Last week it was teased for the first time, but we didn’t have to wait too long to see the first all-new Isuzu D-Max in eight years.
It made its debut in Thailand recently and it will go on sale there on October 19.
In terms of style, the changes are dramatic. It’s more aggressive from the front, which features a sleeker design and a new bold grille. The LED technology at the front and rear
The interior appears to be a big step up design wise. The current D-Max already features an up-to-date infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but the unit in the new car is mounted within an all-new and rather attractive dashboard.
It also has piano keys underneath for the more important interior features and a multi-function steering wheel. Isuzu is also making a big deal of the anti-whiplash front seats in the double cab and claims the seats in the rear of the extended cab are bigger and more comfortable.
On high-end models the interior will feature texturised surfaces to enhance the sporty feel. The workhorses will have a more robust, but basic interior.
As we expected, the 3.0-litre engine will soldier on, but with more power on tap. The power increases from the current 130kW/380Nm to 140kW and 450Nm of torque. That brings the D-Max in line with most of its newer competitors. The six-speed manual and six-speed automatic will likely continue to be used. We also can’t see Isuzu dropping the 2.5-litre engine locally…
It will still be a proper off-roader. Isuzu claims a wading depth of 800mm and it will come with an electromagnetic rear diff lock. Isuzu also says it reduced the time it takes to switch from rear-wheel drive to four-wheel drive.
Following its launch in Thailand, the D-Max will make its debut in Australia, South Africa, Europe and the rest of Asia in 2020.
According to Denise van Huyssteen, Corporate Affairs, Business Strategy and Legal Executive for Isuzu South Africa, “Isuzu is committed to this market as demonstrated by its decision to take over the light commercial vehicle operations as well as the balance of shareholding in the trucks business in South Africa, making this its first fully owned manufacturing and distribution subsidiary outside of Japan. We are currently engaging with Isuzu to build the next generation of bakkies in South Africa and anticipate that we will get the final approvals for this investment later this year.”