Sprint Review: 2023 Isuzu D-Max Double Cab LSE 3.0 TD 4×4 Automatic

As an addendum to our full review of the D-Max 3L 4×4 Auto Double-Cab (click here) I’ve compiled a few examples as to why this is better suited to the farm than suburbia…

You should know: Isuzu has done well to modernise and improve the D-Max range, as bakkies remain an extremely popular segment due to their great versatility. For a city slicker like me though, this vehicle makes very little sense in an urban environment. My horse-rider wife disagrees, which is why she stole this off me repeatedly.

More info: Once I’d managed to wrestle it back from her, the first objective problem is the size of modern double-cabs. They’re not only tall, but often too long for a standard parking bay or garage. Then there’s the vague steering with what seems like 38 turns lock-to-lock: great for plaaspaaie but laborious in a tight multi-story.

What else? Most of them come with woo-woo tyres and strange seating positions, due to the fact that they’re built to be hardy workhorses. I’ve also never made friends with Isuzu’s automatic gearbox as it tends to stretch rpm’s instead of shifting down, especially uphill, and drops to almost idle when coasting.

This momentum-saving technique is most welcome in soft sand or during farm fence patrols, but it goes against my natural tendency to use engine braking in daily city traffic. And although it’s true for most of its rivals, the jittery ride (due to rear leaf springs) of this big D-Max bakkie is almost cancelled out when you pile on a load and/or take it on a dirt road.

In summary: I hope you read everything above as the mild compliment it’s supposed to be. Even in its top-spec 3L Auto 4×4 trim, this Isuzu bakkie felt slightly out of place in a crowded city scene, although a lot of buyers are happy with that compromise. That’s because it does cope with most modern demands, but I hope any future buyers use it for its intended purpose: dirty work.


FULL SPEC LIST

Engine:2,999cc in-line 4-cylinder turbo-diesel  
Transmission:6-speed Auto, RWD/4WD
Max. Power:140kW @ 3,600rpm
Max. Torque:450Nm @ 1,600rpm
Avg. cons.:(claimed 7.9L/100km)
0-100km/h:10.32 seconds (no claim)
Top Speed:No claim
List Price:R869,500

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