2018 Isuzu D-Max: Is the new model good?

2018 Isuzu D-Max: Is the new model good?

Things in life need a change. We all go on vacations and what not to relieve ourself of the mundane day-to-day chores. We call this recreation. Everyone needs one. Even the top CEOs do take breaks. This helps one rejuvenate and at the same time focus better on their future projects or work. Same is the case with automobiles.

new Isuzu D-max

They take a breather at the service station where they are cared for and replenished. However, if they begin to lose steam at the sales counter or there is a fresh competitor in sight, manufacturers mostly go back to their drawing boards. This essentially means a refreshed model or something which is termed as a facelift. Isuzu did just this with the new 2018 D-Max. The manufacturer’s D-max pickup is a very nice vehicle. However, off late, customers are queueing outside Ford dealerships for the more premium Ranger. The facelifted D-Max brings in more equipment as well as a butch look. So, how good is it compared with the outgoing version?

More butch?

Yes, definitely. The Isuzu D-max facelift comes across as more aggressive than before. This is a good thing as many buyers prefer that their pickups look bulkier yet lithe. The bumpers are the first noticeable change. They are set a bit higher and house LED fog lights now. There is also the chrome strip above the fog lamps. The grille too has slight alterations to it. While its still a two-piece unit, the overall look is much sleeker. There is also a blue tinge to the headlight unit. This goes with the new Euro4 engine which Isuzu calls as BluePower.

2018 Isuzu D-Max side

There are 18-inch alloy wheels which increase the already impressive 225 mm ground clearance. The wheels, however have a staid design and we wish something more impressive was given. At the back, there is an integrated spoiler. However, given that most of the people will not look keenly at the rear, it can easily be overlooked. The tail lights too are LED units now. These round off the exterior changes.

Feature laden interior

2018 Isuzu D-Max cabin

To keep the D-Max relevant in the scheme of things today, Isuzu has added more creature comforts. The meter dials now have a small multi-information display in the middle. It shows you the outside temperature and the odo as well as trip details. The touchscreen is also now a bigger 8.0-inch unit and features a colour display. It has a navigation system, CD, DVD, VCD, AUx-in, USB, Bluetooth and MP3 input facilities. There are also six speakers now instead of the previous four. There is a piano black trim running through the dashboard. Isuzu now also gives a rear camera as standard whereas the IRVM too is a day-night type. The driver’s seat is 6-way power adjustable and cruise control too has been added to the equation. There are also side steps provided.

One can order the D-Max in a single cab or double cab configurations like before.

Safety

Unfortunately, still, two airbags are offered with the D-Max whereas its competition has moved onto six. We aren’t sure why Isuzu believes that twin airbags in the front are more than enough to protect the occupants. Front adjustable seat belts too are available while the rear has ELR belts. Side impact beams, as well as ISOFIX child seat tethers too, are available for the second row. ABS, brake assist and EBD too are on offer. Hill Start Assist, Traction Control, Hill Descent Control and Electronic Stability Control are also part of the package. The rear defogger, child locks, engine immobilizer and speed-sensitive locks are standard.

We believe Isuzu could have upped the ante with this facelift in terms of safety features.

Firepower under the hood

2018 Isuzu D-Max engine

The engine is the same 3.0-litre turbodiesel that is good for 177 PS of power and 380 Nm of torque. The choice of transmission can be a 5-speed manual or an automatic. This time around, the engine has been tuned for Euro 4 emission norms. The variable geometry turbo is also said to be new and it gives the engine a linear power delivery. While efficiency numbers haven’t been quoted, expect the engine to be a tad more efficient than before. The emissions too are lower than the older pickup. Isuzu also has reduced the clutch effort, so for those preferring the manuals, this will be a good opportunity to pick one.

Off-road tech

No change in this department as the D-Max, like the mu-X, continues with a selectable jog dial on the dash. This one helps one select 4Low, 4High or 2WD mode on the go. The 4High cannot be selected at speeds over 30 kmph. It is a seamless system and helps lock the front or rear differentials depending on the requirement.

2018 Isuzu D-Max image

We wish Isuzu added front parking sensors to the equation. They would have helped a lot while going the off beaten path. An around view monitor like the one the Nissan offers for its pickup too would have been of immense help.

Variants

There are around eight variants of the Isuzu D-Max now. These include the D-Max LS 4x4 AT, LS 4x4 MT, LS 4x2 AT and LS 4x2 MT. For the special X Line series, there is the LS 4x2 AT and LS 4x2 MT. Two of them are limited editions and while Isuzu hasn’t confirmed yet if these are available, dealers say that they can option the regular D-Max with these features and sell you one.

So, back to the question now. Is the D-Max facelift good? It definitely has invigorated interest in the product again and since the price hike is relatively marginal, it makes for the value for money as well. However, rear disc brakes and that all important four additional airbags will have made the D-Max unbeatable.

Zigwheels PH Team

Zigwheels PH Team

The Zigwheels editorial team abreast auto enthusiasts with the latest happening and additions of the auto world. Zigwheels.ph is 24/7 monitored and any update in the auto arena gets immediately reflected on the portal. The site gives full information about new and used cars, both brand, and budget wise. Further easing your choice is the comparison tool that is fully committed to buyers need.

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Power 148
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Torque 350 Nm
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140 Nm
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Front Brake Type Ventilated Discs
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Rear Brake Type Drums
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Alloy Wheels No
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