Isuzu D-Max evaluation: pricing, specs, driving impressions

Isuzu has given the favored D-Max ute its most vital improve because the current-generation mannequin was launched in 2020.

The ute, which was the nation’s third best-selling automobile final yr, has a contemporary new look, improved driver help tech, higher in-car leisure and softer suspension.

There’s additionally a brand new “Tough Terrain Mode” for extra adventurous off-roaders. Costs have jumped accordingly, however not cripplingly so. Rises are between $500 and $2000, relying on the mannequin.

New on the scene is an X-Rider mannequin lathered in moody black trim; one in every of 25 D-Max variants over six totally different grades. Costs begin at $32,490 drive-away for the workhorse SX single cab 1.9-litre handbook 2WD and climb to $67,990 drive-away for the absolutely loaded X-Terrain dual-cab 3.0-litre 4WD.

Mystifyingly, the mannequin beneath the flagship X-Terrain prices extra to drive away. The updates enhance an already stable participant within the ultra-competitive ute playground.

The dependable workhorse 140kW/450Nm 3.0L turbo-diesel engine is unchanged for 2024 however there are tweaks to the bonnet, nostril, lights, grille, tailgate and wheels, in addition to a brand new “look-at me” Sunstone Orange paint for the X-Terrain.

The cabin has a brand new sprint design and steering wheel, whereas there’s new upholstery over the D-Max’s properly cosseting seats.

The decrease grades’ material seats sample flirts too intently to questionable Nineties design, however the fancy LS-U+ and X-Terrain have leather-accented seats which are power-adjustable and heated.

Larger grades have a transparent 7-inch digital driver show and much-improved 9-inch infotainment display screen, whereas much less grades have a smaller display screen. Wi-fi Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are normal however there’s no wi-fi telephone charging. Two USB-C ports and one USB-A compensate.

The D-Max’s cabin really feel and basic drive carry over from earlier than. Meaning stable development, cheap area and user-friendly capabilities resembling rear air vents for the children or work crew.

The carry-over engine has ample shove from low revs and feels unstressed for essentially the most half, though it can change into loud and coarse should you stamp on the accelerator.

Gasoline consumption’s not nice at 8.3L/100km for the 4WD mannequin and Isuzu is tight lipped about any potential hybrid model. Nearly all D-Max 4WDs now have “normal obligation” three-leaf spring suspension, serving to to spice up on-road consolation, particularly when unladen. Even so, the general experience high quality can’t match the segment-leading Ford Ranger.

We examined the brand new Tough Terrain Mode over an off-road course’s undulating lumps and it easily and impressively restricted wheel spin throughout every wheel independently, whereas working with the rear diff lock. It’s one for the hardcore off-roaders however Isuzu’s included it in response to suggestions from clients.

Most D-Maxes will spend their lives on the black stuff tackling commutes, household journeys, college runs and mini adventures. Due to this fact, household security is essential. The outdated D-Max had loads of driver help tech however it was poorly calibrated.

The reworked lane-keep help characteristic now gently massages you into the centre of the lane, moderately than tugging abruptly on the steering wheel. The place lane-keeping and radar cruise used to close off beneath 60km/h they now work in any respect speeds.

The radar cruise is especially spectacular. It slows when it detects brake lights forward and in visitors jams successfully stops and goes robotically.

Household automobile suitableness can also be boosted by hazard-detecting cameras with wider fields of imaginative and prescient, whereas a high-res and wide-seeing rear digital camera is complemented by rear auto emergency braking should you’re about to reverse into approaching objects – simple to do in a prolonged dual-cab.


PRICE: $67,990 drive-away

ENGINE: 3.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel, 140kW/450Nm

THIRST: 8.3L/100km

WARRANTY/SERVICE: Six years/150,000km, $2245 for 5 providers

SAFETY: Eight airbags, auto emergency braking, lane-keep and blind-spot help, adaptive cruise management, rear cross-traffic alert, traffic-sign recognition

TOWING: 3500kg

SPARE: Full-size


Three and a half stars

Upgrades enhance what’s an already spectacular workhorse. The vary topping X-Terrain stays the worth choose if you need all of it.

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