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Isuzu D-Max: Reborn And Ready For 2021.

It’s been a long time coming, a decade or so, in fact. Isuzu’s durable D-Max has received its long overdue overhaul, and from the information released, it’s in a real position to take on Toyota’s recently revamped HiLux and Ford’s strong performing Ranger.

Range: There are 20 variants, starting with the D-MAX SX Single Cab Chassis 4×2 high-ride. D-MAX SX Space Cab Chassis/Ute, D-MAX SX Crew Cab Chassis/Ute follow from this. D-MAX LS-M Crew Cab Ute, D-MAX LS-U Space Cab Ute, D-MAX LS-U Crew Cab Ute, and D-MAX X-Terrain round out the list.

Engine. All models will have the same “4JJ3-TCX” 3.0L turbo-diesel. Power is upped to 140kW, and torque a very handy 450Nm between 1,600 to 2,600rpm. 400Nm is available through a broader range of 1,400 to 3,250rpm. At 1,000rpm 300Nm is available, making driving a breeze. Transmissions are a six speed manual or auto. Economy for the combined cycles, depending on the model chosen, is quoted as 7.7L to 8.0L/100km.

It’s virtually a new block. There’s a new cylinder head, aluminuim pistons, and a new crankshaft. A revised turbo, with a quicker response time, is fed though a new intake system, with delivery now improved through a new high-pressure direct injection fuel system. Pressure gets up to 250MPa, which finely atomises the fuel thanks to a new set of high efficiency injectors. The turbo is electronically controlled and has Variable Geometry Control. Isuzu’s tried and proven Diesel Particulate Diffuser (DPD) is located on the rear of the VGS Turbocharger and has been further revised to increase efficiency and reduce exhaust emissions.

21MY Isuzu D-MAX X-TERRAIN

Inside are aluminuim pistons and crowns, with the piston skirts and gudgeon pin having a coating that is as strong as diamond and drastically reduces friction as well. They’re kept in time thanks to a new stainless steel timing chain. Weighing in at a svelte 8.6kg is a new exhaust system including muffler, for a weight savings of 26% over the outgoing model.

21MY Isuzu D-MAX Diesel

Improvements, too, for the transmissions. The manual selection lever now has a “pull ring” for the reverse gear with the auto now gaining a Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF) warmer and cooler system for swifter transitions in reaching the right operating temperatures. 4×4 models receive a new electronic actuator for transitioning from two to four wheel drive, at velocities of up to 100kph, in under a second. Weight reduction happens with the tailshaft, with a one piece aluminuim unit replacing the heavier all-steel unit.

21MY Isuzu D-MAX X-TERRAIN

Cabin. Interior trims depend on the model, with the LS-M, for example, having the ever popular “hose out” flooring. The LS-U upwards has carpet floors, and a 9.0 inch infotainment screen, up from the 7.0 inch in lower specced models, however all variants do get digital audio. Top spec X-Terrain has an eight way adjustable powered driver’s seat.

Safety is a solid improvement across the board, with Isuzu slotting in their IDAS, the Intelligent Driver Assistance System with all variants being fitted with a Hitachi stereo camera system that Isuzu says: “it can precisely detect and measure distance, size, velocity and depth of vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists and other potential obstacles around the D-MAX. ” The system comes with a TSR setup, or Traffic Sign Recognition which has been tuned for Australian conditions. It works side-by-side with the Intelligent Speed Limiter, which if or when it reads a sign for a lower limit will automatically apply a speed reduction regime.

Autonomous Emergency Braking and Forward Collision Assist are standard, as is Turn Assist. This works like AEB if the sensors detect the D-Max turning across the path of other traffic. Adaptive Cruise Control is also standard, as are eight airbags, including a driver’s and centre kneebag.

Auto-on headlights and auto-wipers are range standard, with auto dimming. The SX features conventional halogen globes, with the LS and X-Terrain having crisp bi-LED self-leveling headlamps. The pair also receive integrated LED foglamps and are paired with the turn indicator lights.

A category-rare feature is the installation of the Intuitive Flat Wiper Blades. These combine the wiper fluid dispersion system in the arms along the blades, for a quicker and more efficient clean. A new design, too, for the blades, being a more aerodynamic shape, and there is also a motor that flexes the blades periodically to dislodge accumulated dirt. These will be available on the LS-U and X-Terrain models.

