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Wednesday, May 31, 2023

2023 Isuzu D-Max X-Terrain overview

The Isuzu D-Max is well-and-truly ensconced as Australia’s third top-selling twin cab nowadays, behind solely the Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger.

A lot of this demand is for the range-topping D-Max X-Terrain, which competes with the Ranger Wildtrak and HiLux SR5.

It is a variant with leather-based seats, all the inside mod-cons, plastic wheel arch flares, and a style-led plastic aero sailplane. In different phrases, it’s not designed for a mine or constructing web site.

However for many who desire a dual-cab workhorse that doubles as a second household automotive, it affords loads.

WATCH: Paul’s video overview of the D-Max LS-U+

Whereas the 2023 mannequin brings minor tweaks detailed right here, this mannequin continues to be within the early part of its life cycle.

How a lot does the Isuzu D-Max X-Terrain price?

That is Isuzu’s top-of-the-tree variant, with a listing worth of $67,500 earlier than on-road prices.

Nevertheless that’s largely irrelevant, since Isuzu is providing a nationwide drive-away worth of $64,990 on the time of writing.

Flashy paint comparable to our automotive’s Neptune Blue Mica paint provides $650.

For some context right here’s a listing of marketed drive-away costs for key opponents, all in equal high-grade spec variants.

There aren’t any present nationwide affords for a lot of competitor utes, so we entered the postcode of 3000 (Melbourne) into every model’s pricing information. Costs can differ by as a lot as $3000 in several components of the nation.

  • Isuzu D-Max X-Terrain auto: $64,990
  • Ford Ranger Wildtrak auto: ~$73,000
  • Toyota HiLux SR5 auto: ~$66,500
  • Mazda BT-50 SP: ~$73,000

Remember that there are D-Max X-Terrain shortages and subsequent wait occasions must be anticipated – the present common is about 140 days.

This implies there are loads of landed D-Maxes within the classifieds being bought at a considerable mark-up.

What’s the Isuzu D-Max X-Terrain like on the within?

The D-Max X-Terrain has a proximity-sensing key fob to your pocket which unlocks the automotive once you seize the deal with, and locks the automobile once you stroll away.

The entrance seats are simply nice, with outstanding bolstering for the facet and thigh, respectable high quality leather-based, heating, crimson stitching, and powered adjustment together with lumbar for the motive force. They’re essentially the most comfy seat in any diesel ute on sale (alongside its BT-50 twin).

The steering wheel is likewise trimmed in soft-feeling leather-based trim, and it adjusts for each rake and attain not like the previous mannequin. Buttons for audio and telephone controls are on the left spoke, and buttons for driver help and journey pc controls on the proper.

It additionally has a button on the proper spoke which, when pressed for 3 seconds, disengages the lane-keeping help system that re-activates every time the automobile is turned on. That is higher than the older mannequin which pressured you to dig by the instrument menus.

The instrument panel makes use of conventional analogue pace and rev gauges not like the all-digital Ranger, with a small display screen in between that exhibits automobile pace, energetic security settings, journey information, gas effectivity and so forth. Whereas small, it has legible graphics.

The sprint is padded and has crimson distinction stitching, plus a nifty lidded console above the touchscreen. Under this runs a stylised piano black plastic trim insert, which carries over to the gearstick and display screen surrounds – and is a little bit of a dust- and glare magnet.

There’s a heap of storage together with two gloveboxes, high-mounted cup holders under every outboard vent, large bottle holders in every door, and a central tunnel with an open telephone cubby, cupholders, and a lidded centre console.

By way of construct high quality, there have been no squeaks or rattles and all the pieces felt effectively put-together, if constructed to a worth: which means numerous onerous scratchy plastic trims which in all equity are most likely simpler to maintain clear.

The 9.0-inch centre touchscreen takes up loads of actual property and sits properly within the driver’s eye line. It has satellite-navigation, a reversing digicam with an okay view of the tow ball (absolutely a 360-degree digicam must be fitted although, given it is available in a less expensive GWM), sound system together with roof audio system, and wi-fi Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

But on the identical time it appears like an afterthought reasonably than a completely built-in display screen, because it controls no automobile capabilities past multimedia, and it’s not overly fast. There’s additionally simply the one USB-A plug up entrance, plus a 12V level for an adapter.

There’s one reasonably bewildering situation. Specifically, each time you pull down or put up the solar visor, it knocks the rear-view mirror out of place. How did one thing this fundamental get by all these engineers and designers? And the way wasn’t it addressed within the newest replace? Baffling.

The twin-zone local weather controls are run by useful rocker switches that correspond to a small digital readout, under which sits a dial to pick high- and low-range four-wheel drive. No naff touchscreen controls for air-conditioning right here…

The again seats are fairly roomy, with my 194cm body in a position to match (simply) behind my very own driving place. Rear occupants get their very own air vents, one USB level, map holders within the seat backs, a bag hook on the again of the passenger seat, a pull-down centre armrest with cup holders, and bottle holders within the doorways. There are additionally sturdy seize handles on every B-pillar.

