The Weekly Advertiser Horsham

Isuzu expands its D-max range

- – Callum Hunter

Isuzu Ute Australia has announced a series of running changes to its local D-max portfolio for the 2022 model year, however none of them include a Raptor-baiting or Warrior-engaging hero ute.

Instead, the brand has gone the other way and introduced two new 4x2 variants at the bottom of the range, powered by a 1.9-litre turbo-diesel engine, bolstered the middle of the range with a trio of new cab-chassis variants and introduced a new LS-U+ trim level below the flagship X-terrain.

Starting from the bottom, the new 1.9-litre engine is only available in 4x2 SX Single-cab Chassis guise, however, customers do get the choice of six-speed manual or automatic transmissi­ons.

The manual is priced from $31,200 plus on-road costs while the automatic carries a $2000 premium at $33,200.

Compared with the familiar 140kw450nm outputs of the bigger 3.0-litre engine, the smaller donk churns out 110kw of power and 350Nm of torque – enough to tow up to 2800kg braked in manual form or up to 3000kg in the automatic’s case.

For those needing the full 3500kg braked towing capacity and a bit more room in the cabin, a 3.0-litre 4x2 SX space cab chassis has been added to the range for $38,700 as a more versatile

replacemen­t for the now discontinu­ed ‘ute’ version.

Another deletion from the range is the manual 4x4 SX crew cab ute.

However, cab chassis versions of the mid-range and upper tier 4x4 LS-M and LS-U crew cabs have been added to the range, priced from $52,800 and $58,200 respective­ly – $1200 cheaper than their ute equivalent­s.

The other new addition for 2022 is the $61,900 LS-U+ that bridges the gap between the standard LS-U and the flagship X-terrain, with black leather upholstery, heated front seats, heated wing mirrors, vanity mirror lights and a power-adjustable driver’s seat.

While the new variant count stops there, there have also been plenty of

changes to the standard kit lists of the existing versions, including the inclusion of an under-rail tub liner and tow bar receiver on all versions of the LS-U and X-terrain.

Sticking with the more lavishly equipped versions, the MY22 X-terrain scores all of the new goodies the LS-U+ has as well as an ‘enhanced’ instrument cluster, red stitching throughout the cabin and some extra black trim.

Moving down the order, LS-US pick up keyless entry, walk-away locking and an auto-dimming rearview mirror as standard, while LS-M Utes have inherited rear parking sensors.

All this additional gear has inevitably resulted in some price increases, but only for the LS-U and X-terrain, which have all gone up by $1500 and $2000 respective­ly – as of the first quarter of next year, the X-terrain will again be available from a promotiona­l driveaway price of $62,990.

One glaring omission from the enhanced kit lists is the ‘rough terrain’ off-road mode as found in 4x4 variants of the new MU-X large SUV.

When asked whether this was ever considered for the MY22 D-max, the company said it was ‘unable to comment on future model plans’.

This was the same response given to fresh queries about the possibilit­y of a hardcore flagship to take on the Ford Ranger Raptor and Nissan Navara Pro-4x Warrior.

As an extra sweetener for customers, those still waiting for their MY21 vehicles ordered before July 31 will be upgraded to the MY22 equivalent at no extra charge.

 ??  ?? CHANGES: Extra variants, more equipment and new entry-level engine lead Isuzu’s D-max range.
CHANGES: Extra variants, more equipment and new entry-level engine lead Isuzu’s D-max range.

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