The Isuzu D-MAX range has been expanded in South Africa with five new automatic models added to the line-up, giving its proven and dependable bakkie even greater driving comfort and convenience.
Headlining the expanded product portfolio is the eye-catching, lifestyle-oriented Isuzu D-MAX 250 X-Rider, which is now available in a five-speed automatic transmission for the first time. This complements the existing five-speed manual derivatives, available in two and four-wheel drive, that have been extremely popular in South Africa.
As crucial models in the Double Cab line-up, Isuzu has also introduced the five-speed automatic transmission to the mid-range D-MAX 250 LE, as well as the popular workhorse-oriented D-MAX 250 Hi-Ride model. Also new to the Double Cab range in a Hi-Ride trim-level is the addition of a 3.0-Litre automatic model matched with a 6-speed automatic transmission.
Light commercial vehicle buyers that rely on the versatility of Isuzu’s D-MAX Extended Cab variant also benefit from the addition of the five-speed automatic on the 250 Hi-Ride 4×2.
“Buying trends in the bakkie segment are changing rapidly, and we have seen a major upswing in the demand for automatic gearboxes in recent years,” says Dominic Rimmer, Senior Vice President, Technical Operations at Isuzu Motors South Africa (IMSAf).
“The introduction of the six-speed automatic transmissions in the D-MAX 3.0-Litre models in 2018 was extremely well received, and we are delighted to now offer automatic gearbox options on our popular D-MAX 250 models, from our trendy X-Rider model to the mid-level LE and the Hi-Ride which is ideally suited to our commercial vehicle customers,” Rimmer adds.
“The five-speed automatic gearbox has been developed to suit the performance characteristics of Isuzu’s exceptionally capable, reliable and economical 2.5-litre intercooled turbodiesel engine, thus giving our customers great performance matched to low running costs, superb comfort and outstanding driving convenience – particularly in bustling and congested city environments.”
Legendary reliability and budget-friendly fuel economy are hallmarks of the D-MAX 250 engine, which produces 100 kW of power at 3 400 r/min. The maximum torque output of 320 Nm is available between 1 800 and 2 800 r/min, giving the D-MAX 250 models impressive load-lugging performance. Combined cycle fuel consumption is rated at 8.1 l/100 km for the automatic models, dependent on driving style.
As with the five-speed manual derivatives, the D-MAX 250 Auto’s towing capacity is 2 100 kg for a braked trailer, ensuring that heavy loads can be towed with ease. The spacious and practical rear load compartment is capable of carrying just over 1 ton, depending on the model type, it also includes four tie-down brackets to safely secure goods.
X-Rider – all the style, now with the convenience of an automatic
As a highly distinctive and stylish offering in the bakkie segment, the X-Rider is hard to beat – and is now more appealing than ever with three Double Cab models on offer, comprising the 4×2 derivatives with the new five-speed automatic transmission or the existing five-speed manual. It can also be specified in a highly capable 4×4 manual version for confidently taking on challenging off-road terrain.
The X-Rider’s bold design cues, which set it apart as a highly desirable hero model in the D-MAX range, include a striking black finish for the front bumper and radiator grille, complemented by an assertive red Isuzu badge taking pride of place up front. Projector-style headlamps with integrated LED daytime running lights give the X-Rider real on-road presence.
The B-pillars, tubular side steps and sports bar also receive the distinctive black treatment, along with X-Rider decals that reaffirm the dynamic character of this exclusive model. Diamond-cut 18-inch alloy rims with a stunning two-tone silver and black colour scheme, topped off with red Isuzu decals on the centre wheel caps, further enhance the aggressive look of this model.
The sporty X-Rider theme continues throughout the luxuriously appointed cabin, incorporating black leather bucket seats with contrasting red stitching and the X-Rider logo embroidered on the headrests. The steering wheel, which proudly carries the red Isuzu logo, and the gear lever cover are trimmed in leather with red stitching. High-gloss piano black door trim inserts are offset with a bright red ‘X’, complemented by a similar treatment for the vents and radio surrounds.
An abundance of active safety features help the driver maintain control in all types of conditions, including ABS brakes with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist System (BAS), Electronic Stability Control (ESC) with Traction Control, as well as Hill Start Assist (HSA) and Hill Descent Control (HDC).
Occupant protection is provided by means of driver and passenger airbags, seatbelt pretensioners, side impact protection bars and a collapsible steering column. Remote-controlled central locking is standard, along with remote keyless entry, an anti-theft alarm system and transponder immobiliser. A Bluetooth-enabled audio system is provided, linked to six speakers.
Hi-Ride and LE – legendary reliability, greater comfort and ease of use
Bolstering the eye-catching D-MAX X-Rider are the Hi-Ride and LE models, which are also now available in five-speed automatic transmission, mated to the trusted 100 kW/320 Nm 2.5-litre intercooled turbodiesel engine.
The Hi-Ride is also available with a six-speed automatic transmission derivative, powered by Isuzu’s dependable 3.0-Litre four-cylinder intercooled turbodiesel engine, which produces 130 kW of power and 380 Nm of torque.
As the most affordable offering amongst the newly introduced models, the entry-level D-MAX 250 Hi-Ride Auto is offered in extended cab form. This practical body style gives customers the choice of an expanded cabin and useful rear-hinged FlexDoors that provide exceptional access and convenience, as well as a rear load box that measures 310 mm longer than the Double Cab. This makes it the perfect choice for a wide range of commercial applications and users, from farmers to contractors – many of whom will appreciate the benefits and ease of use provided by the new smooth-shifting five-speed automatic transmission.
In Double Cab form, buyers have the option of the D-MAX 250 Hi-Ride or upmarket LE series as well as the D-MAX 3.0-Litre Hi-Ride 4×2 – all ideal for carrying up to five occupants and just over a ton in the rear load compartment.
Despite its entry-level status, the Hi-Ride is equipped with an impressive range of safety and security features that closely matches the X-Rider, but with more basic and durable trim finishes and 16-inch steel rims in line with its working role.
The mid-range LE lifts the D-MAX a couple of notches from the Hi-Ride models, offering exceptional value for money matched to a more sophisticated execution for discerning business and private customers.
All Isuzu D-MAX models come standard with Isuzu Complete Care, comprising a five-year/120 000 km bumper-to-bumper warranty and Isuzu Roadside Assistance, a five-year/unlimited km anti-corrosion warranty and a five-year/90 000 km Service Plan. Service intervals are every 15 000 km/12 months. Extended cover can be purchased for Roadside Assistance, Service Plans and Maintenance Plans.
Pricing: From R403,200 – R474,700.