1 Jul 2012
THE second-generation Isuzu D-Max arrived in Australia in June 2012, around the same time that Holden launched its closely related Colorado ute.
The D-Max was co-developed with former partner General Motors and was therefore similar to the Colorado, but with a number of significant differences – the front-end styling, the engine and both the manual and automatic transmissions.
While Holden went for a cleaner, more rounded design for its workhorse, Isuzu took a different approach and gave the D-Max a more butch, aggressive look no doubt to appeal to cashed-up tradies.
At launch, the D-Max was available with a choice of single-cab, crew-cab or space-cab body types with two- or four-wheel drive, although there was no option of a 4x2 space-cab.
A number of specification levels were offered, ranging from entry-level SX to LS-Terrain.
Power came from a 3.0-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder unit that produced 130kW, up 10kW on the previous model. This was mated to new five-speed manual or auto transmissions, the latter with sequential sports mode.
The redesigned engine provided an improved towing capacity of 2500kg for 4x2 models with a braked trailer and 3000kg for 4x4 models, or 750kg with an unbraked trailer.
It also returned impressively low fuel consumption, with official combined figures of just 8.1 litres per 100km for the auto and 8.3L/100km for manual models.
Riding on a new ladder-frame chassis that was 45mm longer in the wheelbase and provided a 50mm-wider track both front and rear over the old model, the 2012 D-Max was slightly longer than the Toyota HiLux, Nissan Navara, Mitsubishi Triton and Volkswagen Amarok.
Standard features across the range included air-conditioning, power windows, remote central locking, height-adjustable upper front seatbelt mounts, front seatbelt pre-tensioners, cruise control, and a new audio system with iPod and Bluetooth connectivity.