It’s too bad that Isuzu left the American landscape at the end of 2008. Had they stuck around we might have pickups like this all-new D-Max. Sometimes mediocre it could at times offer up some great alternatives to Toyota and Nissan. And after seeing the all-new Isuzu D-Max we have yet, another pickup we wish we could have.
The D-Max would be more than just competitive here
With new sheet metal and interiors, plus added safety features the D-Max would be more than just competitive here. Especially with the interior the D-Max has moved up a notch toward a premium look and feel. More soft-touch use along with a new infotainment system makes it as competitive as anything sold in the US in this price range.
Isuzu completely changed up the D-Max chassis using larger frame rails and added body protection underneath. Both the front and rear suspensions have been improved from the previous D-Max. There is also more sound-proofing material and a speed-sensitive power steering feel.
In the UK only one engine is available. That would be Isuzu’s diesel punching out 162 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque. Hooked to that is either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. The automatic is an improved version of the previous year’s offering. With four-wheel-drive comes a shift-on-the-fly system and rear differential lock when one chooses the All-Purpose or the Adventure options.
D-Max has four different trims and three different bodies
Four different trims and three different bodies are offered for 2021. A single, extended, and double cab offer everything any other pickup has in their lineup. Autonomous emergency braking, traffic sign recognition, intelligent speed limiter, and lane departure warning and prevention all come as standard equipment. On double cab models rear radar comes standard.
Isuzu in the US has always been tied to General Motors which explains why it left America. When GM was barrelling toward bankruptcy in 2010 it started shedding itself of some models. One victim was the Isuzu Ascender SUV and its small i-Series pickup platform. That is why Isuzu was gone by 2009. GM was almost gone, too.
But a funny thing happened. Once GM got past its BK problems it saddled back up with Isuzu for shared development and manufacturing. Specifically, Isuzu was involved in the new Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon midsize pickups. In fact, from the A-pillar to the back the Isuzu D-Max is a Colorado.
The aggressive front end removes any visual relationship to the Colorado
That means the D-Max shares its ladder chassis, body construction, interior, and some mechanical components right from the Colorado. But the aggressive front end removes any visual relationship to the Colorado. Other than materials and colors the interiors of the two are similar.
So, what does the Isuzu D-Max bring to the table that the Colorado or Canyon don’t? A different look and attitude are two points for sure. If still sold here a different dealer body and probably a cheaper price would also be part of the appeal. Look, there is always a better experience when you can pick and choose a huge purchase based on more competition. Be that as it may, Isuzu won’t be coming back to our shores anytime soon, and that’s too bad.