The seat bases (60 per cent on the proper and 40 per cent on the left) flip upwards to create extra storage, and canopy two lidded ground cubbies. The seat-back pulls downwards to disclose the child-seat top-tether anchor factors that are paired with two ISOFIX anchors.

One useful addition is the soft-closing tailgate, which makes use of pneumatic tubes on both sides like a fly display screen door.

The manufacturing facility fitted bedliner sits under the rails and is of top quality, whereas the X-Terrain additionally comes customary with onerous sliding curler tonneau cowl/shutter – simply bear in mind that it robs you of area up the entrance of the bathtub. It’s operated by hand and lockable, reasonably than powered like a Wildtrak’s.

I might simply go with out a few of the beauty options such because the shiny gray plastic aero piece behind the rear window, which is all kind and no operate. However hey, possibly you just like the look…

What’s beneath the bonnet?

Isuzu’s 3.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel produces middling outputs of 140kW (at 3600rpm) and 450Nm (at 1600-2600rpm).

It’s mated to a six-speed Aisin automated transmission and a part-time 4×4 system with low-range.

Gas consumption beneath ADR testing is rated as 8.0 litres per 100km on the mixed cycle, and the gas tank shops 76L of diesel.

Braked-trailer towing capability is 3500kg with a 350kg obtain (utilizing Isuzu’s tow equipment accent).

We returned a 0-100km/h time of 11.3 seconds on a VBox – one-tenth slower than a HiLux managed on the identical floor in the identical climate. Be mindful our take a look at automobile had very low mileage.

How does the Isuzu D-Max X-Terrain drive?

The three.0-litre diesel doesn’t lead the phase on the subject of refinement, though it’s actually not as coarse or clattery because the engines utilized in older-generation D-Maxes had been.

Whereas its outputs of 140kW and 450Nm aren’t large on paper, it’s actually punchier by the seat of the pants than one rival with the identical on-paper outputs: the Nissan Navara.

Certainly it’s a match for the 150kW and 500Nm 2.8-litre Toyota HiLux with a VBox, if not Ford’s benchmark V6 Ranger, on the subject of punch off the mark and rolling acceleration.

It by no means feels sluggish and can even chirp the rear tyres at occasions when unladen. Actually it will get up and goes far more rapidly than it actually has any proper to, from the seat of the pants.

Whereas the Aisin transmission solely has six gears, they’re well-spaced and the driveline creates good speed-retaining downhill engine-braking by dropping a cog with decisiveness.

Two additions that may be useful are paddle shifters for towing, and a cease/begin system for city commuting. Each are lacking options.

It’s additionally very environment friendly. Over a couple of hundred kilometres of driving on each highways and over suburban roads it averaged 8.5L/100km, whereas over the entire lifetime of the automobile in numerous arms it had averaged 9.6L/100km together with mischievous journos from different titles.

One operate it does lack is full-time 4WD, as an alternative operating as a rear-wheel drive on tarmac and providing low- and high-range (50:50) 4×4 driving modes within the tough stuff, with a rear locking diff to assist out over rugged terrain.

It’s fairly succesful off the overwhelmed path from a mechanical perspective, although our take a look at automobile’s road-biased freeway tyres lack grip, and the traction management system takes too lengthy to activate should you’re operating the automobile in rear-wheel drive. Extra speedy response please…

Dynamically it’s fairly effectively sorted with out a load, ironing out highway and gravel imperfections properly with good noise suppression, and a comparatively settled rear finish with solely mildly annoying pogo-ing over corrugations. That mentioned, the Ford Ranger is plusher over a B-road.

One other nice function is its electrical energy steering, which is feather-light and makes the D-Max really feel very wieldy round city in each day driving.

Throughout my time with the automotive I additionally did about 300km towing a automotive trailer maxing out when laden at round 2000kg. The tow bar was straightforward to line up solo with the digicam view, and the mirrors proved sufficiently massive to maintain the broad wheels within the lane.

What was extra spectacular was the efficiency: except for some gentle shunting beneath brakes it was onerous to note the trailer was even there, and my gas financial system after the 150km laden return from Gippsland was 11.6L/100km – actually fairly good for a towing take a look at.

The driving force help options for essentially the most half labored effectively – which means the adaptive cruise management and blind-spot monitoring (which mechanically turns off when the trailer brakes and lights are related).

The camera-based lane-keeping aids are okay if not class-leading, although I tended to maintain them off through a single button-push when outdoors the town limits with their well-painted strains.

There’s additionally a pace restrict readout which chimes should you exceed the posted restrict. You possibly can numb its sensitivity setting to have interaction at 10km/h over, or shut it off altogether. And it stays off as soon as set that method.

