Isuzu changes KB specs and name to D-Max

LO­CAL LAUNCH

Business Day - Motor News - - MOTOR NEWS - Phuti Mpyane

Isuzu Mo­tors SA has re­freshed its pick-up range with new spec­i­fi­ca­tion and it’s also re­named the bakkie from KB to D-Max in line with the global Isuzu brand.

The range has 30 mod­els — of which 16 are sin­gle-cabs that make up 36% of sales, and now in­clude the op­tion of a drop­side or flat-deck con­fig­u­ra­tion.

Head­lin­ing the new styling in­ter­ven­tions is a re­worked ra­di­a­tor grille, which now takes the fig­ure of chromed “fangs”.

On high-end mod­els, the bright works ex­tend over the full length of new Bi-LED head­lamps, cre­at­ing an an­grier over­all look. Door han­dles, lock­ing and air vent knobs are also cov­ered in chrome. Day­time driv­ing lights fea­ture on the ex­tended and dou­ble-cab mod­els.

In LX grade, a new high­qual­ity grain dash­board along with the in­stru­ment clus­ter bin­na­cle and door trim have been resur­faced with softer ma­te­ri­als. There’s an op­tional new high­mounted, nine-inch screen Alpine in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem that con­trols Blue­tooth hands-free com­mu­ni­ca­tions, a built-in nav­i­ga­tion por­tal and a host of other dig­i­tal fea­tures, in­clud­ing play­back via USB, Aux, HDMI video and easy links to Ap­ple CarPlay and An­droid Auto. The sys­tem also in­cor­po­rates the dis­play for the rear-view camera.

The Isuzu D-MAX range has added all-new au­to­matic and man­ual six-speed gear­boxes to bet­ter stoke the un­changed 3.0l four-cylin­der in­ter­cooled tur­bod­iesel en­gine. There’s dis­cernible im­prove­ment in the shift ac­tion, and the six-speed auto in­te­grates se­quen­tial change sport mode. This se­lectable auto gear­ing is help­ful for tow­ing and off-road driv­ing, as spe­cific en­gine speeds and gear ra­tios are re­quired for var­ied tasks.

An elec­tron­i­cally op­er­ated two-speed trans­mis­sion with low range gear­ing com­bines with newer as­sis­tance systems such as hill de­scent con­trol.

Driv­ing the up­dated bakkies in 3.0TD dou­ble-cab form on an as­sort­ment of roads at this week’s me­dia launch in Mpumalanga, the ve­hi­cles showed sig­nif­i­cant im­prove­ment in the driv­ing depart­ment. The feel of the ride re­mains stiff — as ex­pected of a work­horse — but Isuzu has im­proved NVH (noise, vi­bra­tion and harsh­ness) lev­els. The me­chan­i­cal and agri­cul­tural noises of the en­gine are fur­ther kept away from the cabin, adding a touch of re­fine­ment to the ex­pe­ri­ence.

The en­tire D-Max range gets ABS brakes and a brake over­ride sys­tem as stan­dard fit­ment. The lat­ter sys­tem re­stricts ac­cel­er­a­tor in­put if the brake pedal is ap­plied si­mul­ta­ne­ously, thereby re­duc­ing stop­ping dis­tances in an emer­gency.

Fur­ther stan­dard equip­ment is hill-start as­sist, hill-de­scent con­trol, elec­tronic sta­bil­ity con­trol with trac­tion con­trol and trailer-sway con­trol.

Hi-Rider and LE mod­els can be spec­i­fied with an op­tional tow-bar pack­age for a braked trailer up to a max­i­mum load of 2.1 tonnes, while 3.0l 4x4 LX de­riv­a­tives are rated to haul 3.5 tonnes. Isuzu has also part­nered with 4x4 Mega World to of­fer over­land ac­ces­sories.

The Drop­side Base mod­els are avail­able in 2.5l LEED Base or Fleet­side spec­i­fi­ca­tion, and pow­ered by the un­changed 2.5l tur­bod­iesel en­gine with 58kW and 176Nm. There is also the op­tion of the higher-spec 2.5l HO Fleet­side Safety model util­is­ing a higher-out­put 100kW and 320Nm tur­bod­iesel.

Ex­tended cab mod­els re­main and come in 2.5l Hi-Rider; two 3.0 LX mod­els with a choice of ei­ther of the new trans­mis­sions, as well as a 3.0l 4x4 LX spec man­ual. A new 2.5l HO Base model aimed more for com­mer­cial pur­poses joins the dou­ble-cab range.

Isuzu’s stan­dard Com­plete Care after-sales ser­vice is a fiveyear/120,000km war­ranty and road­side as­sis­tance. In ad­di­tion, a five-year/90,000km ser­vice plan is in­cluded in the price, with ser­vice in­ter­vals sched­uled ev­ery 15,000km or an­nu­ally, which­ever comes first.

Through Isuzu Mo­bil­ity, cus­tomers have the op­tion of ex­tend­ing the stan­dard ser­vice plan up to six years or 200,000km, or the ser­vice plan can be up­graded to a full main­te­nance plan that cov­ers planned and un­planned main­te­nance up to six years/ 200,000km.

Left: A snarling fa­cia el­e­vates the ve­hi­cle’s al­ready good looks. Right: A larger dig­i­tal dis­play over­sees in­te­rior func­tions.

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