MOTORING NEWS

‘Boldest bakkie’ Isuzu D-Max punches above the rest

LOCAL ENGINEEERS have done some fine-tuning to make the Isuzu suitable for local roads.

This follows the debut of Isuzu D-Max that was launched in Gqeberha, SA.

I had the liberty to test drive this ‘boldest bakkie’ in mzansi and what a performance it boast.

Upon delivery- one was struck by its sleek features and aggressive front and rear fascias for a strikingly distinctive silhouette.

It also features aero sports bars that add a confident expression of style, in a bakkie- thanks to its 5mm higher bonnet and 10mm lower roofline.

The bigger grille and signature dragon eye motif of the front lights are top features- that had locals snapping for social media until cows came home for feasting!

Described as the sixth-generation, the D-Max models comprise of Single Cab, Extended Cab and Double Cab body styles, 4×2 and 4×4 configurations, two new engines and five trim grades in the form of Standard, L, LS, LSE and V-Cross.

Upon taking a turn to Mahikeng (Bokone Bophirima) to visit my son and family, one realised this new sporty looking model is bigger and more spacious in all key areas, such as excellent legroom.

The interior boast a fresh 9-inch touch screen infotainment system, albeit infotainment systems are a bit basic in terms of what’s offered, with no fancy features or apps.

As for safety, Isuzu has, upped the game by on safety features, having installed gizmos like Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure Prevention, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Autonomous Emergency Braking.

There are two new engines-  a 1.9-litre turbodiesel from the previous 2.5 unit, and it produces 110kW at 3600rpm and 350Nm from 1800 to 2600rpm and topping the range is an upgraded 3.0-litre turbodiesel that thumps out 140kW at 3600rpm and 450Nm from 1600 to 2600rpm.

This is dependent on the derivative you’ve chosen, the engines can be paired with either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission.

The North West province is synonymous with nauseating potholes and poor road infrastructure- (won’t be fixed anytime soon), one must thank the ground clearance that is up from 235mm to 240mm and increased vehicle’s wading depth from 600mm to 800mm.

Clearance is improved all round, and the approach, departure and ramp-over angles are listed at 30 degrees, 24 degrees and 22.5 degrees respectively.

I got to experience the electronically activated rear diff lock and a shift-on-the-fly part-time four-wheel drive system with 2H, 4H and 4L modes.

Enjoyed the long route from Jozi to NW having loaded it with a washing machine, a bicycle and other goodies. Yes, it has a powerful torque.

(The sleek interior of the D-Max).

Yes, our local engineers have worked their magic on the new D-Max. It punches above the rest!

The new Isuzu bakkies come standard with a five-year / 120 000km ‘bumper-to-bumper’ warranty that covers most unexpected failures.

Prices range from R401 700 to R814 700

Verdict

Performance 1-10 (6)

Fuel 1-10 (4)

Images SLM (Loaded. The sixth-generation new Isuzu D-Max possess maximum power).

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