WITH more than 4 million kilometres and six years of development and testing, the 2021 Isuzu D-MAX takes the battle for ute supremacy to rivals like the HiLux and Ranger, with more power, more technology and a brand new look.
Powered by Isuzu’s re-engineered 3.0-Litre, 140kW and 450Nm turbo-diesel engine, and matched with new 6-speed transmissions, the seventh generation offering is the most refined and sophisticated vehicle the Japanese auto maker has ever built.
Available across three cabin types; Single Cab, Space Cab and Crew Cab, with four model variants; SX, LS-M, LS-U and the range-topping, X-TERRAIN, the D-MAX will feature improved off road capability, including a rear diff-lock.
A wading depth of up to 800mm and an upgraded Terrain Command System complete a functional package that will make the new D-MAX much more fun in the dirt and mud. Isuzu’s comprehensive IDAS safety suite is standard across the range too.
The new-flagship, the D-MAX X-TERRAIN comes with an array of additional inclusions such as remote engine start, smart entry and start, walk away door lock, and a lavish piano black and leather-accented interior.
It’s equipped with a large 9-inch infotainment display with DAB+ radio, voice recognition, satellite navigation, Android Auto and wireless Apple CarPlay. The mid-range LS-U also benefits from the same technology package.
The new exterior design also features a range of modern cues. These include front and rear under-body spoilers, roof rails, fender flares, an aero sports bar, roller tonneau cover and tub liner, on the range topping model.
“We’ve completely redesigned and modernised the Isuzu D-MAX from the ground up, with a new standard of premium features, blended with a suite of technological advancements and sharp, yet bold aesthetics,” Isuzu UTE Australia managing director Hiroyasu Sato said.
“I’m proud to say that the Australian specification of the All-New D-MAX was designed with feedback from Australian drivers, our dealers and the media,” he added.
“We’ve refined the areas that traditional ute drivers need, introduced features that families want and improved its capability to make the All-New D-MAX the ultimate all-rounder for the modern working families.”
Fueled by local Australian feedback, Isuzu engineers have evolved the proven engine platform to feature a broader and stronger torque band, that is in fact five times wider and more usable than its predecessor.
Quieter, more thermally efficient and now generating more power and torque, the new variable geometry system turbocharger lies at the heart of improvements, as does a new high efficiency, high-pressure direct injection fuel system.
Engine power is now transferred to the road through a more efficient and faster-shifting 6-speed automatic or 6-speed manual transmission as well. The D-MAX also boasts a braked towing capacity up to 3.5 tonne.
It’s off road though where there’s been a big leap forward for the D-MAX too.
Engineers have improved the D-MAX’s off-road tractability, durability and capability. 4×4 models benefit from a solid and lighter one-piece aluminium tail shaft, transferring to the rear diff, which is now fitted with an electromagnetic diff-lock for constant traction.
A redesign of the engine air intake system has increased the D-MAX’s wading depth up to 800mm. Under the D-MAX is more ground clearance too, with a comprehensive redesign of the body and chassis,.
And with a bolder, wider design overall, the new look D-MAX boasts a more ruggedly refined demeanour, particularly the flagship X-TERRAIN model. With larger and deeper rear trays, a longer wheelbase and lean horizontal bodylines, it’s sleeker too.
The bold exterior design continues throughout the interior, equipped with new levels of technology, comfort, convenience and connectivity than ever before. Whether it’s the single cab, space cab or crew cab, each D-MAX cabin is laid out to be functional.
But Isuzu hasn’t cut corners on comfort or premium materials either. Even the base SX and LS-M models sport a 7-inch display, with the same resolution as the higher models, which looks crisper and more defined due to the tighter pixel density.
All buttons, switches and knobs have been meticulously designed to be ergonomic to use, with precise tactility when used. The LS-U and X-TERRAIN models benefit from dual zone climate control for the front row and AC vents in the rear, across all crew cab models.
The driver is kept up to date with vehicle systems via a new 4.2-inch multi-information display, which is customisable, relaying data such as the digital speedometer, turn-by-turn navigation instructions, fuel usage and range data.
The driver’s indicator and wiper stalks now feature comfort turn indicator operation for easy lane changing and automatic rain sensing and headlight control, with automatic high-beam control.
Equipped with the brains to match the brawn, standard across the 2021 Isuzu D-MAX range are those safety features we mentioned earlier, including adaptive cruise control with stop/go, autonomous emergency braking and blind spot monitoring.
There’s also lane departure prevention, alongside other potentially lifesaving technology such as eight airbags, including a knee and centre airbag. The entire system, pioneered in the Australian D-MAX, works seamlessly with bullbars and nudge bars.
Engineered for Australian conditions, IDAS has seen some extensive localised testing, which has enabled Isuzu engineers to finely calibrate the traffic sign recognition (TSR) for Australian roads.
A new array of sensors now control headlight and windshield wiper operation, automatically turning them on and off when needed. Automatic high beam control autonomously dims the high beams, when traffic is detected.
Providing additional safety, all D-MAX models, including cab chassis models, come standard with a reverse camera, including integrated parking lines, and a rear-step bumper, which houses the rear IDAS radar sensors.
These also take care of the rear cross traffic alert and blind spot monitoring. All models also come with trailer sway control. The D-MAX’s active and passive safety technology is previously unseen in a ute, helping it achieve a 5-star ANCAP safety rating.
Available in dealerships from 1 September 2020, the 2021 Isuzu D-MAX range starts at $29,990 drive away for the 4.2 SX single cab chassis and tops out at $58,990 for the 4×4 Crew Cab X-TERRAIN.
It’s available in Mineral White, Basalt Black mica, Cobalt Blue mica, Mercury Silver metallic, and Obsidian Grey metallic. The LS-U and X-TERRAIN are also available in Marble White pearl and Magnetic Red mica.
New hero colour Volcanic Amber metallic is exclusive to the X-TERRAIN.