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by Brett Davis

Isuzu UTE Australia has released 300 special edition Isuzu D-MAX LE III utes to join the local lineup. The special edition will be the third LE model to be released onto the Australian market, showcasing $8000 worth of added extras.

The Isuzu D-MAX Limited Edition III is based on the top level LS-U D-MAX 4×4, which is the most popular variant in the Isuzu range. According to Isuzu, the 4×4 versions dominate light commercial vehicle sales in Australia, with 4×4 sales more than doubling 4×2 sales. Of these, up to 76 percent are diesel.

As part of a plan to double Isuzu market share in Australia, the company wants to fulfill customer demands. The LE III is available in both manual and automatic transmission form and comes in two colours only; Starry Black mica and a new exclusive LE Silky White pearlescent finish.

Compared with the normal LS-U, the D-MAX LE III gets a flashier face with a new chrome grille, silver highlights on the lower fascia and spotlight clusters and a new chrome bonnet guard strip along the top. The LE also gets a pair of racing stripes over the middle of the vehicle for that standout look.

Other features include revised 16-inch alloy wheels with a machined face, ‘Limited Edition III’ logos placed throughout the interior and exterior, and new slimline side steps with body coloured end caps and rubbed studded surfaces.

The D-MAX also comes with a new, more compact single roll over bar in the back that features a brake light high on the middle of bar for added safety, a tub liner inside the tray with tie-down hooks left in place – these normally have to be removed with the installment of tub liners in other utes, and new taillight covers with chrome highlights.

Inside, the Limited Edition III comes with a Kenwood touch screen multimedia interface with Garmin satellite navigation, it also relays vision from a rear reverse camera mounted near the number plate. The interface is Bluetooth/USB/iPhone compatible and features a detachable face.

Isuzu utes are only just becoming popular in Australia, after joining our market in 2008. Since then, sales have steadily increased over the three years. The company currently makes up 4.7 percent of the light commercial vehicle market share (up from 3.8 percent in 2010), excluding Falcon and Commodore ute sales.

Key highlights of the D-MAX include a higher ground clearance (225mm) compared with most of its rivals, including the Toyota HiLux, combined with one of the lowest tray heights in its class for easy loading and unloading. The D-MAX also features shift-on-the-fly 2WD to 4WD shifting at speeds up to 100km/h.

The 2011 Isuzu D-MAX LE III is on sale now. As mentioned, only 300 of these models will be hitting the showrooms, and they are expected to sell very quickly like the previous LE models. Prices start at $45,500 (excluding on-road costs).