Isuzu

Isuzu is a Japanese manufacturer specialising in the commercial sector, though in recent years has created a number of passenger vehicles like the D-Max ute and the MU-X SUV that have become some of Australia’s best-selling vehicles in their segments.

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With its roots tracing back to 1916, Isuzu has focussed most of its attention on the commercial sector, creating a range of light and heavy-duty trucks and buses that have dominated the market to the point that Isuzu enjoys a 25 per cent share of the light and medium-sized truck market.

In terms of its passenger car lineup, the company’s Isuzu Ute arm was founded in 2008 and is based in Brisbane, with the D-Max ute becoming one of Australia’s most popular ute models, while the MU-X has cemented itself a reputation in the seven-seat SUV segment.

The D-Max range features a choice of 4x4 and 4x2 variants in a mix of cab chassis, space cab and crew cab body styles, while the MU-X receives a four-wheel drive system as standard.


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Isuzu’s passenger car range, including the D-Max ute and the MU-X SUV have established themselves a solid reputation when it comes to the reliability. According to the latest consumer report from Canstar, the Isuzu D-Max ute took out first place for not only most overall satisfied customers, but the most reliable car brand in its 2021 edition. 

In that particular report, Canstar placed Isuzu ahead of manufacturers like Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi, Kia, Subaru, Hyundai and even Toyota when it comes to reliability, making Isuzu’s range one of the most reliable new cars available here in Australia.

Isuzu is frequently cited for its above-average reliability, with its range of turbo-diesel engines known for their durable construction and long lifespans, while the company’s expertise creating commercial vehicles has translated well to the passenger car segment. 

On average, Isuzu’s vehicles score above the industry average for reliability, and in the 2021 edition of Canstar’s new car reliability study, Isuzu was awarded the top spot ahead of Mazda, Mercedes-Benz and Mitsubishi.

The Isuzu D-Max ute is packaged with a six-year, or 150,000km warranty (whichever elapses first), and also receives a seven year roadside assistance membership. The D-Max’s service schedule outlines routine maintenance at 12-month, or, 15,000km intervals.

It’s impossible to say exactly how long one of Isuzu’s engines will last, however, turbo-diesel engine blocks are widely praised for their long lifespans and their reliability, which makes them a great engine option. 

With regular maintenance, Isuzu says that its engine B10 rating stands at 500,000km, which means that at least 90 per cent of its turbo-diesel engines are capable of driving for half a million kilometres.

Isuzu’s most powerful engine powering its passenger cars like the D-Max ute and the MU-X large SUV comes in the form of a 3.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel producing 140kW of power and 450Nm of torque. The company also offers a smaller capacity 1.9-litre turbo-diesel producing 110kW of power and 350Nm of torque. 

For its commercial vehicles, Isuzu has created a 6.7-litre inline-six turbo-diesel engine that produces a modest 191kW of power but a massive 895Nm of torque.

For the majority of its life, Isuzu has been best known for its range of light, medium and heavy-duty trucks that have been deployed in the commercial sector, as well as the public transport sector. 

Over the past two decades, though, Isuzu has earned itself a fierce reputation for the reliability, off-road abilities and towing power of the Isuzu D-Max ute, which has become one of Australia’s best-selling utes, as well as the MU-X SUV, which is one of the most capable family SUVs off-road. 

In recent years, the Isuzu Ute brand has taken out the top spot for both customer satisfaction and overall reliability for its passenger car lineups.

All members of Isuzu’s 4x4 vehicle family come fitted with a rear locking differential as standard, which means that you’ll find a rear diff lock fitted to your D-Max if you own a 4x4 variant, while all MU-X variants are 4x4 as standard, meaning they all have a rear locking differential. 

Isuzu’s most affordable D-Max models, like the 4x2 SX Cab Chassis, 4x2 SX Space Cab, 4x2 SX Crew Cab and the 4x2 LS-U Crew Cab miss out on the rear locking differential as standard.

All of Isuzu’s passenger car models, like the D-Max ute and the MU-X SUV come fitted with a tow hook. D-Max vehicles produced before MY12 are fitted with a tow hook on the front and rear that are rated up to 2000kg, while MY12-MY19 D-Max 4x2 models have one tow hook on the front, with 4x4 models receiving two tow hooks, rated at 2850kg and 2950kg respectively. 

MY21 D-Max utes have one tow hook on the front, with a maximum load rated at 3000kg for the D-Max 4x2 and 3100kg for the 4x4. 

MY21 and newer examples of the MU-X SUV have two tow hooks on the front and one at the rear, with a maximum weight rating of 2650kg for the 4x2 and 2750kg for the 4x4’s two hooks. 

Isuzu says that the maximum load for the MU-X 4x2’s two front hooks is 2700kg and 2700kg for the rear hook, while the MU-X 4x4 can hold up to 2800kg on its two hooks at the front and one at the rear.

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