By Alexi Falson, 10 Aug, 2021
Review - Isuzu D-Max
May 05, 2021
The Toyota Hi-Lux and Ford Ranger have been Australia’s best selling cars for what seems like an eternity now. Australia has a vicious appetite for utes, and appreciates the flexibility they offer when it comes to performing both as a reliable workhorse, and a chariot for a weekday’s school runs or towing holidays.
Last year, Isuzu gave us a much-needed update for the D-Max. It wasn’t underperforming, though, it was simply becoming outdated, and the insides needed an update to keep in check with its modern opponents. Let’s take a look at what Isuzu has improved with the latest generation D-Max, and see how it stacks up against the competition in terms of price, comfort, features and performance as a jack-of-all-trades work-horse.
Starting Price: $32,990
OnlineAuto Savings: $6,761
How Much Does It Cost?
The cheapest Isuzu D-Max can be bought for as little as $32,990 with some of the promotions that Isuzu is currently running for the entry-level going as low as $29,990 for the SX single cab-chassis 4x2. The sticker price for a 4x4 SX single cab-chassis stands at $40,200, while stepping up to the LS-M 4x4 brings the price to $51,000 in double cab ute form.
From here, the range moves to the LS-U model, which is priced from $53,900 in space cab form, while a double cab adds $1,000 to the price. The range-topping X-Terrain double cab ute is priced from $62,900. Prices are likely to change as you pick a trim model, and make the choice of a single or double-cab configuration, as well as opt for either 4x2 or 4x4 drivetrains.
How Much Can OnlineAuto Save You?
Using OnlineAuto’s car buying service, you could save an average $6,761 by sourcing one of our car specialists to help you find the best value model for you.
What Features Does the Isuzu D-Max Have?
The base model D-Max SX comes with a relatively small amount of features, which has no doubt factored into its attractive starting price. For your money, you’ll get a 7.0-inch touchscreen display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support and digital radio, 17-inch steel wheels, four-speaker audio system, single-zone air conditioning, halogen headlights, as well as a rear view camera, rain-sensing wipers and eight airbags.
Moving to the LS-M variant adds bi-LED headlights, 17-inch alloys, a very capable 4x4 system, premium cloth upholstery, silver door handles, a USB port, rear centre armrest with cup holders, as well as an upgraded six-speaker audio system.
The step-up LS-U adds seats with powered lumbar support, LED tail-lights, a leather steering wheel, chrome door handles, rear parking sensors, dual-zone air conditioning, 9-inch infotainment system, eight-speaker audio system as well as some other special touches around the body and interior.
The flagship D-Max X-Terrain comes packaged with leather seats, remote start, 18-inch grey alloys, contrasting side flares, body accents and roof rails, a tray liner, black interior highlights, welcome lighting and walk-away auto lock functions.
- 7-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
- 17-inch steel wheels on base model SX
- Bi-LED headlights (LS-M)
- 17-inch alloy wheels (LS-M)
- 9-inch touchscreen (LS-U)
- Leather seats, 18-inch alloys, black interior highlights (X-Terrain)
Is it Comfortable to Drive?
The Isuzu D-Max is an impressive car to drive when you consider how capable it is both on the road, and off. Around town, the D-Max behaves itself, and isn’t as intimidating to drive as it might appear from the outside. The steering is nice and lightweight, while the transmission offers smooth shifts and the engine provides endless amounts of pushing power from that torquey diesel unit. Overall, though, Isuzu has created a very civilised work-horse with the latest D-Max, that matches its competitors in terms of refinement and ease of driving.
Is it a Tough and Reliable Workhorse?
You bet it is. In spite of the fact the D-Max has been around for less than two-decades, Isuzu has cemented itself within the leader’s circle in terms of the D-Max’s toughness and ability to perform when the going gets tough. The Isuzu D-Max range is powered by a 3.0-litre turbocharged diesel engine that produces 140kW and 450Nm of torque, which means that in all but the most extreme of situations, you’ll have enough torque on hand. It’s worth pointing out that these power figures are slightly below the 500Nm on offer from some of its rivals.
Thankfully, though, even the base model D-Max comes packed with 3,500kg of braked towing capacity, surpassing the 2,500kg on offer in the previous generation. Isuzu has worked competently at ensuring the D-Max is a powerful workhorse, and is extremely capable when a sealed road ends, and the dirt and mud start.
Is it Practical and Spacious?
Isuzu is well aware of the fact that buyers looking at the dual-cab D-Max need an interior that is usable through the week, but also offers a level of comfort for a carload of passengers for a weekend’s road trip. As a result, the fit and finish of the interior is impressive, and strikes a nice balance between utilitarian yet refined; it’s a welcomed overhaul from the previous generation which was particularly boring inside. The rear of the cabin offers a large amount of headroom, and there are no problems for even taller occupants in the rear of a dual-cab configuration. Overall, the cabin is a massive improvement, and offers a high level of both comfort and practicality, depending on the body-type you opt for.
Is it Safe?
The all-new D-Max has recently been awarded the maximum Five Star ANCAP Safety Rating, and is the first commercial offering of its type to do so. Why? Because Isuzu has thrown in a whole lot of safety equipment as standard, like reverse camera, autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, mis-acceleration control, lane departure warning, active lane keep assist, cross-traffic alerts and blind spot monitoring.
Is it Fuel Efficient?
Economy figures for the D-Max range differ, depending on your configuration, and if you’ve opted for a 4x2 or 4x4. Official economy figures are rated at 7.7L per 100km for the 4x2 option, while the 4x4 is slightly thirstier coming in at 8.0L per 100km. In real-world driving conditions, these figures are likely to move north, but overall the D-Max powertrain is admirably efficient for the bucket-load of torque it is able to produce.
Our Verdict: Is the Isuzu D-Max Worth it?
In almost every measurable way, the Isuzu D-Max range is worth your money, and helps to push the status-quo forward for the ute category as a whole. Somehow, Isuzu has managed to create a car that not only matches the competition, it undercuts their price tags in the process.If you’re in the market for a new ute, we’d recommend you get in touch with Isuzu before their cut-price promotions wrap up.
Speaking of which, you can get a free quote and see how much OnlineAuto can save you on your next car, or call us on 1300 719 925
Five Specs You Need to Know
- 3500kg braked towing capacity
- 7.7L per 100km economy figure
- 1320kg payload capacity (single cab-chassis)
- 235mm ground clearance (single cab-chassis)
- Refreshed exterior styling with modern interior
- Off-road performance
- Economical yet torque-filled engine
- Just behind the power curve of rivals
- Some cheap elements of interior trim
- Price increase from previous generation