Having previewed the all-new D-Max in a short video clip less than two weeks ago, Isuzu officially revealed the long overdue replacement for the outgoing eight year old second generation in Thailand this past Friday evening.
Going on sale in its key market later this week with exports to others, including South Africa, commencing next year, the D-Max comes based on an all-new platform dubbed Dynamics Drive, and as before, will be offered in single, extended and double cab bodystyles with two-or-four-wheel-drive.
Measuring up to 5 265 mm in overall length with a wheelbase that is 30 mm longer than before at 3 125 mm, a width that has gone up by 10 mm to 1 870 mm and a height dropped by five millimetres to 1 790 mm, widespread revisions underneath the skin includes extensive use of high-tensile steel that has improved rigidity by a claimed 20%, electric power steering, larger brakes, a double wishbone front suspension with new leaf springs at the rear, and a wading depth of up to 800 mm.
Externally, the D-Max is a more aggressive evolution of its predecessor with newly designed LED headlights, a new grille with the ISUZU logo having been moved to the top section underneath the bonnet line, a stacked fog light design, wheel arch cladding on top spec models, and a selection of new alloy wheel designs.
The rear facia meanwhile is a clear nod to not only the previous D-Max but also the Mitsubishi Triton, in that the clusters boast a similar look with the lights themselves being LEDs, while the tailgate comes with a distinct V-pattern and the bumper now better integrated into the body.
Most radical of all is the interior where the design is completely new and less workman-like than before. Along with an all-new instrument cluster housing a 4.2-inch TFT display and more premium materials, the centre console houses a rectangular nine-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, though lesser models will feature a more basic system and more durable materials.
In addition, the rotary climate control dial shared with the Chevrolet TrailBlazer has been dropped for a more a modernised button arrangement, while the steering wheel, gear lever and seats are new together with voice recognition on some models, as well as push-button start.
Although equipment levels will vary depending on the model and trim level selected, notable items consists of an eight-speaker sound system, dual-zone climate control with rear vents, perforated leather seats, rain sense wipers and lights with the washer nozzles for the former integrated into the wiper arms, remote start and walk-away locking doors.
Matters have also been improved on the safety front where, and in accordance with comments made last year by the marque’s Director of Product Planning for Australia, Yugo Kiyofuji, the D-Max boasts teach such as Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Blind Spot Monitoring and Automatic Parking, but not the mentioned Autonomous Emergency Braking required to obtain the maximum five-star ANCAP crash rating.
Up front, the D-Max once again employs the tried-and-tested N-series truck derived 3.0-litre turbodiesel engine, but which has been extensively upgraded with a new combustion chamber, diamond-like coating for the pistons, an electronic variable geometry turbocharger and higher-pressure injectors.
In all, the revisions have upped power and torque from 130kW/430Nm to 140kW/450Nm, with transmission choices again being a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic. Other markets will also receive the 1.9-litre Ddi BluePower oil-burner that punches out 110kW/350Nm and which comes with the same transmission options.
A new mechanical addition on four-wheel-drive models is a single-piece aluminium propshaft that is claimed to not only reduce weight, but work together with the equally new electronic rear differential lock in easing the shift from two-to-four-wheel-drive.
In Thailand, pricing for the D-Max kicks-off at 510 000 baht (R247 505) and tops out at 1 164 000 baht (R 564 895), but expect local sticker to be revealed only when local specification is confirmed next year.