21MY Isuzu D-MAX X-TERRAIN

The exterior changes are a noticeable refinement of the front end. It’s familiar yet different with a nod towards the brand’s commercial vehicle history thanks to the horizontal bars in the restyled grille. The bodywork has an assertive style with bulges on the front and rear wheel wells, a Superman-tough chin, and changes to airflow that result in a 3% reduction in drag. A broad colour palette is available to highlight the exterior changes and include: Mineral White, Basalt Black mica, Cobalt Blue mica, Mercury Silver metallic, Obsidian Grey metallic, Marble White pearl (LS-U and X-TERRAIN exclusive), Magnetic Red mica (LS-U and X-TERRAIN exclusive), Volcanic Amber metallic (X-TERRAIN exclusive).

Isuzu have backed up the new D-Max with a comprehensive warranty package called Service Plus 6-7-7. There is 6 years (or 150,000 kilometres), 7 years roadside assistance when serviced at Isuzu dealers, and 7 years capped price servicing. This lays out a full cost over those seven years of $3,373 with a maximum cost of $749 at the 90,000 kilometre mark.

Pricing starts from $32,200 for the 4×2 single cab chassis 2WD manual SX, with the 4×4 version starting from $40,200. the LS-M Crew Cab ute manual starts from $51,000 with the range topper X-Terrain at $62,900. Prices are manufacturers recommended price, with a on-sale date of September 1, 2020.

21MY Isuzu D-MAX X-TERRAIN

 

 

‘Automotive Mana’ and 2020 Dual-Cab Utes

The rise of the SUV is a noted phenomenon, but an equal marvel is the greater numbers of large dual-cab utes on our roads.  The popularity of the dual-cab ute in Australia shows a trend that ain’t about to end just yet.  On any given day if you take a drive down a popular road in Australia you’re sure to come across some pretty awesome super-size pick-ups.  So what makes these vehicles so attractive? And what are the better dual-cab utes one can buy?  Let’s have a look.

Let’s ‘cut to the chase’ and quickly realise that a large number of the dual-cab utes we see are driven by people with bigger egos.  To use the Maori definition ‘Mana’ offers a politer label to go with the big ute ego.  ‘Mana” means to have great authority, presence or prestige, and so if you are seen driving these massive utes, you’re likely to satisfy your larger ego with some real ‘Automotive Mana’ and add mud plugging tyres, a raised suspension, tinted windows, a snorkel and spot lights, too.  Any big ute name like Toyota Hilux, Mazda BT-50, Nissan Navara, Ford Ranger or Mitsubishi Triton can have their utes equipped with these big ticket items.

Of course, if your work requires your need to own a big, beefy dual cab ute, then all the showy looks can be forgiven. Builders, landscapers, boat builders, contractors, farmers, engineers, they all need one!  But hey, we’d all love one!

This leads me on to what makes these road behemoths so nice to own and drive.  Here’s a short list of their great traits:

  • Load carrying ability
  • Towing ability
  • Space
  • Comfort
  • Off-roading ability
  • They’re built tough
  • They’re safe
  • Automotive Mana

Here are the best new Dual-Cab utes you can buy in 2020 that offer all the bells and whistles (Note there are other models in their line-up, but these would generally be more Spartan).  All of the following models come with premium safety, 4WD capability, big towing prowess and premium luxury:

Ford Ranger: XLT, Wildtrak, Raptor, ($57–$77k)

  • 3.2 litre TurboDiesel with 147 kW and 470 Nm, 6-speed manual and 6-speed auto, 0-100 km/h approx. 10 seconds, fuel consumption approx. 9 litres/100 km
  • 2.0 litre TurboDiesel with 157 kW and 500 Nm, 10-speed automatic, 0-100 km/h approx. 10 seconds, fuel consumption approx. 8 litres/100 km

SsangYong Musso: Ultimate XLV, Ultimate Plus XLV, ($40-$44k)

  • 2.0 litre TurboDiesel with 133 kW and 420 Nm, 6-speed manual and 6-speed auto, 0-100 km/h approx. 10 seconds, fuel consumption approx. 9 litres/100 km

Toyota Hilux: SR5, Rugged, Rugged X, Rogue, ($56–$63k)

  • 2.8 litre TurboDiesel with 130 kW and 420 Nm with the 6-speed manual and 450 Nm with the 6-speed auto, 0-100 km/h approx. 11 seconds, fuel consumption approx. 8 litres/100 km

Nissan Navara: ST-X, N-Trek, N-Trek Warrior, ($54–$66k)

  • 2.3 litre TurboDiesel with 140 kW and 450 Nm, 6-speed manual and 7-speed auto, 0-100 km/h approx. 10 seconds, fuel consumption approx. 6.5–7.0 litres/100 km

