Isuzu Ute Australia has officially launched the second-generation Isuzu D-Max, with vehicles available from July 2 in a model range that includes five trim levels and three cab configurations.
Isuzu sold close to 6000 D-Max utes across Australia in 2011 and is keen for that number to grow to at least 8000 units in its first year of sales with the all-new D-Max.
Isuzu engineers and development teams clocked up over four million kilometres of testing in the new D-Max with the goal that it would exceed customers’ expectations.
Generous standard equipment levels across the model range from the $27,200 entry-level Isuzu D-Max 4×2 SX single cab to the top-spec 4×4 LS-Terrain crew cab at $51,700 include air conditioning with pollen filter and a new sound system with iPod and Bluetooth connectivity.
Certain models in the range are also equipped with Isuzu’s latest ‘sky-sound’ roof-mounted audio system with surround sound, while the top-of-the-line LS-Terrain picks up a multimedia touchscreen and satellite-navigation system that lists 10,000 off-road destinations.
The chassis, which was a joint-development with General Motors and shared with the recently released Holden Colorado, has been extended to allow for more cabin space for improved driver and passenger comfort. Cabin access has also been enhanced due to wider door arches and hand grips on the A-pillar. The new Isuzu D-Max boasts a new seat design too, with more pronounced bolstering for better support.
Safety on board the new Isuzu D-Max gets a significant boost across the entire range with standard features such as anti-lock braking system (ABS) with electronic brakeforce distribution, electronic stability control, traction control and brake assist. Six airbags including dual front, side and curtains are also standard.
Other passive safety features on board the Isuzu D-Max include a new collapsible steering column and brake pedal for additional driver protection. Equally, a lot of work has gone into the D-Max’s pedestrian safety, with an impact-absorbing bonnet, recessed fog lamps and shatter-resistant polycarbonate headlight covers.
However, the D-Max LS models are the only model variants to come equipped with LED brake lights and projector lens headlamps, while the LS-Terrain is the only variant to get a reversing camera.
Providing power to all 22 Isuzu D-Max configurations is a new 3.0-litre common-rail turbo-diesel engine that generates 130kW of power and 380Nm of torque.
Transmission options include a newly developed five-speed auto with a sequential sports mode, along with Hill Decent and Hill Ascent technology. There’s a new five-speed manual available, too, which includes an enhanced gear-lever point that reduces the gear-lever throw for a sportier feel.
The D-Max also introduces a new Terrain Command system, which allows the driver to switch between two- and four-wheel-drive at speeds of up to 100km/h with the twist of a dial.
The all-new Isuzu D-Max sports a new exterior look that positions it alongside the most recent and contemporary-styled utes in the segment.
Developed with the assistance of extensive wind tunnel testing at the Japan Railway Technical Research Institute – the same place the Bullet Train is developed – the D-Max benefits from a low drag figure, which has also reduced cabin noise.
It’s a larger vehicle than the previous-generation Isuzu D-Max, which has meant a generous gain in interior space and improved rear seat access for crew cabs and the new space cab variants.
The new D-Max is underpinned by a new ladder frame chassis dubbed the ‘i-GRIP’ (Isuzu Gravity Response Intelligent Platform), that Isuzu says is 42 per cent more rigid than its predecessor. The wheelbase has been lengthened across the model range. The D-Max also benefits from new suspension geometry dubbed ‘Flex-Ride’ using independent double wish-bone with coil springs and gas-filled shock absorbers up front and long span leak-springs at the rear for better stability with or without a load, according to Isuzu.
Load capacity across the Isuzu D-Max range is 1000kg, while towing capacity (braked) with the 4×4 models is rated at 3000kg.
