July is bakkie month and among three new model ranges launched in SA, Isuzu offers the bakkie with the best new car smell.
JULY is new bakkie month in SA.
Hot on the heels of the three Fiat Fullback bakkies and nine Ford Ranger 2,2 automatic models, Isuzu has added the KB X-Rider to the KB range.
For this reporter, it was love at first smell in the new KB. Bakkies and cars these days contain well over 15 kg of acrid-smelling glue, which makes it very easy to get a new car smell that is sharp and unpleasant. Not so in the KB X-Rider, which is the first new car in a long time that manages to mix leather and glue into that perfect new car smell.
It rides like a car too — soft riding over the bumpiest roads even without a load on the back being the hallmark Isuzu over the years, and inside the cab you find everything cars have to offer.
The newcomer can be readily identified by a number of visual cues such as stylish black diamond-cut 18-inch alloys and black tubular side steps, but some less obvious features are what mark this special edition KB as a special kind of workhorse.
The X-Rider boasts an uprated towbar with a 2.1-tonne braked trailer capacity, LED daytime running lights and remote keyless entry. Apart from the leather seats and X-Rider logo embroidered on the front headrests there is also a multi-function, leathertrimmed steering wheel with the red stitching, which stitches also appear on the gearlever gaiter and the seats.
Piano Black inserts are used on the doors, where a bold red ‘X’ motif add the final tough to the on-road presence, which is built up with daytime running lights, big 255/60 all-terrain rubber on 18-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels, wheel caps with the Isuzu branding in red and dramatic black tubular side steps, a sports bar and a blacked-out B-pillar.
Vice-president of Vehicle Sales, Service, and Marketing at General Motors South Africa, Brian Olson said in a press statement the X-Rider aims to offer real value and individuality in a brand which is well known for toughness, reliability and comfort. “The X-Rider follows on the success of special edition models of the past, such as the Midnite and Serengeti.
“The X-Rider continues the tradition but at a lower price point, providing added exclusivity and exceptional value for money,” Olson added.
What he did not add in the press statement is that all the sugar cane farmers who swear by Isuzu can look forward to the automatic gearbox being paired to Isuzu’s 2,5 engine as well in the not too distant future.
All X-rider derivatives will be powered by the new, 100 kW/320 Nm Nm high-output version of Isuzu’s proven 2.5-litre common rail direct injection turbodiesel, an engine which has been a stalwart of the KB range since a September 2015 facelift.
The X-Rider is offered in a trio of classy colours — Summit White, Switchblade Silver or Maranello Red — and the full array of changes applicable to the exterior include:
Isuzu KB 250 HO X-Rider Extended Cab R355 900 Isuzu KB 250 HO X-Rider Double Cab R366 380
The government is keen to give a 14% discount to VAT-registered businesses farmers on the new extra-cab Isuzu; the very pleasant new car smell comes free.