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Isuzu KB Single Cab Motoring Review

GENERAL MOTORS SOUTH AFRICA has extended its already comprehensive Isuzu KB model range with the addition of five new derivatives. 

These new models focus on increasing value for money for KB owners.

To enhance appeal to volume or fleet buyers - where low running costs are paramount in the buying decision - GMSA has introduced two low-pressure turbo-diesel models to supplement the current KB 250 D-TEQ Base and Fleetside models.

This tried-and-tested 2.5-litre low-pressure turbo-diesel powertrain is carried over from the previous-generation KB. It delivers 58kW and 170Nm of torque, the latter available at a low 1 800rpm, which allows for sturdy pulling power, especially when loaded. Fuel consumption is claimed at 7.8 litres/100km.

GMSA has also introduced a new KB 300 D-TEQ Double Cab LX model - available in three derivatives - in order to strengthen its competitiveness in the upper regions of the leisure-orientated side of the market.

These new models feature durable and attractive cloth-covered seats and represent a saving of R9 500 over their leather-covered equivalents. The new derivatives will, however, continue to feature standard side airbags, which are integrated into each front seat.

All Isuzu KB models come standard with a 3-year/120 000km warranty and 5-year/90 000km service plan.

Purposeful upgrades to Isuzu KB range - 2015

THE Isuzu KB has, over its lifespan, become a formidable name in the bakkie segment. It has proven itself to be not just reliable but tough as well. With the all-new Toyota Hilux fast approaching and the updated Ford Ranger soon to be launched, Isuzu has given its KB line-up some slight upgrades, both cosmetically and mechanically. Have these upgrades brought the KB out of the shadows of its competitors? I spent some time with the enhanced Isuzu KB to find out.

Top-of-the-range updates.

When I mentioned there were slight cosmetic updates, I really did mean slight. In fact it's just thetop-of-the-range KB300 DTEQ turbo diesel models that get some styling changes,  which includeLED daytime running lights (replacing the fog lamps) and LED technology incorporated in the rear clusters. To further enhance the overall visual appeal of the top spec KB model, customers can also opt for a new and stylish rim design.

Inside the KB300 DTEQ LX models Isuzu has further increased the cabin appeal by adding a new infotainment system, uses Android operation and incorporates features such as satellite navigation, Internet, Wi-Fi and smartphone integration. The screen - a 1 080p high-definition TFTunit with a generous 6.5-inch dimension - also acts as the display when browsing, or when using the DVD player. It also integrates with another standout feature, which has been fitted to the KB Double Cabs: Rear Park Assist reversing camera. The screen displays the view from the rear, which is not only very convenient when backing up – especially when hitching a trailer – but is also a valuable safety feature.

For added convenience the Double Cab LX model gets the added benefit of keyless entry with aStart/Stop ignition button as standard. Leather is also available as an option on these Double Cab derivatives.

New transmission and engines.

Isuzu has now added a five-speed automatic gearbox to further the appeal of the KB300 DTEQ 4x4 LX model. This new gearbox features some technologies such as gradient logic which ensures that the best and safest ratio is used on slopes, while manual gear control via a sequential gate allows the driver to take charge, if so desired.

The engine, to which the five-speed automatic transmission is mated to, is the proven 3.0-litre DTEQ turbocharged diesel, which develops 130kW and 380Nm. Isuzu has also given the KB250 DTEQ a power boost; the 2.5-litre turbo diesel now develops 100kW and 320Nm. I was impressed with this model’s power delivery, and rightly so, as the engineers have fine-tuned it to deliver a 20 percent increase in torque at 1 200rpm and a much wider power band.

Two additional body derivatives

Recognising the needs of its customers, Isuzu will be offering the KB250 DTEQ in Extended Cab andDouble Cab variants. This is great for business owners and fleet providers, as customer needs are forever changing. These models might not feature the most luxurious of necessities but one can expect a radio/CD player with Bluetooth connectivity as well as air-conditioning.

Added safety features

All LE, LX and the two new Fleetside models, benefit from an Electronic Stability Control (ESC) programme. Other systems, such as the new stability/traction control pairing, the ABS, EBD and EBA, also feature on all models with the exception of the 2.5 LEED (low pressure turbo) models.

Verdict

The Isuzu KB remains one of my favourite bakkies; they have proven themselves over the years but have, unfortunately, fallen into the shadow of competitors. These new updates come at the right time; they might not be major changes and some of the underlining technologies and mechanicals have been carried over from the previous model, but the KB is still a force to consider when looking for areliable and comfortable bakkie. Remember, bakkies are what Isuzu specializes in.

 

 

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