The Thais have embraced it for over a year already and we are finally welcoming it into our shores – enter the second-generation Isuzu D-Max. The latest iteration of one of the most successful pickup trucks from Japan picks off where it left, promising loads of versatility and impressive fuel economy its predecessor was so well known for.
Under the hood is a new Isuzu-developed 2.5-litre Super Commonrail Diesel engine which features a Variable Geometry System (VGS) – essentially a more efficient, variable, turbocharging system. Power is rated at 134hp while there is 320Nm of maximum torque, which comes in between 1,800 and 2,800rpm. Compared to the older 2.5-litre engine, the new one has 17 per cent more power and 14 per cent more torque. Its performance edges even the three-litre unit that was available in the outgoing model.
The improvements do not stop there. Its new design makes the pickup more slippery, with a 5 per cent improvement in drag coefficient. Paired with the technical improvements, Isuzu claims that the new D-Max is roughly 10 per cent more fuel-efficient than its predecessor which won many plaudits for its frugality.
Pickup truck enthusiasts will point out the history of the D-Max sharing a platform with Chevy’s Colorado. While Isuzu acknowledges that this partnership with GM is still ongoing, it insists that the signature styling and Isuzu-developed engine of the new D-Max will not feature in its American cousin.
To widen the D-Max’s appeal to a larger crowd, Isuzu is offering a broad range of variants ranging from a barebones 4×2 non-intercooled manual utility pickup to a decked out 4×4 automatic lifestyle truck. Regardless of the variant, all models are built with tailor blank welded high tensile steel and equipped with side door impact beams, collapsible steering column and ISOFIX points at the rear for added safety. The more expensive models gain dual airbags, ABS, EBD, and ESC among many other advanced features. All variants are in double-cab form.
It is already taking to the road in droves across the border and it is a matter of time before the D-Max becomes a common sight in Malaysia alongside the Hiluxes, Tritons and increasingly popular Rangers. Will Isuzu trump its feat of travelling from Bangkok to KL on a single tank completed using the previous D-Max? If the claimed improvements are anything to go by, we’ll keep our hopes up high.
Price List (on-the-road with insurance)
Isuzu D-Max 2.5L 4×2 MT – RM69,799.60
Isuzu D-Max 2.5L Intercooled 4×2 MT Hi Ride – RM79,899.60
Isuzu D-Max 2.5L Intercooled 4×4 MT-L – RM85,499.60
Isuzu D-Max 2.5L Intercooled 4×4 MT – RM94,619.60
Isuzu D-Max 2.5L Intercooled 4×4 AT – RM100,689.60