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.
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.
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.
Engine: 2999cc turbo diesel
Consumption: 7.9l/100km (claimed)
Service: Five-year 90,000km service plan