By Otsile Kadiege
Isuzu Thailand revealed the updated D-Max bakkie. You might ask, why an update so soon? Well, the current D-Max debuted back in 2019. Due to covid 19 restrictions/regulations and local testing to make sure it’s tuned for our terrain and weather conditions, the third-generation D-Max only made its South Africa debut in April last year.
Exterior design and styling
The main improvements to the D-Max are the revamped front and rear. Up front, Isuzu added a power bulge to the engine hood and making the front grille higher and wider. The headlamps have a modern and sporty appearance by positioning the daytime running light (DRL) in the upper part of the headlamps and adding three character lamps.
The rear is emphasized by a three-level L-shaped motif taillight design using LED tube lights. The aerodynamic performance has been improved and functional aesthetics have been strived for by newly installing an air curtain on the left and right of the front bumper and making the spoiler on the top part of the tailgate larger.
Interior styling and tech
Inside, Isuzu incorporated a signature miura fold pattern on the instrument panel garnish, door insert and seat materials. The automaker headed to our calls for infotainment knobs by including two dials for the volume and tune. Other new features include a larger TFT instrument cluster measuring 7-inches and an updated infotainment system.
New advanced safety equipment
New to the advanced driver assistance systems is a stereo camera allowing the D-Max to feature pedestrian detection. This feature will automatically apply the brakes when it detects a pedestrian or an object in front of it. Another new feature is the nifty rear-cross traffic alert. This too will automatically apply the brakes once it detects, say, a vehicle coming from the rear while you’re reversing.
The new model also offers greater convenience, with a feature that assists in following the vehicle in front during congestion and adaptive cruise control for the manual transmission model.
Improved off-road performance
A rough terrain mode has been newly added, making optimal braking and engine control possible when driving on rough terrain. To ensure optimal tire rpm and achieve excellent off-road driving performance, the vehicle precisely controls engine output and brake application. Therefore, simply operating the accelerator ensures reliable traction when setting off or accelerating on rough terrain.
Sadly, Isuzu has made any changes to the powertrain. It’s still powered by a 3.0-litre turbodiesel engine making 140kW/450Nm and it’s paired with a 6-speed auto transmission. At the unveiling event in Bangkok, Isuzu President and COO, Shinsuke Minami, said there will be a BEV bakkie which will be built in Thailand and sold in Europe first then gradually roll-out the BEV bakkie to viable markets.
The D-MAX is manufactured locally, however Isuzu South Africa hasn’t announced local of the updated D-Max yet.
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