2022 Isuzu D-MAX 3.0 LS-A AT Review

The pickup truck segment in the Philippines is still holding strong with many players still active in the market. Buyers have many options to choose from starting with the ever-popular Toyota Hilux to the Maxus T60. That being said one of the veterans of the segment recently got an all-new model with this the Isuzu D-MAX 3.0 LS-A AT. While we have reviewed the LS-E 4x4 AT variant before the LS-A variant is sort of the middle child of the bunch giving you a balanced option in terms of power and features from Isuzu Philippines

With that said, we will take a look at the Japanese pickup truck to see what Isuzu has done to improve it now that it's in its new generation. 

4.0 / 5
2022 Isuzu D-MAX 3.0 LS-A AT Review
Performance
Engine Output (HP), Acceleration, Transmission, Handling
4.5/5
Design
Exterior & Interior Design, Quality, Fit and Finish, Ergonomics
4.0/5
Ride Comfort
Cabin Comfort, Suspension, NVH Insulation
4.0/5
Safety and Technology
Convenience Technologies, Active and Passive Safety Features
3.5/5
Value for Money
Amount of the vehicle you get for the price, Fuel Efficiency
4.0/5
What You Will Like
  • Frugal turbo diesel engine
  • Good amount of power under the hood
  • Utilitarian focused interior
What You Won't Like
  • No cruise control
  • Only has two airbags available
  • No power seats for the driver
How We Do Our Reviews

The Isuzu D-MAX carries a typical pickup truck design with the cab in the front and the bed at the rear. At the front, it sports the brand’s signature design language with a muscular sloping hood, sleek headlights, and a massive grille. Its headlights, unlike, the LS-E model are halogens along with its foglights which work well to light up the road.

On the side, the D-MAX comes with gray fender flares that wrap around its wheel arches. Similar to the LS-E model, this LS-A variant comes with the same wheel design. This means that it rides on 18-inch matte gray alloy wheels wrapped in all-terrain tires that give it a nice tall stance.

At the rear, the D-MAX comes with a broad tailgate with its unique taillight design flanking either side of it. It also comes with a color-keyed bumper which is good for the overall aesthetic look of the vehicle. Just as a side note, this variant of the D-MAX does come with a bed liner out of the dealership which is great since you have nothing else to add and the D-MAX can go straight to work without worry of scratching its bed. 

It's an overall great improvement from the previous generation with this model looking to be a little more fierce compared to its predecessor. The bodylines work well to indicate that it is a muscular pickup truck that has the grunt to back it up.

It's a more utilitarian-focused cabin for the LS-A model of the D-MAX as there aren’t too many leather or shiny plastic accents found in the vehicle and the seats are also cloth. You don’t get too many soft-touch materials inside the cabin as there are hard plastics present. The dashboard is similar to that of the LS-E in terms of its configuration as there is a large touchscreen at the front with analog gauges and a small digital display for the instrument cluster on the side. There is no automatic air conditioning inside the pickup truck, however, it does come with manual controls that are easy to use and easy to read. While there are no shiny or piano black plastics in the cabin, there are a few matt gray accents that can get easily scratched up over time. Before we forget the D-MAX also comes with rear air vents which help cool the cabin quickly.

Overall, you can feel that this variant of the D-MAX aims to be more utilitarian compared to its higher-end counterpart the LS-E. It's understandable and fine as Isuzu has geared this model for this exact use. Its cabin is comfortable enough for daily use yet rugged enough so that it can withstand the rigors of being a cargo hauler.

Isuzu D-MAX interior seats

The Isuzu D-MAX is still a workhorse pickup truck as such the ride is still a bit bouncy as it was designed to carry heavy loads. With the bed empty you can expect to feel a bit more of the road through the cabin. However, with the bed loaded up, it gets more comfortable as this is the sweet spot of the suspension. 

For its NVH insulation, the D-MAX scores overall really well with only wind noise creeping in at around 80km/h. You still hear the clatter of the diesel engine while in traffic which is to be expected. The seats are comfortable and support you well when you are behind the wheel. Even for the second row, it's a similar case, however, you do have to account for the steeper angle of the seats.

To sum it up, the comfort of the Isuzu D-MAX is on par with what you would expect from a pickup truck. The cloth seats are nice and supportive enough and breathe a bit better when the cabin is hot. The ride is still bouncy, but we can tell that it was tuned for cargo hauling and not necessarily for comfort. Isuzu had to tow a fine line between comfort and functionality with the ride quality of the vehicle, so we understand why they chose functionality over comfort, but the cabin’s design would indicate otherwise as it’s one of the nicer trucks that we’ve been in. The higher dashboard layout is functional yet manages to achieve a premium look and feel without the use of leather or shiny black plastics. It's overall a great place to be and one that is very much comfortable to stay it for long-haul trips.

