FIRST DRIVE: ISUZU D-MAX CREW CAB

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For advice on how to successfully sell cars to the Australians, we must invite Isuzu to the stage.

With only two models in its line-up – D-Max outdoor and outdoor-based MU-X SUV brand, nearly 26,000 vehicles sold last year and maintained their annual growth in two-digit.

Fun: It's another buyer profile, of course, but Isuzu sold more cars here in 2017 than BMW or Audi. [19659003] Isuzu is doing good and sticking to it. For its 2018 D-Max one-toner, it adds improvements here and there and controls something revolutionary.

The still-utilitarian cab has been softened slightly, it can carry an extra 100kg, new suspension improves the ride, and a rear camera is standard, putting it on par with most outsiders on the safety front.

D-Max's key selling points remain the reliable reliability of the repressed 3.0-liter turbodiesel, decent toweling, attractive drive prices and a long warranty.

A market that Isuzu can not afford to ignore is the purchased tradie, or just those looking for a toner hard look with the hard edges rounded.

The D-Max LS-T Crew Cab is permanently connected with the item. The $ 54,700 flagship 4WD sports 18-inch alloys with highway tires, perforated leather seats, sat nav and key-free entrance.

Such prize attributes (for one out) are typical of most top-one-toner rivals, even though Isuzu has been inclined to open this road openly and risking its core "hard and robust" image.

As not all Isuzu buyers take their terrain out, there is the prestigious LS-T rear driver with highway tires for $ 46,900.

Isuzu's message is clear. "D-Max is a scaled-up truck, not an upscale car," spokesman Mark Harman said.

If the LS-T sales are strong, Isuzu's top brass can consider a more hardcore D-Max version ahead of the lines of the new Ford Ranger Raptor and Toyota HiLux Rogue and Rugged.

ON THE ROAD

Small improvements are key and a simple fix Isuzu has brought to Crew Cabs is soft leather for the armrest.

I've had plenty of off-road wheel time in the outgoing D-Max and needed a towel on the center console to prevent my elbow from rubing rough on the hard plastic. The soft touch upgrades are welcome and well done.

The cab remains simple with lots of expected hard plastic. The lack of Apple CarPlay or Android Auto puts sound one generation behind its competitors, even though Isuzu insists that its core market does not prioritize such things.

Two USB charging points, leather glove compartment and new cabin chrome and shine color are also welcome.

We are sure to see most sports coils that are sprayed out in the near future. Meanwhile, Isuzu has a new three-spring suspension suspension kit for its Crew Cabs.

Using closer steel to the springs, Isuzu aims to increase the comfort of the road without compromising terrain, hauling and towing. 19659013] FROM VEJET

On our short test, sampling showed the old and new models behind the D-Max curved rear end being tamed a little over larger bumps. We will need a more comprehensive on-the-spot test to assess whether the unique to Australia-backbag effect improves things on bitumen.

VERDICT

3 stars

Small but Effective Changes improve the highly-sold D-Max. Isuzu adheres to the core principles – the same robust and nail engine and transmission, the good warranty and sharp prices are right. It's not the best

a ton out, but it makes most things very good now with a little more comfort.

What's New

PRICE A new LS-T series officially lands in 4×4 and 4×2 shed for buyers seeking an extra D-Max. This flagship Crew Cab 4WD is a hefty $ 54,700, which buys perforated leather trim, 18-inch alloys with highway tires, sat nav, roof rails and key-free access and starting.

TECH On an Australian market, D-Max has three-spring spring suspension for its Crew Cab models. Eschewing regular five-leaf springs, Isuzu says that the new setup stronger and lighter materials improves daily driving without compromising payload.

DRIVING Isuzu is not chomping on bit to add the kind of autonomous emergency braking or lane exit warning to its products. D-Max is now in line with most rivals, with trailer steering as standard and a reversing camera on all cabins.

Performance Isuzu engineers have revised the D-Max range of the gross vehicle, now 2950 kg on the rear-drive models and 3050kg to 4WD's. Payload is up to 100 kg over outgoing models at 1349 kg and 1159 kg, well ahead of Toyotas HiLux and Mitsubishi's Triton.

DESIGN The D-Max, identical to the outgoing model, adds a little more jazz to the color palette thanks to a bright red, a graphite gray and a cobalt blue reminiscent of the Toyota HiLux SR5.

ISUZU D-MAX CREW CAB UTE

PRICE $ 38,700- $ 54,700 (average)

WARRANTY / SERVICE $ 1300 for 3 years (average), 5 years / 130,000km outstanding) .

SECURITY 5 stars, 6 airbags, Electronic Stability Control, Towing Protection, Traction Control, Reversible Camera (Average)

ENGINE 3.0-liter 4-cylinder turbodiesel, 130kW / 430Nm (average) [19659003] THIRST 7.2L-8.1L100km )

SPARE Full Size (Good)

TOWING 3500kg (Common Class Leader)

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