from four exterior shades: Splash White, Red Spinel, Islay Grey, and Mercury Silver, which are earmarked to join the colour palette in April 2024.
Moving inside, the D-Max X-Rider features leather seats with red contrast stitching, red ‘X’ insignia on the headrests, PVC leather door trims with red stitching, a dark headliner, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and an ‘X’ logo on the glovebox compartment and dashboard.
Powering the range is a 1.9-litre, 6-cylinder turbodiesel engine, which replaces the previous model’s 2.4-litre unit. The new unit, which is shared among other products within the Isuzu brand, produces 110kW and 350Nm of torque. The engine is paired either with a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic transmission. The 4x2 can be had with a choice of both transmissions, while the 4x4 can only be had with the 6-speed automatic transmission as standard with a shift-on-the-fly 4x4 system.
The X-Rider's safety features include anti-lock brakes (ABS), electronic braking distribution (EBD), brake assist, electronic stability control (ESC), traction control, hill start assist, hill descent control, and trailer sway control.
Based on the D-Max LS variants, the X-Rider is available in three double-cab models: the HR X-Rider LS, the HR X-Rider LS AT, and the 4x4 X-Rider LS AT.
Isuzu South Africa hasn’t shared any pricing information, but on paper, it’s easy to see the vast improvements that have been made to the new X-Rider model. It promises to build on the success of the outgoing model.