In one popular website that sells used cars, a 2015-edition Isuzu D-Max 3.0 LS pickup, which the seller describes as “super fresh”, is going for P848,000. Other 2015-issued D-Max variants sold in the site are being offered for at least P720,000.
In 2015, when these used pick-ups rolled out of their showrooms brand-spanking new, Isuzu Motors in Japan was already hard at work researching, designing, and developing a D-Max pickup that would break into the next decade. And so, after six years on the boards and 4 million kms of road tests, an all-new D-Max is now in Philippine showrooms.
From the engine all the way to the tip of the bumpers, the all-new D-Max looks radically different from its immediate predecessor. Plus, the introductory prices of the new D-Max will make the used pick-up hunter think twice, and possibly cough up just a bit more to buy a brand-new D-Max instead.
Isuzu Philippines Corp (IPC) introduced the All-New D-Max via an online launch March 4 streamed to the Philippine media and the public in its Facebook and YouTube pages. Seeing the latest iteration of Isuzu’s most iconic pickup merely on the screen simply isn’t enough to feel the massive changes applied upon it. However, given that society is still in the middle of a raging pandemic, the actual experience of touching, riding, and driving the new D-Max would have to wait until the scheduled individual test drives.
For now, all we can share are the qualities and capabilities of the All-New D-Max as stated on paper. But, wow, do they look promising.
According to IPC, the new D-Max’s range of powertrains has been designed to fulfill the various needs of the markets in various countries, and has also been designed for challenging terrains in the Philippines, which include rough or flooded roads. A stronger and more rigid frame and body are also designed to keep rust at bay. The D-Max also boasts of better steering stability with its sheared type mounting for the cab suspension improvements.
IPC also disclosed that the new D-Max diesel engine’s power and efficiency have been further improved through gear-ratio optimization and an advanced fuel injector control system.
It thus described the new D-Max as “the most innovative and feature-laden iteration, breaking the barrier between trucks and passenger cars, and well received in the international scene, especially in Thailand”.
IPC president Hajime Koso said during the online launch, “We are very excited to introduce this model to the Philippine market—a market that has been particularly special for us since there are a lot of scenic routes and challenging terrains all over the country that a pick-up and 4×4 enthusiast would love to traverse, especially on the weekends. Because of that, we’ve made sure that the all-new D-Max will have a wide range of choices to cater to every consumer’s needs.”
The new D-Max is said to be “redesigned to keep in harmonious step with the modern-day Filipino’s ever-changing needs, and is more than capable of meeting the unpredictable daily demands of both work and lifestyle, while still achieving that remarkable balance between toughness and style.”
As for the exterior design, IPC explained “the exterior styling utilizes the bold but emotional concept, giving the new D-Max a powerful and robust appearance. At the same time, the movement of lines now reflects the uniqueness of D-Max’s sporty and futuristic design.”
Reduced noise, vibration
The interior cabin has been designed with Isuzu’s bold but smart concept which emphasizes the sharp horizontal layers design theme to minimize vibration and reduce cabin noise—ultimately giving the driver and passengers a more spacious and comfortable drive.
Its new 10.1 Infotainment system has Bluetooth connectivity, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and voice control, and comes with a full-touch screen display and an improved navigation system.
The all-new D-Max also has a welcome light system that automatically illuminates the cabin room when the driver is approaching. It also has a new auto lock system, follow-me-home light function, new turn indicator function and a remote start engine functionality.
New diesel engines
The all-new D-Max is now powered by the new 4JJ3-TCX that uses a “highly advanced Isuzu common rail system that can deliver responsive power and top performance of 187hp of power and 450 Nm of torque.”
The smaller RZ4E-TC engine also boasts improved performance, promising faster acceleration with its 148hp of maximum power and 350 Nm of torque.
Design and engineering innovations—such as the one-piece aluminum tail shaft, 800mm water wading depth capability, newly designed steering wheel with tilt and telescopic adjustment, redesigned gear lever for better gear selection and control (for both MT and AT), Terrain Command Select Dial, and electronic differential lock—ensure that the D-MAX can overcome virtually all types of terrain.
Stressing that the all-new D-Max can withstand even the harshest of driving conditions, IPC enumerates more engineering innovations, such as the new front suspension geometry, chassis design featuring larger side rails and 8 crossmember for torsional rigidity, new rear leaf spring design, ultra-high tensile steel reinforced cabin structure, and a semi mid-ship engine design.
5-star NCAP rating
Active safety features include the anti-lock braking system (ABS), electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD) with brake assist (BA), electronic stability control (ESC) with traction control system (TCS), hill start assist (HSA) and hill descent control (HDC), and the brake override system (BOS).
The D-MAX 3.0 LS-E variant has a new Advanced Driver Assist System (ADAS) that has state-of-the-art sensors and a first-in-its-class Smart Duo Cam that enables the D-MAX to constantly monitor the surrounding environment, thus offering the driver the following active and passive safety features: Forward collision warning (FCW); Autonomous emergency brake (AEB); Turn Assist; Pedal Mis-application mitigation; Adaptive cruise control (ACC); manual speed limiter (MSL); lane departure warning (LDW); blind spot monitoring (BSM); rear cross traffic alert (RCTA); parking aid, and multi-collision brake (MCB). The new D-MAX comes with 7 SRS airbags. It has been given a 5-star safety rating by the Asean New Car Assessment Program (NCAP).
The all-new D-Max is available in different cabin types and drivetrains. Special introductory prices are: RZ4E 4X2 Single Cab MT—P857,000; RZ4E 4X2 LT MT—P987,000; 3.0L 4X4 LT MT—P1.28 million; RZ4E 4X2 LS MT—P1.219 million; RZ4E 4X2 LS AT—P1.309 million; 3.0L 4X2 LS MT—P1.32 million; 3.0L 4X2 LS-A AT—P1.39 million; 3.0L 4X4 LS MT—P1.63 million, and; 3.0L 4×4 LS-E AT—P1.825 million.
So, if you come to think of it, by just adding a couple of hundred thousand pesos to the asking price of 6-year-old pre-loved D-Max pick-ups, you could already get yourself a brand new, all-new D-Max that looks better and works even tougher, and could practically last longer than the six years and 4 million km Isuzu needed to design a new-generation D-Max.
But wait, there’s more. The first 200 customers who will reserve and purchase this new pick up in any dealership will receive a special-edition Isuzu D-Max miniature. Plus, 50 limited edition D-Max G-Shock watches will be raffled off to all qualified D-Max customers nationwide.