2024 Isuzu D-MAX range (launch drive)

It wouldn’t be 2024 without a new D-MAX, and the latest incarnation has now arrived down under. Australia’s number three ute, behind the Ford Ranger and Toyota HiLux, has scored a significant update that promises refinement, better specs and new technology.

We drove the entire range at a recent two-day media event in Queensland, giving us the opportunity check out the changes that have been influenced by feedback from customers and the world’s media.

The revisions start with eight exterior design changes aimed at creating a sharper, sportier and more modern look. This includes blinkers that have now been integrated into the Bi-LED headlights in all models other than the SX (it makes do with halogen lighting).

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A new and functional “air curtain” at the lower extremities of the front bar claims to improve efficiency and aerodynamics by reducing drag within the wheel wells. The rear gains some tweaks as well, and tailgate assist carries over from the 2023 range.

Sunstone Orange Mica makes its paint colour debut on the range-topping X-Terrain (and is one of nine colours depending on the variant you choose), along with a host of new wheels. There’s been plenty of updates inside as well.

2024 Isuzu D-MAX
2024 Isuzu D-MAX

The design philosophy follows both “Hexa-Pod” and “Miura-Ori” principles. The former presents as hexagonal details across the cabin, while the latter is based on an original Origami design with tessellated points of convergence, which manifests in the soft trims.

It’s cohesive and presents a fresh and modern feel. The front seats grab improved cloth coverings in the LS-M, LS-U and X-Rider (a now permanent mid-range special edition). The LS-U+ and X-Terrain get leather accented trim.

Both feature 8-way adjustability for the driver and 4-way for the passenger, with heating. Instrument clusters and infotainment see notable improvements, with the SX, LS-M and X-Rider getting an updated 4.2 inch information screen.

The higher end LS-U, LS-U+ and X-Terrain models get a brand new 7-inch version, with red accents on the latter model. Similarly, the lower grades get a new 8.0-inch infotainment system, with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a 3.0-amp USB-C connection.

From the LS-U up, the screen increases to 9.0-inches, includes satellite navigation, and increases the USB-C count to two. There’s a range of other charging outlets too, but the one this writer was most excited about is the USB-A output on the rear-view mirror.

2024 Isuzu D-MAX
2024 Isuzu D-MAX

Those who run dashcams or off-road mapping units can rejoice, and this simple addition will make a massive difference to keeping things neat (and it’s across the range). The screens are vibrant, clear, and importantly, responsive as well.

Navigating everything from terrain modes to safety settings to terrain modes is intuitive and easy. Where the latter is concerned, there’s now a Gen-4 stereo camera (supporting a 200 per cent increase in field of vision and 25 per cent more range) to drive ADAS systems.

For anyone who has driven a dirt road at night, this will be a godsend because the chances of a false alarm are reduced, along with an improvement in function to make sure you really aren’t missing that errant kangaroo.

The only time it triggered during the test was when going through tall grass – slightly annoying, but the trade-off for a smarter system when it really counts. The intelligent cruise control system now reads speed signs as well, and can adjust automatically.

This was a nifty feature we tried in the road-based legs of our testing program. Lane keep assist has been completely recalibrated, and is much gentler in its corrections than it had been in past offerings.

Inside the 2024 Isuzu D-MAX

When you consider ute owners penchant for long range touring, it’s a massive improvement. Especially when running at GVM. Other safety tech includes rear cross traffic alert, and it even works off road (we know, it saved us from hitting a downed tree).

A brand-new reversing camera sports a much wider shot, brighter output, and a hydrophobic coating for when things get slimy. Exclusion zones present on screen to indicate space needed to drop the tailgate as well.

All D-MAX models now have the updated rough terrain mode, which can control drive to each of the four wheels independently using traction control, and continue to control the front wheels when the rear diff is locked.

The system came into its own over offset moguls and a steep rutted incline section, and left us suitably impressed with just how capable it was. A revised tyre pressure monitoring system is designed to fade into the background once it has warned you’re running low.

It will even flash indicators and beep when the correct pressures are reached while airing back up. It’s a novel inclusion but one that is again, impressive. Rounding out our two-day testing program was a series of all-important towing tests.

Inside the 2024 Isuzu D-MAX

Three individual test units weighing between 2.8 and 3.4-tonnes were offered, with the 3.5-tonne braking capacity of the D-MAX handling everything thrown at it. Interestingly, the 1.9-litre faired better than we thought in cab chassis trim.

Like the MU-X, the D-MAX has come in for a slight price increase, with costs now kicking off at $32,700 for the 4×2 SX single cab (cab chassis), through to $70,500 for the pinnacle X-Terrain dual cab (plus on-roads).

Both the entry level model and range-topper can be had at the special price of $32,490 and $67,990 for a limited time. Rugged and simplistic, the D-MAX has a rock-solid drivetrain and strong off-road and towing credentials.

A good dollop of extra refinement makes it an even better proposition. You can build your own on the Isuzu Ute Australia website. If you’re keen on one, and need finance, talk to CreditOne.

Our test vehicles were provided as part of the Australian launch of the 2024 Isuzu MU-X and D-MAX ranges, for review purposes.

rear seats
Inside the 2024 Isuzu D-MAX
Kalen Ziflian
Kalen Ziflian
A lifelong motoring enthusiast, Kalen has a passion for anything with wheels and a motor. His passion lies in collectible Japanese performance vehicles but he’s been known to enjoy off-roading touring and camping across Australia.


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