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Car reviews - Isuzu - D-Max - SX 1.9


Base model utes are no longer simply serviceable, they’re capable, value-packed and ready to go the hard yards

22 Jul 2022

THE FACT is a lot of Australian buyers will overlook the entry-grade D-Max SX 4x2 utility in favour of more highly specified, and pricier, four-wheel drive variants, even if the model tested here is more than capable of delivering on their needs.


Down Under, entry grade and two-wheel drive utes lose out to their more capable siblings in a big way as buyers opt for the kind of rugged appeal and off-road capability many will seldom use. Which makes the existence of base spec’ utilities like the D-Max SX and its ilk something of a perplexing consideration…


The Isuzu D-Max SX 4x2 is a well-priced, generously specified and entirely capable example of the breed. In short, this workhorse variant deserves to sell more strongly than it does, as our week behind the wheel proved.


The single-cab chassis utility is priced from just $29,990 plus on-road costs ($33,200 as tested) and is powered by Isuzu’s gutsy undersquare RZ4E-TC 1.9-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine paired to a choice of six-speed manual or automatic transmissions.


Isuzu says the engine is designed to offer lower running costs to commercial, fleet and trade buyers, and develops 110kW at 3600rpm and 350Nm from 1800-2600rpm, with 300Nm available across more than 70 per cent of the unit’s torque band (from 1550 to 3700rpm).


Fuel delivery is via a Denso high-pressure direct injection system and the intake system further benefits from a forward-facing ambient air intake, an electronically controlled variable geometry turbocharger, as well as an aluminium air-to-air intercooler. Fuel economy is listed at 7.0 litres per 100km with CO2 emissions as low as 183 grams per kilometre (ADR combined cycle).


But beyond the SX’s mechanical package, it’s the model’s load lugging capabilities that impress most. Payload capacities for manual and automatic variants are listed at an impressive 1405kg and 1380kg respectively while braked towing capacity is listed at 2800kg for the manual and 3000kg for the Aisin-sourced automatic.


The D-Max SX is fitted as standard with a 2500mm long and 1777mm wide alloy tray as standard and is further available with a selection of headboards, ladder racks and grab rails as part of an extensive accessories list.


Standard equipment includes 17-inch steel wheels with Dunlop AT25 tyres (with matching spare), heavy-duty suspension, a urethane steering wheel, gearshift knob and handbrake cover, vinyl flooring, cloth upholstery, power windows and mirrors, air-conditioning, rain-sensing wipers, dusk-sensing headlights, and a tilt- and reach-adjustable steering column.


Adaptive cruise control is available on automatic variants.


The 7.0-inch infotainment array in the D-Max SX includes (wireless) Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Bluetooth connectivity, DAB+ digital radio, voice recognition, a four-speaker audio system and a reversing camera.


Safety equipment includes a full complement of airbags, AEB with turn assist, blind-spot monitoring, drive-attention assist, lane-support systems, rear cross-traffic alert and traffic-sign recognition. The Isuzu D-Max boasts a five-star ANCAP safety rating.


All Isuzu D-Max and MU-X variants are backed by Isuzu Ute Australia’s Service Plus 6-7-7 ownership care program, which includes a six-year/150,000km warranty, up to seven years’ roadside assist (when serviced through an IUA dealer) and seven-year capped price servicing scheme totalling $3223 over the first 105,000km.


The 2022 Isuzu D-Max SX single-cab chassis is available in five paint colours including Mineral White (flat), Basalt Black Mica, Cobalt Blue Mica, Mercury Silver Metallic and Obsidian Grey Metallic.


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