Ram 1500: Express, Laramie, ($90–$100k)

  • 5.7 litre Petrol V8 with 291 kW and 556 Nm, 8-speed auto, 0-100 km/h approx. 7 seconds, fuel consumption approx. 10–13 litres/100 km

Ram 2500: ($140k)

  • 6.7 litre TurboDiesel with 276 kW and 1084 Nm, 6-speed auto, 0-100 km/h approx. 8 seconds, fuel consumption approx. 15 litres/100 km

VW Amarok: TDI420 Core Plus, Highline 550, Ultimate 580, ($52–$73k)

  • 2.0 litre TurboDiesel with 132 kW and 400 Nm with the 6-speed manual and 420 Nm with the 8-speed auto, 0-100 km/h approx. 10.5 seconds, fuel consumption approx. 7.5 litres/100 km
  • 3.0 litre TurboDiesel with 165 kW and 500 Nm, 8-speed auto, 0-100 km/h approx. 8 seconds, fuel consumption approx. 9 litres/100 km
  • 3.0 litre TurboDiesel with 190 kW and 580 Nm, 8-speed auto, 0-100 km/h approx. 8 seconds, fuel consumption approx. 9 litres/100 km

Mitsubishi Triton: GLX+, GLS, GLS Premium, GSR, ($41–$52k)

  • 2.4 litre TurboDiesel with 133 kW and 430 Nm, 6-speed manual and 6-speed auto, 0-100 km/h approx. 10 seconds, fuel consumption approx. 8 litres/100 km

Mazda BT-50: XTR, GT, Boss, ($53–$64k)

  • 3.2 litre TurboDiesel with 147 kW and 470 Nm, 6-speed manual and 6-speed auto, 0-100 km/h approx. 10 seconds, fuel consumption approx. 10 litres/100 km

Holden Colorado: LSX, LTZ, LTZ+, Z71, ($50–$58k)

  • 2.8-litre TurboDiesel with 147 kW and 440 Nm with the 5-speed manual, with 147 kW and 500 Nm with the 6-speed auto, 0-100 km/h approx. 9.5 seconds, fuel consumption approx. 9 litres/100 km

HSV Silverado: 1500 LTZ Premium Ed. ($114k)

  • 6.2 litre Petrol V8 with 313 kW and 624 Nm, 10-speed auto, 0-100 km/h approx. 5.6 seconds, fuel consumption approx. 12.5 litres/100 km

Isuzu D-Max: LSU, LST, ($49–$55k)

  • 3.0 litre TurboDiesel with 130 kW and 430 Nm, 6-speed manual and 6-speed auto, 0-100 km/h approx. 8 seconds, fuel consumption approx. 8 litres/100 km

Jeep Gladiator: Overland, Rubicon, ($76–$77k)

  • 3.6 litre Petrol V6 with 209 kW and 347 Nm, 8-speed auto, 0-100 km/h approx. 9 seconds, fuel consumption approx. 12 litres/100 km

Just for complete ‘Automotive Mana’ status, top honours would have to go to the Ram, HSV or Jeep Gladiator.

How the Ute Has Risen to Prominence

Utes have become an integral part of Australian culture. No longer are they about getting from point A to point B, they’ve become ingrained in our day-to-day way of living, they’re dependable companions that now allow us to service our jobs and sustain a living.

 

Looking back to the ute’s origins

Utes aren’t just a modern-day development. In fact, they’ve been with us for almost 100 years, dating back to the 1930s. Of course, who would believe it, Australian culture has a large role to play in said development too. Right here in Australia, specifically Victoria, it is believed that the wife of a farmer wrote a letter that sparked the idea for a ute.

While cars at the time maintained a focus on practicality, they were also large enough to cater to other needs. Yet this individual had another idea. She was looking for something to drive to church on a Sunday, but also transport the pigs to the market. In many respects, this creation has sparked on all sorts of other work-related functions, with today’s utes largely used by tradies to carry goods and equipment to work. Not quite a market, but certainly a job nonetheless.

 

Utility Vehicles in Australia

 

Performance utes

More than just functional vehicles, recent utes transformed into high-end performance cars. Many of them were fitted with enormous engines and turbochargers, enough to rival some of the slickest street cars going around. At the same time, they still balance practicality for workers to get the job done. In any case, these cars were as top-end as many luxury vehicles on the market.

