Isuzu launches the all-new 2021 D-Max

Published March 4, 2021, 12:00 PM

by Inigo Roces

Fully equipped for the future

One of the country’s most trusted pickup trucks, the Isuzu D-Max gets a major makeover. This first full model change in eight years brings with it radical improvements to the D-Max’s look, performance, comfort, and reliability.

The new D-Max can be distinguished by its more prominent grille and hawkeye headlights. It bears new Bi-LED headlights with daytime running lights, paired with new LED taillights. The new grille seemingly bears fangs for a more fearsome look. Foglamps and turn signals are stacked on the lower corner. Top-of-the-line models even come with gun metallic accents on the grille and door handles, and 18-inch matte dark gray wheels on all-terrain tires.

The interior features big changes as well with a two-tone treatment and soft touch surfaces. The driver gets bright new dials with a 4.2-inch multi-information display in between. Passengers will enjoy the 10.1-inch full touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Other convenience features include a push-button engine start/stop with remote smart function, dual zone climate control with rear air vents, automatic headlamps, and rain-sensing wipers.

Passengers get specially-designed seats to reduce fatigue on long drives. There’s also eight-way power adjust and a tilt/telescopic steering wheel adjustment. The rear seats have also been improved to offer greater comfort. Pillar mounted assist grips and larger door openings make it easier to enter or exit the cabin.

The top-of-the-line 4×4 LS-E AT even has a ceiling-mounted speaker system, bringing it to a total of eight speakers for a truly immersive sound system.

All of this is mounted on a stronger platform that makes use of ultra-high tensile steel in its construction. This results in higher rigidity while still producing a lightweight frame. It also has expanded cross sections for improved impact absorption, and a shear mount connecting the body for better stability and quieter operation.

Keeping it aloft is an independent double wishbone setup with high-mount arms and upper links in front. The rear uses a semi-elliptic leaf spring setup with a wider tread and longer span. The D-Max also boasts of a tight turning circle, with a minimum turning radius of 6.25 meters.

The D-Max gets a choice of two engines. Top-of-the-line models get a brand-new 4JJ3-TCX engine with high-pressure direct injection and an electronically-controlled variable geometry turbocharger. It produces 190-PS at 3,600 rpm and 450-Nm of torque from 1,600 to 2,600 rpm. The 1.9-liter RZ4E continues to serve the other variants, producing 150-PS at 3,600 rpm and 350-Nm of torque at 1,800 to 2,600 rpm.

They’re paired with either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic. Four-wheel drive models even benefit from a propeller shaft made of aluminum, with a new electromagnetic rear differential lock that enhances traction while reducing the time to switch between 4×2 and 4×4 modes.

The D-Max is also prepared for the worst of floods, with an 800-mm water wading capability and a ground clearance of 240 mm.

From left: Hajime Koso, Isuzu Philippines Corp. (IPC) President; Shojiro Sakoda, Isuzu Philippines Corp. (IPC), Executive Vice President and the all-new D-Max.

Isuzu is proudest of the D-Max’s leap in safety. The top-of-the-line 4×4 LS-E AT comes with Isuzu’s new Advanced Driver Assist System (ADAS) that uses a Smart Duo Cam system to watch the road ahead. This gives it Forward Collision Warning, Autonomous Emergency Braking, Turn Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning, and Automatic High Beam Assist. The LS-E, along with the LS and LS-A also get blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert fitted as standard. Apart from ADAS, the D-Max also has up to seven airbags, ABS with EBD, electronic stability control, hill start assist, hill descent control, and even parking sensors with a rearview camera.

The all-new Isuzu D-MAX is available in a wide array of colors and as many as nine variants. It all starts at P857,000 for the D-Max RZ4E 4×2 Single Cab MT, P987,000 for the D-Max RZ4E 4×2 LT MT, all the way up to P1,825,000 for the D-Max 3.0 4×4 LS-E AT.