The all-new third-generation Isuzu D-Max is finally available in Malaysia. The outgoing pick-up truck was known to be the dependable workhorse and isn’t shy about it, and the new generation we have today is about to blend more features from SUV and passenger cars than ever.

Let’s find out how Isuzu has made the third-generation D-Max perform even better as a workhorse, whilst attracting a new set of consumers with rich features and design.

POWERTRAIN

Two powertrains are offered here, the 1.9L turbodiesel with maintained performance and the new 3.0L turbodiesel. The all-new Isuzu D-Max offered in Malaysia is only available with the Terrain Command 4×4 system.

The 1.9L turbodiesel engine features a new turbocharger for better response and improved top-end performance. It produces the same peak outputs as before- 150 hp at 3,600 rpm and 350 Nm of torque between 1,800 – 2,600 rpm.

The new 3.0L turbodiesel engine, codenamed 4JJ3-TCX, is now more powerful, quieter, more efficient and more durable than the 4JJ1 engine it replaces.

Thanks to a new engine block and combustion chamber, cylinder head, pistons, turbocharger and fuel injection system, the engine new delivers 190 hp at 3,000 rpm and 450 Nm of torque between 1,600 to 2,600 rpm, which are 13 hp and 70 Nm higher than the outgoing engine.

The performance of the new 3.0L engine is further enhanced by the pairing of a six-speed automatic transmission, up one ratio from the previous D-Max 3.0L Premium. Further performance and durability enhancement include the usage of an aluminium propeller shaft. Saving 4 kg in weight compared to steel, it offers less inertia thereby reducing torque lash resulting in longer life for the drivetrain.

Isuzu has also future-proofed the engines, as they are compatible with B20 biodiesel blend. Development of the new engine includes testing in the most extreme conditions equivalent to 4 million kilometres.

A new feature found exclusively in the 3.0L X-Terrain flagship variant is the electronic rear differential lock. Locking the rear differential (only available in 4-L mode) means both left and right rear tyres will have equal torque, allowing for even better traction instantly than relying on the electronic brake control system.

As for the Terrain Command 4×4 system, Isuzu has further improved the system to activate from 2-H to 4-H mode in only just 0.61 seconds, more than 1.3 seconds improvement compared to the previous system.   

CHASSIS

Compared to the construction of unibody passenger vehicles, a pick-up is a combination of a cabin and a ladder frame. As such, we will highlight some key changes to the pick-up that is after all designed to haul heavy and bulky items (and over unpaved roads) that passenger vehicles are not designed to do.

The ladder frame in the all-new third-generation Isuzu D-Max is the largest in the one-tonne pick-up segment with the fitment of a total of eight cross members– the most among its competitors. This translates to a 20% increase in torsional rigidity with a 26% increase in longitudinal rigidity, resultant in a more dynamic and stable handling as well as an increase in the vehicle’s overall durability.

The new generation platform is also designed for better driving dynamics, with a higher mounting point of the front upper wishbones plus a longer wheelbase which places the engine (and its mass) further away from the front axle.

The rake of the steering column has also revised for a more dynamic and sporty driving position. Even the diameter of the steering wheel conveys this message via a 375-mm size, similar to many sedans.

A strong chassis and bodyshell are fundamental to offer better protection for the occupants. As such, the all-new third-generation Isuzu D-Max scored a full five-star rating in the ASEAN NCAP assessment.

The brakes are also revamped, featuring larger 320 mm x 30 mm brake disc up front with larger rear drums for better all-round performance and longer service life.

Gross vehicle weight (X-Terrain 3.0L) is now 2,600 kg, an increase of 100 kg over its predecessor. Payload is therefore improved too, with the X-Terrain rated at 575 kg compared to the outgoing model of 530 kg.

For users whose requirement are hauling heavy payloads, the Standard 1.9L variants (AT and MT) has a gross vehicle weight (GVW) of 2,800 kg. This translates to a payload of 885 kg and 910 kg for AT and MT, respectively.

EXTERIOR

The X-Terrain 3.0L looks the most outstanding thanks to its dark grey finished 18-inch wheels, integrated overfenders, door handles, side mirrors and roof rails.

Unfortunately for those who just want the X-Terrain exterior and hoping to save by paying the road tax for a 1.9L turbodiesel (it’s a RM1,239.20 saving per annum in Pen. Malaysia), the 1.9L variant ends at the Premium variant, without the aggressive dark grey highlights and overfenders.