As this is the mid-level variant of the Isuzu D-MAX, don't expect to see too many toys available with the model as there is only a 10.1-inch infotainment system available that also doubles as your reverse camera. This infotainment system also comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capabilities which is great for those who like using applications such as Waze, Google Maps, Spotify, and Apple music on their daily drives.

We’d describe the D-MAX LS-A’s kit as decent and we have no complaints about it. USB ports are plentiful in the vehicle with two being available at the front and one being available at the back. The 12-volt socket can also be used as a charging point with a charger so keeping your devices topped up isn’t going to be a problem.

Isuzu D-MAX interior steering wheel airbag

For its safety features, the Isuzu D-MAX LS-A comes standard with dual front airbags, ABS with EBD, brake assist, electronic stability control, hill start assist, and hill descent control. It also comes with parking sensors at the front and the rear along with a reverse camera. Despite this not being a 4x4 model, Isuzu has also given it some underbody protection with a front skid plate and a transmission cover. One thing to note is that this version of the D-MAX does not come with advanced driver aids so there is no emergency braking available or adaptive cruise control or cruise control at all for that matter. Its still a great feature set, however, which puts it on par with the rest of ts competitors.

Powering the Isuzu D-MAX LS-A 4x2 AT variant is the brand’s venerable 3.0-liter turbo diesel engine. It pushes out 187hp and 450 Nm of torque with power being sent to the rear wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission. Power delivery from the turbo diesel is quite nice as torque comes in fairly early but in a linear fashion. If you push it the D-MAX will surge forward with a bit of wheel spin, rocketing the vehicle quickly up to highway speeds. If, however, you choose to enter manual mode, expect the transmission to be a bit sluggish when you want to shift it yourself. If you leave it in Drive and let it do its thing, it will reward you with smooth and quick shifts. 

As for its handling, it's a fairly easy-to-maneuver vehicle despite its size, with normal driving you really won’t have any problems with the car as the steering is lighter than it was before in the previous generation and the controls are still straightforward. One thing we do have to note is that the turning radius of the vehicle isn’t as tight as we expected to it with a simple U-turn nearly taking three lanes of traffic to complete. Nevertheless, the D-MAX LS-A model is still a great vehicle to daily if you have the parking space to put a pickup truck in.

Isuzu D-MAX exterior enginebay

As the saying goes, with great power, comes great responsibility. Isuzu Philippines did a one-full tank challenge with this version of the D-MAX alongside its brother the mu-X. The pickup truck was able to travel a maximum distance of 1,564 kilometers on just one full tank, while its SUV counterpart was able to travel 1,675 kilometers. During this test, the D-MAX also got 20.58km/L on a route that predominantly had open roads. 

With our testing, we only got to about 400 kilometers worth of range before we had to refuel the vehicle. We did travel most of this distance in the city with traffic being a big factor in reducing the overall range. Our results showed that the D-MAX can do 10.5km/L in the city and when we tested it on the highway it was able to do 18.1 km/L on the highway at an average speed of 80km/h. Overall the Isuzu D-MAX produces great fuel efficiency numbers both in the city and on the highway, and if you want to push it at least you know you can get more than 1,500 kilometers out of its 76-liter fuel tank.

Isuzu D-MAX exterior front fascia

The Isuzu D-MAX LS-A 4x2 AT comes in with a price tag of under P1.4 million which is a pretty competitive price point, especially for what it offers. This puts it in contention with the likes of the Ford Ranger, Toyota Hilux, Nissan Navara, and Mitsubishi Strada which all have models that are in that ballpark for pricing.

What gives this version of the D-MAX an advantage is that it packs the 3.0-liter turbo diesel which puts it ahead of some of its competitors in terms of power. This is important because if you were to use this pickup truck for work you will need all the torque that you can get, especially when it comes to heavier cargo. The addition of the 10.1-inch infotainment system is also something we like as it makes keeping connected much easier. The display is big enough that you can see it at a glance while still focusing on the road.

The Isuzu D-MAX LS-A 4x2 AT is a great pickup truck to get if you want something that is more utilitarian-focused. It may not come with all the shiny technology and the leather seats, but it does a good job of keeping you nice and comfortable. The cabin is made to be a bit more rugged so that it can survive the daily rigors of being a work truck while still retaining modern features to help keep you always connected and comfortable at the same time. Overall this variant of the D-MAX is a great workhorse vehicle that you can also use as your daily.


Specifications

Engine

3.0 L

Fuel Type

Diesel

Performance

187 hp @ 3,600 rpm

Transmission

Automatic

Summary

Name Isuzu D-MAX 3.0 4x2 LS-A AT
Body Type Pickup Truck
Price ₱1,390,000
Transmission Type Automatic

Engine

Performance

Economy & Environment

Dimensions

Safety & Security

Features

Technology


Colors

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