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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist

X-factored Isuzu D-Max X-Rider makes long awaited return

Unlike previous generations, the X-Rider now makes use of the smaller 1.9-litre turbodiesel engine as opposed to the long serving 3.0-litre.

Revealed in Australia at the beginning of the year, Isuzu Motors South Africa has divulged first details of the returning D-Max X-Rider.

X touches

Isuzu D-Max X-Rider returns to South Africa
X-Rider can be finished in four colours. Image: Isuzu

A runaway success since premiering as a limited edition version of the KB in 2016, which ultimately led to it becoming a permanent line-up addition later on, the X-Rider makes its comeback based on the mid-tier LS trim level, and solely as a double cab.

ALSO READ: Smash-hit Isuzu D-Max X-Rider returns, but…

Externally, Isuzu has made a series of unique cosmetic tweaks not specified on the Australian model, which originates from the Samut Prakan plant in Thailand rather than the Struandale Plant in Gqeberha, formerly Port Elizabeth.

Isuzu D-Max X-Rider returns to South Africa
X-Rider has become a popular moniker since debuting in 2016. Image: Isuzu

These include diamond-cut 18-inch alloy wheels with black centre caps and red Isuzu lettering, a gloss black grille also with a red Isuzu badge, standard LED headlights and fog lamps not offered on the LS, black door handles and mirror caps, a black sports bar, standard tow bar and a blacked-out B-pillar.

A black tailgate handle, tonneau cover, side-steps, grey roof rails and X-Rider badges on the doors and tailgate rounds the exterior off, together with a choice of four colours; Splash White, Islay Grey, Red Spinel and from April next year, Mercury Silver.


Inside, the standard issue cloth seats make way for black upholstery complete with red stitch work and embroidered red X badges on the headrests of the front chairs.

Isuzu revives D-Max X-Rider in South Africa
Mix of red-and-black accents feature inside. Image: Isuzu

The aforementioned stitch work continues on the gear lever, steering wheel and doors, the latter furnished further with red and gloss black accents, with a red Isuzu badge taking pride of place on the steering wheel hub.

Rounding the interior off is a black roofliner, PVC floor mats complete with a red X badge, a leather covered steering wheel and an X-badged red strip above the glovebox that fades to gloss black.

Isuzu revives D-Max X-Rider in South Africa
Black leather seats receive red stitching as well as X embroidered headrests at the front, Image: Isuzu

Beside the upgraded lights, the X-Rider’s specification sheet is unchanged from the LS and comprises a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a six-speaker sound system, cruise control, rear parking sensors with a reverse camera, electric mirrors, electronic stability control, seven airbags, Hill Start Assist, Hill Descent Control and Trailer Sway Control.

3.0 out, 1.9 in

Up front, the X-Rider’s modelling on the LS means the 3.0-litre turbodiesel engine, now badged DDI instead of D-TEQ, is no longer available as the case is in Australia.

Isuzu revives D-Max X-Rider in South Africa
X-Rider rides on 18-inch alloy wheels with red Isuzu lettering. Image: Isuzu

Instead, the 4JK1-TCX 1.9-litre oil-burner provides motivation with outputs of 110kW/350Nm. The standard transmission is a six-speed manual with the option, and sole choice for the four-wheel-drive, being a six-speed automatic.

Pricing to be announced later

Still to be priced, the D-Max X-Rider’s eventual sticker price will include a five-year/120 000 km warranty as well as a five-year/90 000 km service plan.

NOW READ: X (Rider) factor and three-litre power hits Isuzu D-Max’s high

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