Series Isuzu 4JJ1-TC Hi-Power
Description 3.0 litre turbo-diesel, in-line 4-cylinder, DOHC, 16-valve
Maximum torque 380 Nm @ 1800→3000 rpm (manual)
380 Nm @ 1800→2800 rpm (automatic)
Maximum power 130 kW @ 3600 rpm
Bore x stroke 95.4 mm x 104.9 mm
Displacement 2999 cc
Compression ratio 17.3 : 1
Cylinder head Isuzu-patent special aluminium alloy with double-walled
Valve gear Chain-driven dual overhead camshafts, roller rockers, 4 valves/cylinder
Induction Electronic high pressure common rail direct fuel injection with Variable Swirl System (VSS) and intercooled Variable Geometry System (VGS) turbocharger
Cylinder block Cast iron upper with induction-hardened cylinder bores, cast alloy lower; Special pistons with nickel composite oil rings
Emission level Euro 4
Alternator 90 amp
Manual Isuzu MUX 5-speed manual with high torque capacity and output reduction 265mm diameter clutch plate
Automatic Aisin AW TB50-LS 5-speed with sequential shift and brake shift lock electronically controlled, tri-mode with Adaptive Grade Logic Control and fuel-saving lock-up torque converter on gears 2, 3, 4 & 5
Adaptive Grade Logic Control: holds gear 3 in varied-gradient ascents, selects 3 on steep descents to hold speed w/engine braking
Hill-ascent and Hill-descent control
Ratios: 1: 5-SPEED MANUAL 5-SPEED AUTO
1st 4.332 3.520
2nd 2.561 2.042
3rd 1.492 1.400
4th 1.000 1.000
5th 0.791 0.716
Reverse 3.947 3.224
Final drive 4×2 SX 3.416 3.727
LS 3.727 3.727
4×4 3.727 3.727
Snorkelled diff breathers to increase fording depth and reduce mud blockage
Transfer Gearing 4×4 low range 2.482 2.482
4×4 high range 1.000 1.000
4×4 system “Terrain Command” control with ‘shift on the fly’ 4H↔2WD selection up to 100km/h
Drivetrain system Traction Control System (TCS) and Electronic Stability Control (ESC) on all model variants
Chassis Frame Separate, full-length heavy-duty truck chassis with 7 cross members
Suspension – Front 4×2 SX Low-Ride model (manual): Independent, coil springs, gas shock absorbers, upper and lower wishbones, stabiliser bar
4×2 High-Ride & 4×4 models: Independent, high ride, coil springs, gas shock absorbers, upper and lower wishbones, stabilizer bar
Suspension–Rear 4×2 SX Low-Ride model (manual): Alloy-steel underslung semi-elliptic leaf
springs, heavy-duty on cab/chassis; gas shock absorbers
4×2 High-Ride & 4×4 models: Alloy-steel overslung long-span semi-elliptic leaf springs, heavy-duty on cab/chassis and LS-M; gas shock absorbers
Front: Independent. 4×4: fully floating with outer CV and inner double offset joints.
Equal length driveshafts. Ratings: Low-Ride: 1250kg; High-Ride: 1350kg
Rear: Rigid semi-floating banjo with hypoid final drive. Dual tapered needle roller bearings. Rating: 1870kg
Steering Engine-speed-sensitive variable capacity power-assisted rack & pinion system; 3.2 turns lock-to-lock via tilt-adjustable steering wheel (N/A on EX)
Brakes Power-assisted via 10.5″ servo unit; 300mm ventilated front discs with 2-piston calipers (280mm on 4×2 SX Single Cab Chassis and Low-Ride); 295mm rear drums
Anti-skid Brake System (ABS) with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA)
Central pull up park brake
Wheels & Tyres 4×2 SX manual 15″x 6.5″ drilled silver-finish steel; 215 / 70 R15 HT
4×2 SX auto 16″x 7″ drilled silver-finish steel; 245 / 70 R16 AT
4×2 LS 17″x 7″ alloy; 255 / 65 R17 HT
4×4 EX, SX 16″x 7″ drilled silver-finish steel; 245 / 70 R16 AT
4×4 LS-M 16″x 7″ alloy; 245 / 70 R16 AT
4×4 LS-U 17″x 7″ alloy; 255 / 65 R17 HT
(Full size spare wheel on all model variants)
Warranty 3 years or 100,000km, whichever occurs first.
2012 Isuzu D-Max manufacturer’s list prices: