ON THE job
The D-Max remains the number-six best-selling 4WD ute but it’s gaining ground on the Navara
Some 6,409 D-Max 4WDs were sold in the first six months of 2108, a 6.4 per cent increase on the same period last year. That’s not sufficient to see it climb out of the number-six spot in the year-to-date best sellers but at the same time it’s not far behind the Navara in sales and could pip it by year’s end.
Since the arrival of this generation D-Max in 2012 it has enjoyed a steady increase in sales. In its first full year in 2013, some 8,488 D-Max 4x4s were sold. Last year 12,795 D-Max 4x4s found new homes. That’s a 50 per cent increase over that fouryear period and sales continue to trend in the right direction so far this year.
The D-Max sold now is, however, a different vehicle from the D-Max that arrived here in 2013 mainly thanks to a raft of upgrades for the 2017 model initiated by mandatory compliance to Euro 5 emissions standards that came into effect in
This bought a diesel particulate filter but at the same time Isuzu reworked the engine’s top-end (from the pistons up), new turbo and all, to bump the maximum torque from 380Nm to 430Nm for better drivability, and to quieten down what’s always been a relatively noisy engine.
At the same time an Aisin six-speed automatic, similar to what’s used in the Hilux and Prado, replaced the previous five-speed auto and a six-speed manual replaced the previous five-speeder.
For the 2018 model, Isuzu has made changes to the cabin, equipment levels, and rear suspension. SX, LS-U and LS-T dualcab 4WDs now have softer three-leaf springs instead of the five-leaf springs used previously.
The end result is a more compliant ride when unladen but seemingly diminished ability to carry maximum payloads, if our recent 4x4 Ute Megatest is anything to go by.
As ever, the D-Max is solid rather than spectacular and while it’s not the last word in what it does on or off the road, it makes a lot of sense as an ownership proposition.