Revealed: 2020 Isuzu D-Max debuts with tough face, new features
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It's been eight long years, but finally Isuzu has given its sturdy, dependable D-Max double-cab ute an overhaul for the 2020 model year in the form of an all-new model.
Unveiled over the weekend in Thailand, Isuzu expanded on the teased imagery posted online earlier in the week. Exterior-wise, the D-Max gains a more evocative set of headlights and taillights complimented by a larger grille that extends all the way down to the bottom of the front fascia. For something that's all-new underneath, it retains a surprising amount of visual similarity with current versions.
Top grade models get black arch-extensions, a stylised front bash plate, different wheels, and roof rails as part of their distinctive feature set.
Arguably, the D-Max's cabin has had even more change than the exterior. This was where current D-Max models were starting to really show their age with a layout and material set that struggles to compete with the likes of the Ford Ranger and Nissan Navara.
The improvements inside are thankfully quite comprehensive. A 9-inch infotainment screen sits proudly front and centre, and houses Apple Carplay and Android Auto functionality. Another 4.2-inch screen sits in the driver's cluster, while the balance of the controls can be accessed via the rocker switches under the screen or via the bevy of buttons on the steering wheel.
Parking sensors, rear cross-traffic alert, blind-spot warning, and a shift from a hydraulic steering system to electric are among the Isuzu's other tech advancements.
The D-Max's interior looks set to be offered in at least three different trims; one cloth, and black composite leather, and the two-tone arrangement above in top-spec models.
But the biggest changes to the D-Max have taken place under the skin. As mentioned earlier, this is an all-new model with a new platform to suit. Isuzu have made use of steel that's more tensile than that of current models to make the new D-Max 20 per cent more rigid than the current model.
The Japanese brand has also acknowledged that the fresh architecture is capable of housing EV and/or hybrid powertrains down the line, should they be added to the D-Max line-up.
Speaking of powertrains, Isuzu has confirmed two different engines so far. The first is the entry-level 1.9-litre RZ42 twin-turbo four-cylinder diesel, which makes 110kW of power and 350Nm of torque.
The second is an updated version of the faithful 3.0-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder that we currently get, making 139kW of power and 450Nm of torque.
It's yet to be confirmed what models and engine choices the New Zealand market will receive. But, we'll keep our eyes peeled for developments.