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More torque and new gearbox for Aussie Isuzu D-Max (KB)


Very much the old stager in the bakkie segment now having been around since 2013, Isuzu's Australian division has given the D-Max (KB) a mid-life refreshment with the biggest highlight being a updated version of the trusty 3.0-litre D-TEQ turbodiesel engine.

While it now features the same updated styling as the South African-spec KB that debuted towards the end of last year, the Aussie-spec D-Max's diesel mill still produces 130 kW but with a 50 N.m increase in torque for a total 430 N.m. In addition, the old five-speed manual gearbox makes way for a new six-speed, while the optional five-speed automatic receives an extra ratio.

New exterior gains consist of 18-inch alloy wheels on the flagship LS-T with 16s on the LS-M and 17s on the LS-U, with daytime running LEDs now standard on all LS badged derivatives. The special edition automatic only X-Runner, build to celebrate Isuzu's 100th birthday, adds gunmetal side-steps, red badging, black roll bar and grille, heavy-duty bin liner and commemorative badging on the tailgate.

Inside, a seven-inch touchscreen display debuts on the SX and LS-M, with same unit on the LS-U and LS-T gaining an extra inch and satellite navigation. A reverse camera is offered on LS-M up and optional on the SX and EX, with Hill Decent Control standard across the entire range.

All LS models now feature three USB ports as well as a eight-speaker sound system on crew cab models, the latter feature also applying to SX. The X-Runner meanwhile gets red and black trimmed seats, piano-key black inserts, red Isuzu badge on the steering wheel, red stitching on the seats, dark grey trim and niceties such as single-zone climate control, rear parking sensors and the previously mentioned reverse camera.

Pricing in Australia starts at $28 500 (R292 062) for the base single chassis cab and rises to $54 800 (R561 579) for the flagship LS-T Crew Cab 4x4. Given the recent facelift to the KB, it remains to be seen whether the upgraded engine and new gearboxes will arrive in South Africa anytime soon.


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