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Isuzu D-MAX

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The Isuzu D-MAX

Written by

Shaun McGowan

Isuzu released this latest-generation of the D-MAX ute in July of 2020. It features an evolution of the company’s 3.0-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel engine (called the 4JJ3-TCX, which is also found in Isuzu trucks) plus a new platform and a host of advanced safety technology that’s new for Isuzu.

Mazda has a contract with Isuzu to share the design, with minor styling changes, in the current Mazda BT-50.

In addition to the 3.0-litre engine, an entry level 1.9-litre engine is offered in the base-model 4X2 single cab ute.

Cheat sheet

Power and Torque

140kW & 450nM





Cutting edge safety

Intelligent Driver Assistance System

Cab styles

If you’ve never bought a ute before, the range can be quite confronting, with three different cab styles: single cab, dual cab and, somewhere in the middle, space cab versions. However, not all cab styles are typically available in all model grades - highest-spec models tend to be dual-cab only.

In addition, there are pickups (with a body coloured ‘tub’ for cargo) or ‘cab chassis’ options (where you add your own alloy or steel tray). And, if that’s not enough to consider there are also 4X4 and 4X2 powertrains, with 4X2 offered in conventional (car-like) ride height, as well as ‘high ride’ with additional ground clearance.

Isuzu D-MAX engine

Isuzu leverages its reputation for reliability in the trucking industry into the D-MAX range, but peak outputs on the latest engine (140kW and 450Nm) don’t quite match that of Hilux’s 2.8 (150kW and 500Nm), although the D-MAX’s fuel economy is slightly better than Hilux, on the official ‘combined cycle test (8.0 litres per 100km versus 8.4).

The D-MAX has a very basic 4WD system comprising 2WD for high traction surfaces and 4WD for low traction, in both high and low range. If you’re looking for a ute with a more sophisticated AWD system, where you can use 4WD (high) on bitumen and good dirt roads for increased surefootedness, essentially you need to compare higher grades of Mitsubishi’s Triton - the GLS or GSR.

Salary package this car with a novated lease and save $1,000s


Isuzu D-MAX specs

4x4 SX Crew Cab Ute

  • 6-speed "Rev-Tronic" automatic transmission w/ sequential sport mode
  • Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Stop and Go functionality
  • Forward Collision Warning (FCW)
  • 7" Touchscreen display with Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ & Voice recognition
  • Isuzu 3.0L Diesel, 4-cylinder, Double Overhead Cam, Intercooled Turbo Charger (Nm/kW)

4x4 X-Terrain Crew Cab Ute

Everything in SX plus:

  • 18" alloy wheels
  • Parking sensors
  • Built-in satellite navigation w/ MID turn-by-turn directions
  • Push button start

Your D-MAX options


  • 4x4 Crew Cab Ute


  • 4x4 LS-U+ Crew Cab Ute
  • 4x4 LS-U Crew Cab Ute
  • 4x4 LS-U Crew Cab Chassis
  • 4x4 LS- U Space Cab Ute
  • 4x2 LS-U Crew Cab Ute - High Ride


  • 4x4 LS-M Crew Cab Ute
  • 4x4 LS-M Crew Cab Chassis


  • 4x4 SX Crew Cab Ute
  • 4x4 SX Crew Cab Chassis
  • 4x4 SX Space Cab Ute
  • 4x4 SX Single Cab Chassis
  • 4x2 SX Crew Cab Ute - High Ride
  • 4x2 SX Space Cab Ute - Hight Ride
  • 4x2 SX Crew Cab Chassis - High Ride
  • 4x2 SX Single Cab Chassis (3.0L) - High Ride
  • 4x2 SX Single Cab Chassis (1.9L) - High Ride

What you'd get when you salary package a D-MAX

  • Fleet discount
  • Registration and CTP
  • Fuel Card
  • Tyres
  • Repairs and Maintenance
  • Roadside Assist
  • Comprehensive Insurance

Learn more about novated leasing.

In summary

Like most competitors, D-MAX offers 3.5 tonnes of tow capacity, but in practice this is very difficult to achieve (legally) - especially on vehicles carrying a significant payload of people, gear (in the tray) or accessories. In the real world, 2.5 to 3.0 tonnes is far more realistic in the towing domain.

D-MAX is very competitive on spec levels. At the top of the range the vehicle comes fully loaded with leather, Apple and Android phone integrations, a rear diff lock, smart key with pushbutton start and adaptive cruise control.

About the Author

Shaun McGowan from



Shaun McGowan

Shaun is the founder of and is determined to help people pay as little as possible for financial products. Through education and building world class technology. Previously Shaun co-founded and Lend.


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