 

 

The family ute

Of course, however, the demise of Holden, in many ways a breeder of the performance ute, has led to another transition back to the functional and practical days of the ute, led by the likes of the HiLux and Ranger. Still functional, still rugged and still equipped with great performance, these cars are now the most popular on the market.

They’re no longer quite the same performance utes as the HSV era, but they have all the attributes of a great all-round vehicle. They’ve also become suitable for the family, with plenty of room to take the kids, utes have shed their their former stereotypes and turned into the very utilitarian vehicle they were always intended to be.

 

Toyota Doubles Down On Updates: HiLux And Fortuner Facelifted.

Toyota has made some noise in the first week of June 2020 in respect to the facelifted and upgraded HiLux. Quietly though, their “forgotten” SUV, the Fortuner, has also been given a makeover and received the power/torque upgrades as well.

Fortuner.

Front and rear are where the exterior changes have come to play, and definitely moreso up front. The headlights have been given a restyling that brings them a sharper, narrower look, but also mimics the sharper and narrower styling found on Mitsubishi’s Pajero Sport. Underneath is a pair of broader airvents that first appeared on the Lexus LX570. In the middle the air intake is now a deeper Vee shape, with the whole look more like that found on HiLux from a couple of years ago. Overall, it’s a cleaner and less invisible look.

The rear brings the same bumper extensions and have hints of roundness, rather than heavy angles. The rear lights have changes in the internal look, with the top of the range Crusade gaining LEDs, whilst the rear window line remains unchanged. Unfortunately.

Behind the nosejob lies a rejigged diesel engine. Like the HiLux, there are now 150kW and 500Nm (auto only) which are increases of 20kW and 50Nm, and a change to the economy. Toyota says up to 17% is the improvement in urban driving. Towing has increased; it’s now up to 3,100kg. Inside the infotainment screen has been upped to eight inches from seven, and now has the smartphone apps as standard, as are satnav and DAB audio. The range is still a three level layout, being GX, GXL, and Crusade. Contact your local Toyota dealer for pricing and availability.HiLux.Toyota have also waved the update wand over their best selling HiLux. The engine has the same upgrades (150kW, 500Nm for auto transmissions, up to an 11% increase in economy) and the exterior also has been updated. Late August is the ETA for arrival on Aussie shores. Here’s what’s been done.

The HiLux sports a large trapezoidal grille which Toyota says “dominates the front design and incorporates more pronounced horizontal elements”. Depending on the level chosen, the surrounds will differ in look. The headlight clusters have been reconfigured for a more slimlined and edgier appearance and the upper levels will be LED lit. The lower bumper corners have a restyled look that brings a stronger “jut-jawed”, almost bulldog appearance that builds upon that seen on the RAV4. In profile though, some subtle restyling on the flanks and a creaseline for the doors has been added to join front and rear.

Inside HiLux also gets an update, including the increase to an eight inch, not seven, touchscreen that includes DAB and smartphone apps. The driver’s display now has a full colour 4.2 inch display, bringing the HiLux into line with Camry and Corolla, for example.
Motorvation comes from a 2.7L petrol, 2.4L and 2.8L diesel. 4×2 and 4×4 drive modes remain available depending on model. The three body styles of single, extra, and double cab remain as do the five trim levels: Workmate, SR, SR5, Rogue and Rugged X. Pick-up and cab-chassis options are both available.

Underneath, the HiLux range has been made over as well. The suspension has had the shock absorbers retuned and mounted to new bushings. The leaf sprung rears have been refined and provide a more comfortable ride without losing handling ability. So have the technological abilities been increased, with a new traction control feature redistributing torque in the 4×4 models when 4×2 mode is being used. The Downhill Assist Control uses sensors to provide an almost 4×4 like split of torque on demand in wet, muddy, or grassy conditions. Towing for the auto 4×4 variants is now up to 3,500 kilograms, and the 4×2 versions are upped to 2,800kg. That’s an increase of up to 300kg.

Toyota’s Sean Hanley, the Vice President for Sales and Marketing, said: “More than ever, Australia’s favourite ute will inspire go-anywhere confidence for customers who rely on it as a load-carrying and trailer-towing workhorse for doing their jobs. Equally, the latest changes will advance HiLux’s credentials among customers who demand the handling, ride comfort and convenience of an SUV.”

Although vehicle sales in Australia have declined dramatically in recent months, in May 2020 the HiLux commanded a full 25.5% share of the pickup/cab chassis market, selling 90 for each day of May. http://credit-n.ru/offers-credit-card/ren-drive-365-credit-card.html