ISUZU D-MAX REVIEWS | 2016 – 2019 MODEL
Read and compare reviews on the Isuzu D-Max 2016 – 2019 Model from top New Zealand automotive journalists on trusted websites.
Clever Form Follows Function
SOURCE: DRIVELIFE | YEAR: 2018 | WORDS AND PHOTOS: JOHN GALVIN
After stepping down from testing the monstrous Dodge Ram, the new Isuzu D-Max LS was more eye-opening than expected.
The Dodge is everything that we know and love about America – excessive. They have options purely because they can, not because you need them. So it was nice to move into something that was more in line with New Zealand’s requirements. Like all great ideas, the best ones are simple but very effective.
The Isuzu D-Max range is available in 6 platforms. 3 of which are 4WD only, and the other 3 are available with selectable 2WD & 4WD. Double-cab models are available in LS, LX and LS-T spec. Single space-cab is available in LS and LS Chassis, and the single cab is available in LX Chassis. Both of the chassis models come with a custom aluminium flat deck as opposed to the standard ute deck.
Every model available comes with the 3.0-litre turbo-diesel, in-line 4-cylinder, DOHC, 16-valve Isuzu 4JJ1-TC Hi-Power diesel engine. They produce 130kw @ 3600 rpm and 430 Nm of torque between 2000 > 2200 rpm. All models are available in 6-speed manual or automatic transmission.
For the models that come with selectable 2WD & 4WD, you have the latest “Terrain Command” system which allows you to switch on the fly from 4H-2WD at speeds up to 100km/h.
Loyal workhorse – 2017 Isuzu D-Max LS-T 4×4
SOURCE: AUTOCAR | YEAR: 2017 | WORDS AND PHOTOS: ROBERT BARRY
Isuzu Utes New Zealand have gone from strength to strength garnering a loyal following for its D-Max ute from customers wanting a robust but comfortable workhorse.
If you want the latest and greatest in driver assistance technologies with loads of luxury features with the price tag to match, then this is not the Ute for you.
However, if you want a rugged and reliable tow vehicle that will chug along for up to 600,000km with nothing needed other than routine services, then the competitively priced D-Max will fit nicely in your driveway.
Our test vehicle is the latest D-Max LS-T 4×4 automatic in Spinel Red metallic paint, which has recently received further running changes from the factory which included a new three-leaf rear-sprung axle, as well as upgrades to the dashboard and interior trim which means it now mirrors the Isuzu MU-X luxury 7-seat SUV.
While the LS-T feels very truck-like to drive rather than car-like, the new three-leaf sprung rear axle has made a huge difference to the ride quality over rougher roads, especially when there isn’t much of a load in the rear tray.
Isuzu D-Max: just a truckin’ good ute
SOURCE: DRIVEN | YEAR: 2017 | WORDS AND PHOTOS: DREW THOMPSON
Utes sure are popular at the moment.
Farmers around the country are finding it harder and harder to work out which ute is their ute at the local semi-rural farmers market. Oh wait, theirs is the one with the mud on it — and not the one with two booster seats and designer dog in the back. Not too hard, really.
As everyone is buying utes, the natural progression is that everyone is now making them. Even Mercedes Benz is releasing one next year — ideal for a latte and some artisan cheese from the Parnell farmers market.
But where do you go for a ute that is, well, a ute? A traditional hardworking vehicle, something that will get the job done without a big song and dance.
You go to a truck company. Like Isuzu, which has been dabbling in the regular consumer world for some time now. The main idea behind its D-Max is to give it more than enough power for the common driver.
To be fair, there’s probably enough “truck” in the D-Max for two utes.
I won’t call it a facelift, even though it has an attractive — sorry, “aggressive” — new grille. It’s chrome and it’s different to the last one, but that’s probably the least interesting aspect of this upgrade.
Revamped Isuzu D-Max ute sticks with bigger-is-better philosophy
Cubes still count among traditional one-tonne pickup buyers. At least according to Isuzu New Zealand, with company bosses stoked they’ve been able to hold onto a 3.0-litre turbo-diesel as the D-Max ute moves to Euro 5 emissions specification.
A revamped version of the 3.0-litre that produces an extra 50Nm of torque (up from 380Nm/2800rpm to 430Nm/2200rpm) is the most significant upgrade to the 2017-model D-Max, which is known as the RT87 in company-code. Isuzu calls it a “big rolling change”. The old five-speed gearboxes have also been dropped in favour of new six-speed manual and automatic transmissions.
The large-capacity engine wasn’t a given. The D-Max is available in a variety of engine sizes in different markets, so there was a possibility the new model would have to downsize in order to clean up.
“The Japanese have managed to engineer this powerplant to pass Euro 5, which is quite an undertaking,” says Isuzu Utes NZ general manager Murray Greenhalgh. “But there are certain things that our market prefers and one of those is the 3.0-litre engine. We’re very pleased.”
Changes to the engine are substantial: new piston design, revised turbocharger, and new fuel pump and injection systems.