Tech specs

  • Energy: 140kW
  • Torque: 450Nm
  • Transmission: 6-speed auto
  • Gas financial system: 8.0L/100km
  • Drive kind: Half-time 4×4 (2H, 4H, 4L)
  • Most towing: 3500kg braked
  • Kerb weight: 2175kg
  • Payload: 925kg
  • Gross automobile mass: 3100kg
  • Gross mixture mass: 6000kg
  • Energy steering kind: Electrical
  • Turning circle: 12.5m
  • Floor clearance: 240mm

What do you get?

This flagship variant comes geared up with all the pieces that Isuzu Ute has to supply.

  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • 265/60 Bridgestone Dueler freeway tyres
  • Full-size metal spare wheel
  • Proximity key and walk-away lock
  • Bi-LED headlights, auto-levelling
  • LED daytime operating lights
  • LED rear mixture lights
  • Auto headlights with nightfall sensors
  • Auto windscreen wipers
  • Heated facet mirrors
  • Entrance parking sensors
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Tailgate help
  • Manufacturing unit fitted towbar receiver
  • Tub liner
  • Laborious curler tonneau tub cowl
  • Roof rails
  • Leather-based-accented seats with crimson stitching
  • Powered driver’s seat
  • Heated entrance seats
  • Leather-based-wrapped steering wheel
  • Twin-zone local weather management with rear vents
  • Push-button and distant engine begin
  • Tyre-pressure monitor
  • Auto-dimming rear-view mirror
  • Eight-speaker sound system
  • 9.0-inch touchscreen show
    • Satellite tv for pc-navigation
    • Apple CarPlay
    • Android Auto
    • Reversing digicam

For a full spec stroll throughout all D-Max variants, learn our 2023 worth and specs story right here.


The 2023 D-Max vary is accessible within the following colors, with all however Mineral White incurring a $650 premium:

  • Mineral White
  • Basalt Black mica
  • Neptune Blue mica 
  • Mercury Silver metallic
  • Obsidian Gray mica
  • Granite Gray metallic (X-Terrain unique)
  • Moonstone White Pearl (LS-U, LS-U+ and X-Terrain solely)
  • Magnetic Purple mica (LS-U, LS-U+ and X-Terrain solely)
  • Volcanic Amber metallic (X-Terrain unique)

Is the Isuzu D-Max X-Terrain protected?

Australian crash testing authority ANCAP simply re-tested the D-Max and MU-X SUV, once more awarding them a five-star security ranking in opposition to outgoing 2020-2022 protocols.

Fashions constructed from July 2022 acquired a design change to the motive force’s knee airbag and instrument panel.

Commonplace security options embrace:

  • 8 airbags
  • Rear-seat ISOFIX and prime tethers
  • AEB with Flip Help
  • Ahead Collision Warning
  • Adaptive Cruise Management
  • Site visitors Signal Recognition
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Lane Departure Prevention
  • Lane Protecting Help
  • Emergency Lane Protecting
  • Blind Spot Monitoring
  • Rear Cross Site visitors Alert
  • Trailer Sway Management

The D-Max now mechanically disables Blind Spot Monitoring and Rear Cross Site visitors Alert when a trailer is hitched and detected through the real trailer wiring harness.

This replace comes only a 12 months after Isuzu launched the Lane Assist System swap that permits the motive force to modify lane maintaining capabilities on or off, on the singular push of a button.

Isuzu D-Max X-Terrain price to run?

Isuzu Ute Australia gives a six-year, 150,000km guarantee with seven years of roadside help and capped-price servicing

2023 Isuzu D-Max service pricing

  • 3-month inspection: Free
  • 12 months or 15,000km: $435
  • 24 months or 30,000km: $445
  • 36 months or 45,000km: $665
  • 48 months or 60,000km: $555
  • 60 months or 75,000km: $335
  • 72 months or 90,000km: $799
  • 84 months or 105,000km: $455

CarExpert’s Take

The D-Max isn’t a complete discount, however within the context of its phase the drive-away worth level for the X-Terrain is affordable.

It affords nice seats, a snug inside with ample storage, and a comparatively comfy experience. And whereas it lacks the Ranger’s knockout diesel V6 and full-time four-wheel drive, it nonetheless affords energetic efficiency, and as we discovered is a super-efficient tow automobile.

There’s additionally the lengthy guarantee and roadside help protection and affordable capped servicing costs, and what has confirmed to be good resale values because of a status for longevity.

I don’t contemplate it fairly the category chief (our latest ute mega take a look at gave the gong to the Ford, and its Volkswagen Amarok twin is now launching too), but it surely deserves to be among the many prime sellers.

As ever, shortlist it in order for you an unpretentious workhorse with simply sufficient luxurious to function a household hauler when wanted.

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