Sprint Review: Isuzu D-Max 3.0TD Double Cab 4×4 LX

The Isuzu KB bakkie range is dead, long live the new D-Max series! (it’s basically the same…)

What you need to know: Although yours truly isn’t the biggest bakkie fan, someone thought it funny to bring us a whole string of Isuzu pick-ups to test. Starting with KB250 double cabs over “X Rider” 4×2 and 4×4 models, this D-Max denotes the new-and-improved product onslaught from the Japanese commercial vehicle manufacturer.

The range spans from a 2.5 “naked” chassis cab over drop-side, fleet-side, single cab, extended cab to double cab with a choice of two engines, manual or automatic gearbox, two- or four-wheel drive and a couple of trim options. This D-Max 3.0TD D/C 4×4 LX is one place (and an auto-box) away from the top of the price list.

More facts: It costs R591,800 with a five-year 120,000km warranty and 5-year/90k service plan which makes it the cheapest (established) luxury double-cab spec-for-spec. Nowadays it has some stiff / upper-lip rivals but this Isuzu still feels like a workhorse with added luxuries; not the other way ‘round, like some of its competitors.

Double Cab 4×4 (M) EnginePower / TorqueWarranty / Serv Plan Price (ZA)
Isuzu D-Max 3.0TD LX 3L i4 TD 130kW / 380Nm 5Y 120k / 5Y 90k R591,800
Toyota Hilux 2.8 Raider 2.8 i4 TD 130kW / 420Nm 3Y 100k / 9 services R616,600
Ford Ranger 3.2 XLT (A) 3.2 i4 TD 147kW / 470Nm 4Y 120k / 6Y 90k R625,500
Nissan Navara 2.3D LE 2.3 i4 TD 140kW / 450Nm 6Y 150k / 3Y 90k R626,500
VW Amarok 2.0 H-line 2L i4 TD 132kW / 400Nm 3Y 100k / 5Y 90k R627,000
Mercedes X250d Prog. 2.3 i4 TD 140kW / 450Nm 2Y unlim. / 6Y 100k R702,000

Where we went: Suburbia, the office, home, a farm and horse stables. What immediately struck every driver was that this 3-litre model somehow felt more comfy than the barrage of 250’s we’ve had under foot. This despite being shod with bigger 225/60R18 wheels which should reduce low-speed comfort.

They provide excellent traction, as evidenced by a short low-range stint over some rutted terrain. Given a careful pilot, the D-Max 4×4 should conquer most terrain you aim it at. Straight-line performance, cornering ability (with good ESP intervention) and a once-off emergency brake test were all predictably mediocre; and quite irrelevant.

Watch out for: Besides the obligatory jiggling bakkie ride, steering feel and lock-to-lock turns are woeful but most testers got used to it… except the one who had to extract this 5.3m metallic blue behemoth from a tight parking lot. We also didn’t like the six-speed manual gear shift action, especially its pesky top-left reverse gate.

Why you’ll want one: Updated specifications like a touch-screen infotainment system, power driver’s seat, climate control, reverse camera, park beepers, pleather trim and keyless entry/start in a proven, hardy 4×4 bakkie. Avoid the 2.5L version if you’re regularly in a hurry, this 3L offers more oomph for almost the same (excellent) fuel consumption.


Engine:                   3L i-4 turbo-diesel

Transmission:        6-speed Manual, selectable 4×4

Max. Power:           130kW

Max. Torque:         380Nm

Avg cons.:               Approx. 8.2L/100km (claimed 8)

0-100km/h:           11.63 seconds (No claimed figure)

Top Speed:             No claimed figure

List Price:               R591,800


0-10km/h: 0,41 seconds
0-20km/h: 1,15 seconds
0-30km/h: 1,87 seconds
0-40km/h: 3,03 seconds
0-50km/h: 3,96 seconds
0-60km/h: 4,97 seconds
0-70km/h: 6,75 seconds
0-80km/h: 8,25 seconds
0-90km/h: 9,81 seconds
0-100km/h: 11,63 seconds
0-110km/h: 14,42 seconds
0-120km/h: 17,03 seconds
0-130km/h: 20,05 seconds
0-140km/h: 23,81 seconds
0-150km/h: 29,74 seconds

0-100m: 7,78 seconds @ 76,91km/h
0-200m: 11,80 seconds @ 100,86km/h
0-300m: 15,18 seconds @ 113,07km/h
0-400m: 18,21 seconds @ 124,15km/h

100-0km/h: 3,77 seconds @ 45,54 metres (once-off)
Maximum deceleration G-force: 0.97G

0-10mph: 0,73 seconds
0-20mph: 2,46 seconds
0-30mph: 3,81 seconds
0-40mph: 5,89 seconds
0-50mph: 8,32 seconds
0-60mph: 10,97 seconds
0-70mph: 15,08 seconds
0-80mph: 19,65 seconds
0-90mph: 26,12 seconds

1/4 mile: 18,28 seconds @ 77,30 mph

Maximum acceleration G-force: 0.59G

Altitude: 60m

All data captured by Racelogic® Performance Box

Leave a Comment