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Isuzu KB300 LX - one of the toughest old girls out there

22.12.2015

What is the Isuzu KB 300 LX? Quite clearly it's a bakkie, but more specifically this is Isuzu's one called the KB and that means it's one of the toughest old girls out there. Or at least that's what tradition would dictate, so let's find out a little more about this new one.

On the outside

Not much has changed really, it's still unmistakably Isuzu. They have freshened up the KB's face, just to keep it relatively modern looking. It is after all up against some pretty neat looking competition like the Ford Ranger. One of the stand out features for me is the contemporary-eque curve on the rear roll bar which continues the roof line rather than just ending at the load bin. Flared arches are a nice touch too.

On the inside

Quite a few changes going on in here, mainly centred around the dash and centre console. It's basically a complete overhaul that brings a few modern touches, like an infotainment screen with DVD, reverse camera and satellite navigation, into what is otherwise a good old bakkie. Perhaps not quite as visually appealing as the Ranger but as well kitted.

Behind the wheel

Up front is a 3.0-litre turbodiesel unit good for 130kW and 380Nm. Mine had a 5-speed manual 'box although an auto is available, all of which include low range and locking differentials. It'll carry a ton in the bin and pull a 3.5 ton trailer. Not too shabby. Also it's built like a rock, a very hard one at that and is more than capable at tackling some rough stuff.

The downside to all that toughness is a ride that can be rough if you drive about town day-to-day. In fact it's less refined than the Ranger, for example.

Pricing

At R523,000 it's just under R30k less than the Ford Ranger and in the same sort of region as the Toyota Hilux. The KB is probably the more capable vehicle of the three - might just edge over the others in terms of features - and falls in between when it comes to using the thing every day. So it's a very even match up.

Verdict

Personally I'd go with the Ford regardless of the small price premium. I just find it a more rounded vehicle. But I'm not a farmer, nor do I own a construction company or anything of the sort. So if you're after something a little more rugged, the Isuzu KB is definitely worth a look.

Vehicle specs

Price: R523,600

Engine: 2999cc turbo diesel

Power: 130kW

Torque: 380Nm

Consumption: 7.9l/100km (claimed)

Service: Five-year 90,000km service plan

 

Article written by Miles Downard
22.12.2015
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