This is the 8th Isuzu built vehicle I have owned (including light trucks), so to say Im a bit of a fan is an understatement, but for good reason.
Ive spent a total of only $900 on repairs with well over 1.5 million km travelled on those vehicles (excluding regular maintainence of course), many of which by drivers that were less than sympathetic with them!
When it was time to replace my D22 Navara, I had a good look around at what was available, but my number one requirement was reliability.
The D-Max was the only ute I where simply couldnt find anything bad written about them. No one seemed to have any mechanical issues.
Now have almost 50,000 k's and its still running great.
Fuel economy has been outstanding, averaging around 8.0l per 100k's
Best Ive seen was low 7's, worst was just under 10l/ 100k (carting tonne after tonne of material onto a very steep building site with lots of low range work)
The engine is simply brilliant.
Stupid amounts of torque just off idle means you simply dont have to rev it hard, even with a full load onboard.
Mine rarely see's 2000 rpm around town, and even when fully loaded, barely see's 2500 rpm. It just pulls so easily.
Towing right up to the limit is easy as. Its a very, very good tow vehicle
Gobs of low down torque and fairly high gearing make for very relaxed highway cruising as well.
Another nice benefit is the lack of DPF. That was a biggy for me when purchasing as my utes can often do some very short runs for weeks on end before hitting a highway
Cabin is a bit low rent compared to some of the others out there, but its solid and squeak free. Plastics are a bit hard, but dust and dirt wipe right off.
Seats are a little firm and get a bit hard after long trips, but thats being pretty picky.
Stereo sounds pretty good, but the bluetooth is pretty hard to connect for the first time. Its unneccesarily complicated.
Ride is a bit bouncy when empty, but thats to be expected.
Load a tonne in the back and its not riding on bumpstops.
Its sits nice and level and doesn't feel like its close to being overloaded.
If you think it sounds like I love my D-Max, you'd be right, but it does have a very annoying "feature" that Isuzu would be wise to change ASAP.
The lack of proper LSD and the reliance on electronic traction control is a huge flaw in my opinion.
It tries to limit the wheelspin of the wheel with the least traction by applying the brakes on that wheel and directing torque to the other wheel, but it simply is overwhelmed by the torque and works poorly (at best).
Ive been stuck more than once with diagonally opposite wheels at full droop and the other wheels near full compression, with both drooping wheels simply spinning.
I once had trouble trying to take off (up hill) with an empty tray with one wheel on a wet grass verge and the other on the road (in 2WD) and it simply caused the engine to bog down without me even moving.
In a word, its rubbish.
If you plan to take a D-Max off road on any half serious track, get a locker. With a rear locker or LSD, it would be a totally different story.
Other than that, I cant fault my D-Max
If you bought a 4x2 or are buying to use as a tow vehicle, you could not go wrong.
As a serious off roader, it would need some work, but Im sure once the diff is sorted, you could go where ever you-d like due to the low down torque.
Overall I rate it pretty highly and will definitely buy another when the time comes.