ISUZU’S D-Max utility officially went on sale this week via a brand-new Australian retail network that will compete directly with Toyota’s top-selling HiLux and the model to which it is mechanically identical, Holden’s Colorado.
Released through 40 newly-appointed dealers ahead of its Australian motor show debut in Sydney on Thursday, the all-diesel D-Max line-up comprises 11 model variants including single and dual-cab body styles in both ute and cab/chassis configurations, plus 4x2 and 4x4 drivetrains and three trim levels.
The $23,300 starting price for the entry-level SX single-cab/chassis 4x2 manual includes an anti-lock braking system (ABS), air-conditioning (AC) and a limited-slip differential (LSD) – items Isuzu Ute Australia (IUA) points out are lacking from the HiLux SR diesel, which also costs $6390 more.
Similarly, IUA says the D-Max 4x2 crew-cab, at $31,800, costs $3790 less than the HiLux SR diesel, which lacks a three-point centre rear seatbelt as well as ABS, AC and an LSD. The higher-riding “4x4-look” D-Max LS 4x2 manual is priced at $34,800 ($36,800 in four-speed auto guise).
In 4x4 terms, the D-Max opens with the EX single-cab/chassis manual, which IUA says is $7190 cheaper than the HiLux SR 4x4 diesel, while the expected volume-selling SX single-cab/chassis 4x4 manual costs $32,000 - $2990 less than the HiLux SR diesel, which has a 750kg-lower towing capacity. The crew-cab version costs $36,700.
Continuing the sharp pricing policy is the $38,700 ($40,700 auto) D-Max LS-M 4x4 crew-cab, which IUA says improves on the HiLux SR dual-cab diesel’s standard equipment list via ABS, AC, cruise control, one-inch-wider wheels, four extra speakers, projector-lens headlights, a roof console and a three-tonne towing capacity.
Finally, the flagship D-Max LS-U 4x4 dual-cab costs $40,500 ($42,500 as an auto) – almost $10,000 less than the HiLux SR5 turbo-diesel.
The D-Max is claimed to be the most fuel-efficient one-tonne 4x2 diesel available apart from Nissan’s 2.5-litre D22 Navara, with an ADR 81/02 consumption figure of 7.9L/100km from its 120kW/360Nm 3.0-litre common-rail direct-injection four-cylinder turbo-diesel.
IUA expects to sell 4000 examples of the D-Max in Australia in its first year on sale, most of them in Queensland – less than one-third the number of Rodeos Holden sold in 2007, when the HiLux was Australia’s third best-selling vehicle overall.
Watch this pace for the full D-Max product story and GoAuto’s first drive.