In an automotive realm obsessed with progress and innovation, it’s great to see that some manufacturers are still keeping to their original recipes.
You should know: This doesn’t mean that the recently updated Isuzu D-Max has stood still in terms of evolution, oh no, there’s a fresher design and slightly more tech to be found here. And as you may have deducted from the title of this review… they’ve also added a smaller, cheaper, weaker but more efficient diesel engine to their line-up.
More info: Did someone say line-up? As another clear indication that Isuzu is more concerned about versatility than stickered-up special models, the current D-Max pick-up range includes two engines, two transmissions, 4×2 or 4×4, six single cabs, eight extended cabs and 14 double-cabs; of which only two are special stickered “V-Cross” derivatives.
I think Toyota and Ford’s numbers are the other way ‘round.
What else? Prices. The 1.9TD extended cab models start at just over 460,000 and go past higher-spec “L” or “LS” versions, automatic transmissions, 4×4 or the combination of all these features at around 560,000 dollars. Our Switchblade Silver test vehicle was a mid-spec 1.9TD LS Manual (4×2) which will currently set you back by roughly 510,000 bucks.
Why you shouldn’t: Umm, because it’s not as fancy as the products from those two afore-mentioned competitors? Also, this motor and body type cannot be had with 4×4. If you’re worried about power – which this 1.9L turbo-diesel only has 110kW of – consider the upgraded version of Isuzu’s venerable 3.0 TD engine, which now kicks out up to 140kW and 450Nm.
For the Extended Cab, it’s only available in top-spec LSE trim and Automatic 4×4.
Why you should: Because this Isuzu bakkie doesn’t have a vertical TV glued to its dashboard, crawls around on good-old 255/65R17 tyres, and won’t worry you senseless if you need to transport something heavy, scratchy, dirty or smelly. It’s still a proper bakkie, albeit a half-cab weaker version of one, but very much still a trusty workhorse.
FULL SPEC LIST
|Engine:||1,898cc in-line 4-cylinder turbo-diesel|
|Transmission:||6-speed Manual, RWD|
|Max. Power:||110kW @ 3,600rpm|
|Max. Torque:||350Nm @ 1,800rpm|
|Avg. cons.:||(claimed 7.1L/100km)|
|0-100km/h:||12.66 seconds (no claim)|
|Top Speed:||No claim|