One of the country’s best pickups has just become better as Isuzu Philippines Corporation (IPC) recently introduced the much-awaited All-New Isuzu D-MAX, which arrives in the country poised to Challenge the Terrain.
At the launch event held last September 18 at the World Trade Center, the unveiling of the new truck was led by Nabuo Izumina, IPC president, and Katsumasa Nagai, Engineering Division Executive/Director of the Board and senior executive officer of Isuzu Motors Ltd.
Longer, wider, and taller, the All-New D-MAX is also made to be sleeker and tougher than ever before. The new pickup is built around three design philosophies; perfect proportion, aggressive form, and innovative structure. Externally, it is designed with a fluid appearance to ensure visual harmony without losing the D-MAX’s trademark sporty, powerful style.
Other than sporting an appealing design, the All-New D-MAX is aerodynamic too as it was tested in various wind tunnels that include the facility of the Japan Railway Research Institute—the same one used in testing the country’s famous bullet trains. As a result, the All-New D-MAX has one of the lowest coefficients of drag among pickups, which contributes to its exceptional fuel efficiency.
The All-New D-MAX is as tough as it looks. Coming from a long lineage of reliable, durable and fuel-efficient trucks, the latest model is designed to take on any job, anytime. Its heavy-duty chassis and large cargo bed mean the pickup can accommodate the bulkiest loads. Its body structure, constructed from high-tensile strength steel, is more rigid than the previous model’s. Combined with a new superior suspension system composed of independent double wishbone with coil springs in front and semi-elliptical over-slung leaf springs in the rear (for LS variants), the All-New D-MAX becomes capable of carrying a heavy payload while at the same time improving its driving performance and vehicle stability.
Under the muscular hood of the All-New D-MAX LS and LT 4×4 variants is Isuzu’s tried and tested 4JJ1-TC 3.0-liter Common Rail Direct Injection with Turbocharger and Intercooler Diesel engine that makes 146Ps @ 3,800rpm and 294Nm @ 1,400rpm to 3,400rpm. The base variant LT 4×2 and single cab are strengthened by Isuzu’s new 4JK1-TC 2.5-liter Common Rail Direct Injection with Turbocharger and Intercooler Diesel engine that produces 109Ps @ 3,400rpm and 280Nm from 1,800 to 2,200rpm. Besides providing optimum power, both engines are also fuel efficient.
Matching the power plant is a new 5-speed automatic transmission (available for the LS 4×2 and 4×4 variants) that is thoroughly modernized with a sequential shift function that makes manual gear-shifting possible in an automatic transmission.
The All-New D-MAX boasts of one of the highest ground clearances among pickups with a 235mm height for the LS 4×4 and 225mm for the LT 4×4 and LS 4×2. This makes the truck suitable over unpaved roads and flooded situations. Supplementing its suspension system are new and bigger wheels that do not compromise the truck’s riding comfort and still give a stylish appearance. The LS 4×4 is equipped with 225/65 R17 tires while the LS 4×2 and LT have 245/70 R16 tires.
Boosting the off -road capability of the pickup is Isuzu’s new 4WD Terrain Command Select Dial that allows the driver to switch from two-wheel-drive to four-wheel-drive high even while traveling at speeds of up to 100kph. This can be done easily, too, as the driver only needs to twist a knob on the console. The All-New D-MAX also has an approach angle of 30 degrees and a departure angle of 22.7 degrees, and can be tilted sideways on a 49-degree slope. All 4WD variants are equipped with a Limited Slip Differential, allowing the pickup to take on any obstacle and challenge the terrain.
The All-New D-MAX LS comes equipped with a host of safety features for the driver and passengers. The pickup’s cabin protects its occupants by means of a safety shell made from high-tensile strength steel, further bolstered by side-impact beams, dual front airbags, and Emergency Locking Retractor (ELR) seatbelts with pre-tensioner and load limiter. An Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) supplemented by Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and the new Brake Assist (BA) guarantee secure stopping power even in adverse conditions.
Providing both vision enhancement and aesthetic quality to Isuzu’s latest pickup are projector headlamps with Fresnel Blister, front fog lamps, large side-view mirrors with integrated LED turn signals, a high-mount third stop lamp that can be seen from a farther distance, and jewel-like LED combination tail lamps.
The All-New D-MAX, especially the LS variants, takes comfort to a whole new level, starting with a spacious cabin that offers improved head, shoulder, and leg room. The pickup’s leather seats are finished in elegant mahogany shade, and the driver’s seat is power-adjustable by six different ways while the rear seat has three adjustable headrests and a center armrest, providing car-like comfort. Adding convenience are 15 storage compartments and 10 cup holders that are placed within easy reach of all occupants.
Placed in the All-New D-MAX’s sculptured and elegant dashboard are Electroluminescent Meters with a new Multi-Information Display that attractively provide data on essential driving conditions. A new premium audio system, composed of a 2-DIN CD/MP3/microUSB/AUX IN jack/tuner with Bluetooth connectivity and a six-way speaker system that includes first-in-class ceiling-mounted exciter speakers, complement the new meters. The audio unit can also be accessed via control buttons on the three-spoke, leather-wrapped steering wheel.
The LT and single cab variants are equipped with power windows, central door locks, a single-DIN audio system, and durable vinyl seats. The All-New D-MAX is available in five colors: Cosmic Black, Garnet Red, Ash Beige, Titanium Silver and Splash White. Prices are: Php 697,000 – single cab 4×2; Php 857,000 – LT 4×2 MT; Php 1,144,000 – LS 4×2 MT; Php 1,153,000 – LT 4×4 MT; Php 1,196,000 – LS 4×2 AT; Php 1,398,000 – LS 4×4 MT; and Php 1,457,000 – LS 4×4 AT.
Like the bestselling model it replaced, the All-New D-MAX is being built at IPC’s world-class manufacturing plant at the Laguna Technopark in Biñan. This ensures continued job security for the Filipino workforce, a move that is in line with IPC’s commitment to strengthen the Philippine automotive industry and the domestic economy. At present, 90% of Isuzu models, including the Crosswind AUV and truck and bus models, are assembled locally.
First published in Gadgets Magazine, October 2013