Isuzu D-MAX Car of the Week

Pickup trucks have been all the rage for quite some time now. Manufacturers were quick to pick up on the trend and have since come out with some of the most memorable models in their history. While many people are still singing songs of high praises about many different models out in the market today, let’s take a look at the D-MAX, and how it’s not just brought Isuzu back into the consumers’ top-of-mind, but also how it’s gone from being just-another-durable pickup truck to a drop dead gorgeous and durable pickup truck. 

Isuzu D-MAX Bed

Isuzu has a knack for over-engineering everything that they make. The heavy equipment and truck maker has no problem making something that will last because it’s all that they know. From its pickups to its trucks, and even its SUVs, Isuzu has a strong portfolio of robust and reliable models that prove that expendability is not in the brand’s vocabulary. The brand is so famed for its reliability that it’s able to dive into the world of pickup trucks and SUVs and make a meaningful dent in the market, but it couldn’t have gotten far without putting in the work. 

The ladder frame is a testament to the feeling of strength that the D-MAX evokes with every drive. The rigidity and stiffness allow the car to feel tight through any drive, and the strength of the frame allows the pickup to do things that would leave lesser-built vehicles buckling and weak at the knees, so to speak. To back up that statement, the D-MAX in the double-cab format we have for the Philippines can take a maximum payload capacity of 1,070 kilograms. That’s more than a tonne of weight on its back and that’s just the frame. 

2023 Isuzu D-MAX 3.0-liter engine

For the longest time, the D-MAX was often regarded as the underpowered but sturdy pickup in the segment. Prior to 2021, the D-MAX had just enough power and torque to make do, but now all that has changed with the newest rendition of the 3.0-liter turbodiesel engine from Isuzu. Special mention for the RZ4E as well because it’s the smallest turbo-diesel engine available in the country but still has a decent amount of power and torque for its size. On the note of power, the D-MAX gets 187 hp and 450 Nm of torque in its 3.0-liter trims and 148 hp and 350 Nm of torque in its RZ4E trims. The pairing makes choosing a D-MAX easy since frugal customers on a budget can enjoy fuel efficiency plus a decent amount of power and torque from the RZ4E, and a surplus of power and pull in the 3.0-liter 4JJ3-TCX engine. 

While most manufacturers wil gloss over the details of their engine in spec sheets, Isuzu makes it a point to highlight the technologies that it has, and what benefits it will bring. On that and of all things, the timing chain is a highlight of Isuzu’s engines, and it’s not for no reason. A steel timing chain is fitted with an auto tensioner to minimize the wear on the engine, which is something that other manufacturers don’t make a big deal out of, but if Isuzu does, they’re probably very proud of it. On top of that, Blue Power is a part of the equation as well, and without overcomplicating things too much, the technology is not just a singular piece, but a whole system of engine design, efficient turbocharging, and durable parts and pieces that all make for a smoother, cleaner, more durable, and more fuel-efficient drive. 

One may argue that there are prettier pickups out in the market today, but Isuzu did a bit of a 180 when it went back to the drawing board for the new D-MAX. If you’re familiar with the D-MAX’s design prior to 2021, you will note that not too much has changed. Isuzu tweaked a few things in all the right places to class up the pickup with a bit of modern flair while keeping true to its design identity. 

2023 Isuzu D-MAX Interior

The real smack of gorgeous happens in the cabin. The cabin’s all-new for this generation, and the D-MAX made a splash in the segment because it was able to offer an interesting color combination for its interior. Now, while that’s all well and good for the city dwellers, the guys that actually use their pickups for pickup truck things will prefer all black, and Isuzu has delivered for the 2023 year model of the D-MAX LS-E. Now with all bases covered, and a drop-dead gorgeous design now black leather at the top-spec, the D-MAX is ready and willing to take on any job, no matter how dirty. 

Isuzu D-MAX Interior

If you’re all about features and tech, we’re confident that the D-MAX should be on your shortlist of options in the pickup segment. A 10-inch infotainment system greets you when you fire up the car, as well as a digital and analog gauge cluster that has everything you need to see and more. On top of that, you also have Android Auto and Apple CarPlay for the infotainment system. Seeing your phone apps on the big screen is a big deal, especially since it helps you keep your dashboard decluttered and clear of phone mounts. 

On top of tech, safety was also a priority for Isuzu. Equipped with the Advanced Driver Assist System, otherwise known as ADAS, the set of features put an invisible layer of safety in front and behind you to keep you and your family safe. Other features in the list include Forward Collision Warning, Adaptive Cruise Control, Turn Assist, Pedal Mis-Application Mitigation, Blind Spot Monitoring, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Multi-Collision Brake, Lane Departure Warning, and Automatic Highbeam. 

As a whole, the package is pretty overkill and overwhelming for a pickup truck. You don’t necessarily expect these features, but you will be glad to have them when things go awry. Pickup trucks have evolved over the years, and Isuzu has surprisingly caught up and surpassed a good number of rivals in the market in the tech department. 

We covered this before, but the model in 2023 is up to date and worth it to buy. The price is just about right for the segment and in the niche of high-end pickups that can do double duty for both work and play. The thing is, many owners and people say that Isuzu vehicles last a long time and it’s the main reason why it sells very well. Now, however, you get all of that Isuzu magic, but in a package that is decked out with the latest features for the segment. 

So is it worth it? The drop-dead durable pickup is one to watch and look out for if you’re in the market for a brand-new pickup. Surely, you won’t be disappointed with its reliability, and surely the truck has the potential to outlast other alternatives. 

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