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This is the third-generation Isuzu D-Max. It’s a heavily redesigned version of the second-generation pick-up, which features more technology, an updated chassis and new styling. It’ll go on sale in the UK during March this year, with prices expected to start from around £20,000 excluding VAT.
Cosmetically, the new D-Max is evolutionary rather than revolutionary – although Isuzu is keen to point out that every exterior panel is brand new. The pick-up also has a slightly longer wheelbase than the old model and, for the better equipped models, there’s a fresh set of Bi-LED headlights and 18-inch alloy wheels.
It’s all change for the interior though with a new soft-touch dashboard, a new nine-inch infotainment system and a new control panel for the air conditioning system. Isuzu has also tried to make the cabin a more refined place to sit in over long distances, by fitting more sound insulation.
The new D-Max shares the same basic chassis as the old model, although Isuzu’s engineers have strengthened and lengthened the platform to suit the new body. Buyers also get redesigned front and rear suspension, some extra underbody protection and a new electric power steering system, which the firm says has improved the pick-up’s manoeuvrability.
Despite the chassis upgrades contributing to a 20 percent improvement in rigidity, the new D-Max is around 80kg lighter than the old model. Isuzu says this Mk3 variant should be even more capable off-road, as it can also be specced with four-wheel-drive and a locking rear differential not available on the Mk2.
The new model retains the same 3.5-tonne towing capacity and one-tonne payload as its predecessor. At 1,530mm, the bay is exactly the same width as the outgoing D-Max, although it is slightly deeper and longer.
Isuzu has carried the old D-Max’s turbocharged 1.9-litre four-cylinder diesel engine onto this new model, with the same output of 162bhp and 360Nm of torque. The pick-up’s six-speed manual gearbox is also identical, but the optional six-speed automatic is a completely new design, offering up to 25 percent faster gear changes.
Safety equipment gets a boost, too, with the new D-Max receiving an autonomous emergency braking system, traffic sign recognition, an intelligent speed limiter and lane keeping assist as standard across the line-up.
When the new D-Max eventually goes on sale in the UK, buyers will have their choice of either rear- or four-wheel-drive, four trim levels and three body styles – a single cab, an extended cab or a double cab. Every model will also come with a five-year warranty/125,000 mile warranty and five years of UK and European roadside assistance.