2021 Isuzu D-MAX

As far as pickup trucks go, it’s hard not to consider the Isuzu D-MAX. Launched in 2021, and taking the market by storm since its first appearance, the D-MAX was a huge launch for Isuzu, marking the next generation of passenger cars from the ever-reliable manufacturer. 

After two years out on the market, the model has since gained a stellar reputation for not only being a reliable workhorse that you can beat up on the daily, but also a rather comfortable driver for short or long hauls. The 2021 revamp of the D-MAX brought a lot of features to the table, and it marked the first time in a long time that we considered Isuzu to be on par with the entire industry. That statement still rings true today with only a few reservations. Taking a look at the current 2023 model year, we see that the D-MAX is still stacking up against the competition even amidst new entrants from rival marques. 

One thing that we’re still loving about the D-MAX, is the complete and near-total overhaul that Isuzu did to the exterior. This generation marks the D-MAX’s top and most desirable form ever. Even after two years, the model is still tickling our fancy, especially in the LS-E trim with the blacked-out grille, wheels, and other elements. The aggressive styling is a call back to the prior generation, but Isuzu hit the nail on the head with the current design, sharpening all of the D-MAX’s lines and thoroughly modernizing the pickup truck. 

Before we saw the D-MAX in person, we never thought that an Isuzu could be this desirable, and we can say that it’s aging pretty well for a model that’s been out for about two years now. Though, our recommendation is to go for a snazzier variant in the lineup to really get the full effect of the refresh. We’re not trying to upsell, but we definitely prefer the look of the higher-end variants, though there is nothing wrong with a low or mid-tier D-MAX. 

2021 Isuzu D-MAX Engine

It’s a bit of an understatement to say that the engine of an Isuzu pickup truck will last a long time. Heck, if we’re being hyperbolic, we’d say that an Isuzu can outlast you. This time around, not only is the engine built to outlast but it’s also built to perform. One of the things that Isuzu really pushed for with its latest iteration of the D-MAX was its 187 hp and 450 Nm capable turbodiesel motor. These figures put the D-MAX on par with the rest of its rivals. While it may not be the most powerful of the bunch, we’ll bet that the Isuzu engine will outlast its other competitors. Perhaps it would be neck-and-neck with Toyota, but that engine is a little high-strung with 200 hp and 500 Nm of torque, resulting in a little doubt on our end. The D-MAX seems just right. 187 hp is plenty and 450 Nm of torque is more than enough. Reliability, however, might be off the charts. 

If there is one thing that is consistent with the midsize pickup segment in the Philippines, it’s the laundry list of specifications and features that one can expect from brands that are looking to clinch the top spot in the country. The D-MAX entered the market with a ton of tech, and no we’re not just talking about an infotainment upgrade here, though that too is quite nice. 

On top of the enhanced multimedia experience, the D-MAX’s LS-E variant is still specced to compete with the rest of the industry. Right now, adaptive cruise control and forward collision mitigation have become standard features in the high-end of the midsize segment (which is marked by a fancy acronym, ADAS for Isuzu which stands for Advanced Driver Assist System) on top of the necessary safety features like stability control, ABS, a full suite of airbags, blind-spot detection, and a reverse camera at the very least. There’s only one shortcoming that we see with Isuzu’s laundry list of features, and that’s a 360-degree camera. However, that seems to be the only con based on the spec sheet of the D-MAX. Otherwise, you’d be hard-pressed to find something that you won’t like. Day-to-day, the infotainment system is big enough and looks totally modern next to a seven- to eight-inch infotainment system. The 10 inches that you get here feel special and with Android Auto and Apple Carplay on board, you won't find its capabilities to be lacking. 

2022 Isuzu D-MAX LS-A

In the face of ever-improving competitors, we still think that the Isuzu D-MAX is a top-tier recommendation. The price is just about right for it across the board, and you won’t have to worry about it being a lumbering pickup truck with its capable motor and its trademark reliability. So far, the model has served many well, with some stories even stating that the drive was more enjoyable than expected. 

It’s not without its cons, however. The added features and robustness of the model make it a little bit (just a little bit) pricey for some buyers, especially if the lust-worthy LS-E variant is the prime candidate for a spot in your garage. It’s also a pickup truck, so the interior’s quality might give you the unreasonable expectation that it’ll handle like an executive sedan. Trust us, it won’t but man is it a nice place to be in. 

In conclusion, if you’re still dead-set on getting the Isuzu D-MAX, let us nudge you to get one. We’re sure you won’t regret it, especially down the line when lesser pickups tend to falter or develop issues. 

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