Isuzu D-Max 2020 Review
Isuzu D-Max 2020 - Bigger, Safer, and More Powerful
Coming to the Australian showrooms in July, the latest D-Max is powered by a revised version of its 3.0-litre turbo diesel. It has grown in size with a new cabin that’s as large as the Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger. All models also come standard with advanced safety technology to achieve an expected five-star rating across the range.
Isuzu D-Max 2020 Aggregated Reviews
CarSales.com.au - 78/100
CarAdvice.com.au - 7.4/10
CarsGuide.com.au (SX Space Cab) - 6.6/10
WhichCar.com.au - 3.5/5
ExhaustNotes.com.au (X-Runner) - 7.6/10
- Great engine performance and off-roading capabilities
- Strong, capable driveline
- Good steering, laden or empty
- Increased wading depth
- Decent spends on base models
- Practical, easy-to-clean interior surfaces
- Improved safety tech
- Additional basic mod cons
- Decent range of accessories
- Limited infotainment features
- Poor dust-sealing of the optional sliding load bed cover
- Load bed has no spray-on-coating for the painted metal surface
- Rear-seat passengers don’t get their own air vents
D-Max 2020 on the Outside
Like other modern utes, the D-Max is noticeably tough and muscular-looking. The 2020 model, however, looks more stylish than its predecessors and is said to be the car’s first major change since its launch in 2012 and minor facelifts in 2015 and 2017.
The updated look features a wider and longer body with a redesigned front fascia, additional dual LED taillights and step bumper fitted on the rear. The ute’s rigidity has been increased by 20% and its bed has gotten longer, thanks to the greater proportion of high-tensile steels being used.
The car has a slightly longer wheelbase. While the base models continue to have a smaller grille and a more conventional bumper, the range-topping models have a new grille that stretches the full height of the front end to give the car a sportier look.
The side profile looks more wedge-shaped and is said to be more aerodynamic. Underneath the ute, there is an underbody shield that reduces turbulence. The wheel arch bulges look smoother and the shoulder line that visually links the cab to the bed looks stronger.
The car’s rear has a more distinctive look with the addition of twin-barrel tail lights with clear lenses and LED edge lighting. High-spec variants specifically have a sleeker look with the rear bumper now integrated into the bed. The 18-inch alloy wheel option is also more aerodynamically efficient than past designs.
The Interior of the D-Max 2020
Inside the car, the major facelift is very noticeable. The plain, unimaginative dashboard has been replaced by refined and modern angular design complete with embossed and textured materials and with better sound insulation. There are also dual glove boxes and multiple storage compartments.
The dashboard finishes are available in two-tone finishes with a stitched soft-touch upper portion. The centre console is also taller, wider, and integrated with a 9.0-inch infotainment touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity to give the driver and passenger the vibe of being in a cockpit of an airplane. The speaker count now has a maximum of eight. Below the console is a long row of buttons for manual operation.
The ute features a tilt and telescopic steering adjustment and front seats with standard whiplash protection, low-rebound MDI polyurethane cushions. There’s also an optional eight-way power adjustment for the driver. Meanwhile, the rear seats of the double cab trims have been redesigned to improve ride comfort. The B-pillars have been moved forward to ease entry and egress for rear seat passengers.
However, lower-spec models of D-Max 2020 still come with a simpler and more practical interior finish and a 7.0-inch touchscreen but with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. These variants are complete with cloth seats, rubber mats on the floor and vinyl flooring under.
Infotainment and Connectivity
Apart from the bigger digital display, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, and an audio system with iPod and Bluetooth connectivity for phone and audio streaming, the new D-Max also offers a generous complement of standard equipment.
Standard across all SX and LS models are the touchscreen audio and a reversing camera. They come with steering wheel cruise control and audio controls for better road focus. They also have remote keyless entry, power windows and mirrors.
Meanwhile, a touchscreen SatNav comes standard on the LS-U and top of the range LS-T models. The LS-T has a Passive Entry and Start System, which allows the driver to unlock and start the car without touching the key.
What's it like to drive a D-Max 2020?
Engineered according to the new Isuzu Dynamic Drive Platform, D-Max 2020 is not only lighter but also safer to ride. The ute has an expanded cross section, optimised crossmembers locations, and increased impact absorption. The shear mount replaced the standard body mount, which improves the car’s driving stability and reduces noise and vibration levels.
The addition of the locking rear differential improves off-road performance, as well as quick and easy shifting between two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive. With more wading depth than its predecessors, one can also feel more at ease when crossing bodies of water.
The comprehensive revamp of the suspension system, as well as the widening of rear track and reduction of the mounting angle for the dampers, results in improved stability. An improved steering unit requires less effort to turn the wheel and increased steering angle improves handling. With bigger brake rotors, the ute also offers improved braking performance, feel and noise/vibration levels. Reversing is also easier with a pull-ring shift lever being implemented.
Advanced safety tech like rear cross-traffic alert, blind-spot monitoring, hill start assist, and hill descent control also translate into improved safety while driving the car.
Who’s the D-Max 2020 for?
With improved safety and infotainment features, the new D-Max is not just for the mere hardworking folks but for the proud hard working folks who occasionally drive their families around the town or go out on off-road adventures.
The simple, easy-to-clean interior of the base models are ideal for those who are always on the go and often step inside the car with muddy boots. Why need a regular car wash when one is taking the vehicle daily to the construction or mining site? Simply hose 'em dirt and gravel away!
- Price: $28,600 to $54,990
- Vehicle Type: Ute
- Variants: Single and Double Cab
- Dimensions: 5,265 mm long; 1,870 mm wide; 1,790 mm tall; 3,125 mm wheelbase
- Engine: 3.0-litre ‘4JJ1’ turbo diesel
- Power: 130kW at 3600rpm and 430Nm at 2000–2200rpm
- Transmission: Six-speed automatic or manual
- Fuel Economy: 7.9L/100km
- AV and Tech: Touchscreen Audio and Satellite Navigation System; Sky Sound, iPhone and USB Connectivity; Reversing Camera; Connectivity with Bluetooth, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
- Payload Capacity: 1084kg
- Towing Capacity: 750kg unbraked, 3500kg
- Safety: Not yet tested; 2013 models have a 5-star ANCAP safety rating
- Accessories: Isuzu UTE Genuine Accessories
- Warranty: 6 years / 150,000 km warranty
- Rivals: Toyota HiLux, Ford Ranger, Holden Colorado, Mazda BT-50, WV Amarok, Nissan Navara
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