Dimensionally, the all-new third-generation Isuzu D-Max is 30 mm shorter, while having a longer wheelbase. This has not influenced the turning radius, in fact, the engineers have even shortened it to 6.25 metres, a 50 mm reduction.

Now for more pick-up specific details. The minimum ground clearance has been increased by 5 mm to 240 mm, with the approach angle marginally better at 30.5 degrees. The departure angle however sees a larger gain of 1.2 degrees, from 22.7 degrees to 23.9 degrees in the third-generation Isuzu D-Max.

The water wading depth has increased to 800 mm (from 600 mm) courtesy of a redesign and higher placement of the air intake system.

As for the deck size, it is deeper, with a height of 490 mm, a 20 mm increase. The width remains the same at 1,530 mm while the length is 1,571 mm, measured at the floor level. A tailgate assist, a mechanism to reduce the effort in opening and closing the tailgate, is fitted as standard from the Premium variant onwards.

In the X-Terrain variant, a sliding cargo tray placed on top of the bedliner is fitted as standard. The sportsbar meanwhile remains an optional item priced at RM1,320.

INTERIOR

The interior of the all-new Isuzu D-Max is the most impactful of all the new items planned for the new-generation product. The passenger car-like design and function feature a full-width soft-touch dashboard with a contrasting stitching effect. Certain trim pieces are finished in satin chrome for a clean and classy ambience.

A large 4.2-inch high-definition colour TFT multi-information display relays a myriad of information to the driver. The infotainment system meanwhile features a nine-inch touchscreen that also has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity.

The seats are larger and provide proper support up to the shoulders. Much attention has been paid to the entire seat, from material used to the shape of the frame. The cushion has dual-density padding with a soft centre section and stiffer bolsters while the springs are of a new mat design that disperses body pressure more evenly.

Occupants at the rear will also feel more comfortable, thanks to the increase in wheelbase, shoulder room and a more reclined seatback.

Technical changes were also made to the suspension system to improve passenger comfort levels. The rear axle features three leaf springs, instead of four whilst the shock absorber top mount is seven degrees more upright, providing longer travel resultant in more comfort.

A feature found exclusively in the X-Terrain 3.0L variant is the remote engine start function. The person holding the keyfob can remotely start the engine from as far as 20 metres away. With the engine and thus the automatic dual-zone air-conditioning running for up to ten minutes, occupants enter a more comfortable and cooler cabin when parked at unshaded recreational areas or the construction zone.

SAFETY

All variants are equipped with the now-familiar three-alphabet acronyms- ABS, EBD, BA, TCS, ESC and Hill Descent Control (HDC). Two airbags are standard except for the X-Terrain 3.0L flagship variant, increasing its count to seven inclusive of a driver’s knee airbag.

Headlining the all-new third-generation Isuzu D-Max is the fitment of a full suite of advanced driver assist system (ADAS) which is only available in the X-Terrain variant. The full package consists of the forward collision warning and braking, adaptive cruise control with stop and go function, lane departure warning, pedal misapplication mitigation and Turn Assist.

The Turn Assist is something unique, unseen in many other vehicles with full ADAS. Turn Assist monitors opposing traffic when turning into a junction and applies the brakes to avoid a collision.

The Premium variants add blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert plus a reverse camera over Standard variants.

PRICING

The all-new Isuzu D-Max is available in single cab and double cab variants and offered in both 1.9L and 3.0L turbodiesel engine options. A total of seven variants are available:

Single cab

  • 1.9L 6MT- RM88,599.20
  • 3.0L 6MT- RM95,538.40

Double cab

  • Standard 1.9L 6MT- RM99,599.20
  • Standard 1.9L 6AT-RM106,999.20
  • Premium 1.9L 6AT-RM121,549.20
  • Premium 3.0L 6AT-RM128,038.40
  • X-Terrain 3.0L 6AT and ADAS-RM141,938.40

Prices above are on-the-road, without insurance and individual private registration in Peninsular Malaysia.

The warranty coverage provided by Isuzu Malaysia also differs, with the X-Terrain 3.0L gaining a seven-year unlimited mileage warranty coverage. Other variants continue with the comprehensive five-year / 150,000 km warranty coverage, whichever occurs first.

There you have it, plenty of details on the all-new Isuzu D-Max that we tried as much as possible to compress and highlight as thorough as possible. It is definitely worth a test drive, with the changes and improvements certainly substantial even with just a five-minute test drive.


GALLERY