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Isuzu D-Max – tweaked looks, improved comfort

One of the all-time legendary pick-ups in Kenya is the Isuzu D-MAX. Its DNA comes from a company renowned for making rugged and tough trucks that have continued to make their mark in Kenya for more than 50 years. The pick-up, which is now in its 6th generation, has been on sale in Kenya for more than four years. That is quite long in car years. Time has come for the Isuzu D-mAX to be refreshed in order for it stand a better chance against the com- petition  from  rivals.  the  Isuzu  D-mAX boasts some styling changes to the front fascia and rear tailgate as well as a rede- signed instrument gauge cluster

exterior

A strong design presence is visible at the front with its striking new interpretation of the Isuzu D-mAX logo and grille. On the high-end models, chrome grille and bonnet garnishes are standard equipment while the entry-level specification comes adorned with a black grille. the  projector  style  headlamps  have paved way for new ones with inte- grated daytime running LeD lights. the  new  projector  styled  lamps  are standard on all high-end models for improved visibility.

the smooth flowing lines of the headlamp clusters provide a seam- less transition from the front of the  vehicle  though  to  the  side. the integrated fog lamps now feature a chrome surround, while the rede- signed bottom air-intake gives the Isuzu D-mAX an aggressive look. the  redesigned  bonnet, which  lacks any projections of the intercooler or turbocharger intake, blends well with the Isuzu D-mAX’s redesigned front grille and headlamps. the pro- jections free bonnet reduce injury to any pedestrians hit by the pick-up.

Fitted as standard on high-end models are side steps with a non-slip upper  surface. the  side  steps  allow for easier entry and exit from the vehicle.  the   side   steps   also   assist in inhibiting stone damage to lower body paintwork when travelling on gravel or off-road. Isuzu has intro- duced new 18-inch alloy wheels for the high-end version of the D-mAX. Other versions in the range come with new 16-inch alloys.

All double cab versions of the Isuzu D-mAX come with a rede- signed rear tailgate and new tail- lights. the  redesigned  taillight  clus- ter offers bright and clear lighting. they  also  flow  through  to  the  sides of the load box for side-on visibil- ity. High-end models feature rear LeD lights for better illumination in the daylight and extended life. the  restyled  bumper  rounds  off  the

rear view of the Isuzu D-mAX. On the high-specification models, the bumper incorporates a wide, non- slip upper surface with chrome high- lights.

Performance

the  power  plant  selection  remains unchanged. First on the list is a 2.5- litre low-pressure turbo diesel unit. power output is recorded at 58 kW (77 hp) and 170 Nm of torque. Next in line is the proven 2.5-litre D-teQ engine with an output of 85 kW (113 hp) and 280Nm of torque. the power plant needs 7.7-litres of low sulphur diesel per 100km. the top of the range Isuzu D-mAX retains the advanced 3.0-litre D-teQ

power unit with 130 kW (174 hp) and  380  Nm of torque. paired with

the 3.0-litre D-teQ power unit is a new 5-speed electron- ically           controlled automatic          trans- mission.  the   other engines come with a

manual transmission as standard. Combined

Cycle fuel consumption is 7.9 litres per 100 km for 4×4 double cab models, dropping to 7.7 litres per

100  km  for  the  4×2  versions. the single cab 4×2 also returns a figure of 7.7 litres per 100 km, with the 4×4 single cab version consuming 8 litres per 100 km.

ride

Isuzu engineers have refined the suspension of the Isuzu D-mAX for a smoother ride on all road surfac- es. 4×2 models receive new front and rear dampers while 4×4 models received revised rear dampers only.

Interior

the   interior   of   the   pick-up   pro- vides a discreet balance between form and function. Logically and intuitively placed are

the controls for the pick- up. they are easy to reach and   operate.  the   dash- board and centre console is sporty in appearance and functional in design.

All switches and controls fall easily and naturally to hand for excellent ergonom- storage compartments add convenient and secure stowage for smaller items.

the  Isuzu  D-mAX  offers  plenty of interior space for all occupants. the   angle   of   the   seats   backrests further adds to the pick-up’s over- all comfort especially during long journeys. On double cab models, the
rear  seats  have  a  60/40  split. the foldable rear seat can allow loading directly on the floor of the vehicle. Additional storage compartments are located in the floor area under the rear seats. Leather is available as standard on the 4×4 auto and man- ual double cabs and as an option on 4×2 double cab derivatives.

verdict

the  Isuzu  D-mAX  host  of  updates have made a better all-rounder and a worthy opponent to its rivals. However, the Isuzu D-mAX contin- ues to offer great all-rounder perfor- mance. the updates have also made the once hard-core workhorse an easier to live with workhorse that is more sUV than pick-up. Isuzu east Africa are the franchise holders for Isuzu.  their   showroom   is   located along mombasa road in the out- skirts of Nairobi City and across the country.