THE 2020 Isuzu D-Max will begin rolling out of Thai showrooms this week, but we won’t see it in Australia until next year.
It’s the Japanese brand’s first major change to the pick-up since its debut way back in 2012, despite a few facelifts in-between (2015 and 2017). The design changes are obvious, but delve a bit deeper into the Thai model and there are plenty of things to like about the 2020 iteration.
Here are 10 things you need to know about the all-new D-Max.
The 2020 D-Max will continue to run its venerable 3.0-litre turbo-diesel engine (4JJ1), but it will get a bump in power and torque (from 130kW/430Nm to 140kW/450Nm) due in part to high-injection pressure and an electronically controlled VGS turbocharger. The updated engine is codenamed 4JJ3.
REAR DIFF LOCK
The 4x4 models will be equipped with an electromagnetic rear diff lock as standard for the first time, the lack of which hindered the off-road ability of previous iterations. Isuzu also says: “With an enhanced transfer of power to the wheels, it now takes shorter time to switch between two-wheel and four-wheel drive, as well as between high and low.”
MORE WADING DEPTH
The 2020 Isuzu D-Max now claims a wading depth of 800mm, which is 200mm more than its predecessor. Cahills Crossing, here we come!
ON-PAPER COMPARISON: 2020 D-Max v 2020 Ranger
To cut fat and save weight, Isuzu has incorporated a single propeller shaft made of aluminium into the 4x4 vehicles. In addition, a pull-ring shift lever has been implemented – replacing the canted shift design that requires the driver to push the gear-stick down – to make reversing easier.
The size of the D-Max’s brake rotors has been increased to 330mm for improved stopping ability. The servo ratio has also been tweaked, with Isuzu claiming improved braking performance, feel and noise/vibration levels.
STRONGER AND LIGHTER
Isuzu claims body rigidity is up by 20 per cent, in part due to the implementation of 980MPa high-tensile steel plates (which also keeps weight down). Isuzu also states the “application of higher than 390MPa high-tensile steel plates has increased from 30 per cent to 46 per cent.”
The cabin has been updated with a nine-inch digital display, a redesigned console that is “designed to enfold the driver and passenger as if they were in a cockpit of an airplane”, and high-end textures and embossing. Low-rebound MDI polyurethane is used for the front seat cushions, with eight-way power adjustment available.
The 2020 D-Max will receive advanced safety tech including rear cross-traffic alert and blind-spot monitoring, as well as hill start assist and hill descent control, among others. Whether it comes with autonomous emergency braking remains to be seen.
FIRST LOOK: At the 2020 D-Max
NEW, TOUGHER LOOK
The 2020 D-Max features a more aggressive silhouette, headlined by a redesigned front fascia with LED lighting. LEDs appear on the tailgate, which also sports a new look. A rear step bumper has been fitted.
IMPROVED FUEL ECONOMY
According to Isuzu Japan, the 2020 D-Max offers “market-leading low fuel consumption and C02 emissions”. We’ll know exact details closer to its local launch.