2022 Isuzu D-Max almost here
The new, 7th generation Isuzu D-Max has officially launched in South Africa early this month. Like we have always said, when South Africa coughs, Zimbabwe sneezes. Whatever they launch in South Africa, chances are that it will end up in Zimbabwe. Autoworld, Zimbabwe’s official Isuzu dealership confirmed that the all new Isuzu D-Max should be in Zimbabwe any moment from now. It offers more tech and safety than ever before. Paired with striking good looks and a compliant ride quality, the D-Max is set to challenge the status quo in the leisure double cab sector.
“The Isuzu bakkie is an iconic vehicle in South Africa and the Isuzu brand has long been associated with quality and reliability. The fact that this bakkie is being manufactured in South Africa is more than just a matter of pride,” declared The South Africa President, Cyril Ramaphosa at the launch early this month
The mere fact that the South African president attended the launch shows how important this brand is to the South Africans. It is part of their heritage. The circumstances where they are now manufacturing it in South Africa is sweet music to the South African government as well. Formerly known and loved as the KB-Series, the new D-Max range is set to take on the giants in the light commercial vehicle sector.
Bold new look
Overall, the new D-Max is a larger, more substantial offering, if that were even possible. Isuzu has extended the wheelbase by 30mm, offering additional space in the interior and helping improve straight-line stability on the road. This is combined with a bonnet line that is 15 mm taller and a load bin ledge that is now 30 mm higher. Combined with the roofline that now sits 10 mm lower, the new D_Max has aggressive and sporty pretensions with the image to match.
The aggressive new front end design sees higher-spec LSE and V-Cross models equipped with Bi-LED headlights with integrated LED DRL elements. These complement the angry-looking front treatment that appears to have two sets of teeth jutting into the grille element. There is no mistaking the new D-Max for its predecessor or anything else on the road for that matter.
Around the back, the taillights on the LSE and V-Cross models get a similar LED treatment. LS models get 17-inch alloy wheels while the LSE and V-Cross models are fitted with 18-inch alloy wheels in a striking design, finished in anthracite black.
Where previous generations have maintained the tried and tested interior execution, the new D-Max ushers in an era of refinement and SUV-like ergonomics. The increase in overall size can be felt in the interior which presents a spacious and airy cabin. Rear seat passengers get additional legroom and the rear seats have been spread by 20 mm to offer up more shoulder room for rear-seat passengers. They also get longer doors to make ingress and egress simpler and more accessible.
It is not only the rear passengers that benefit from the upgrades. The driver is treated to a telescoping steering wheel that is slightly smaller than the 6th generation model. This promotes a more car-like driving position and frees up some space for the more rotund individuals who may be considering a double cab. Dual-zone climate control is fitted to LSE and V-Cross models with the double cab offerings receiving rear vents for additional passenger comfort.
The overall fit and finish are of a high standard and hardly drew any criticism from me. Even when I sampled the entry-level extended cab version, the interior appeared to be robust and well-fitting, even with the omission of creature comforts like carpet (rubber floor mat instead), electric windows and storage consoles.
Technology and safety
As one would expect from a prime contender in the double cab arena, the new D-Max is not shy on technology either. LS models get a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth connectivity but it is the LSE and V-Cross models that get the 9-inch infotainment system with wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Unfortunately, you shall need to make use of the smartphone mirroring functionality as the system's native operating system is rather slow to respond.
V-Cross models are also fitted with the IDAS system, which is the Intelligent Driver Assistance System that hosts a range of safety systems. In this package you get Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS), Lane Departure Prevention (LDP) and Lane Keep Assist System (LKAS), Blind Spot Monitor (BSM), Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Parking Aid (front and rear) and Multi Collision Brake (MCB). While it all sounds good and well, the audible alerts can prove to distract at times if the sensitivity is too high and you can only able to switch this off when the vehicle is stationary.
The rest of the range still gets a comprehensive list of safety systems including Anti-lock Brakes (ABS), Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BAS), Electronic Stability Control (ESC) with Traction Control, Hill Start Assist (HSA), Hill Descent Control (HDC) and Trailer Sway Control. Up to eight airbags are available on the new D-Max range.
More Power!
Wave goodbye to the 2.5-litre engine! It will now only be offered in the run-on 6th generation workhorse that will be produced alongside the new 7th-gen D-Max. In its place is a new 1.9-litre turbodiesel engine that provides greater efficiency and smoother running. This unit produces 110 kW (10 kW more than the 2.5) and 350 Nm torque (30 Nm more than the engine it replaces). Driving it in the 6-speed manual in the base model, it gave no serious cause for concern. The power is more than ample for its intended purpose and should prove to be popular amongst cost-conscious fleet operators.
The 3.0 remains but has been reworked from head to toe. This lump is now good for 140 kW and 450 Nm torque. Oddly enough though, fuel consumption figures have been omitted from initial press releases but should be made available in due course.
Customers will have a choice of a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic (in most trims and body styles) with 4x2 and 4x4 drivetrains.
Place your orders today with Autoworld at 24 Silwood Close, Chisipite, Harare .
Call : +263 867 7004334 +263 04-497800/1 0773 255984.