Isuzu D-Max - 8 top selling utes

By: Fraser Stronach , Photography by: Ellen Dewar

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The D-Max remains the number-six best-selling 4WD ute but it’s gaining ground on the Navara

The Isuzu D-Max
The Isuzu D-Max is gaining ground
4x4s for sale

Some 6,409 D-Max 4WDs were sold in the first six months of 2108, a 6.4 per cent increase on the same period last year.

That’s not sufficient to see it climb out of the number-six spot in the year-to-date best sellers but at the same time it’s not far behind the Navara in sales and could pip it by year’s end.

Since the arrival of this generation D-Max in 2012 it has enjoyed a steady increase in sales. In its first full year in 2013, some 8,488 D-Max 4x4s were sold. Last year 12,795 D-Max 4x4s found new homes. That’s a 50 per cent increase over that four-year period and sales continue to trend in the right direction so far this year.

The D-Max sold now is, however, a different vehicle from the D-Max that arrived here in 2013 mainly thanks to a raft of upgrades for the 2017 model initiated by mandatory compliance to Euro 5 emissions standards that came into effect in December 2016. This bought a diesel particulate filter but at the same time Isuzu reworked the engine’s top-end (from the pistons up), new turbo and all, to bump the maximum torque from 380Nm to 430Nm for better drivability, and to quieten down what’s always been a relatively noisy engine.

The Isuzu's interior

At the same time an Aisin six-speed automatic, similar to what’s used in the Hilux and Prado, replaced the previous five-speed auto and a six-speed manual replaced the previous five-speeder.

For the 2018 model, Isuzu has made changes to the cabin, equipment levels, and rear suspension. SX, LS-U and LS-T dual-cab 4WDs now have softer three-leaf springs instead of the five-leaf springs used previously. The end result is a more compliant ride when unladed but seemingly diminished ability to carry maximum payloads, if our recent 4x4 Ute Megatest is anything to go by.

As ever, the D-Max is solid rather than spectacular and while it’s not the last word in what it does on or off the road, it makes a lot of sense as an ownership proposition.



2018 sales (to June 30th): 6,409

2017 sales (to June 30th): 6,127

Change: Up 4.6%


Report Card*

Engine and gearbox: C

Handing and ride: C

Cabin and equipment: C

Load and tow: C

Off-road: D

Comment: The D-Max is solid in every regard without being spectacular in any way.

*Scored against class competitors. A = Excellent; B = Very Good; C = Good; D = Fair; E = Poor; F = Fail.



Isuzu D-Max LS-U:

Engine                                               3.0-litre 4-cyl turbo diesel

Max Power/Torque                           130kW/430Nm

Gearbox                                             six-speed automatic

4X4 System                                        dual-range part-time

Kerb Weight                                       1,945kg

Towing capacity                                 3,500kg

GCM                                                    5,950kg

Fuel tank capacity                             76 litres

ADR fuel claim                                    7.9 litres/100km

2018 mega ute shootout results

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