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Locally Manufactured Isuzu D-Max launched

By Tshidi Malebana

In 2019 Isuzu announced an investment of a R1.2 billion for the seventh generation of Isuzu bakkies to be manufactured in Gqeberha over the past 42 years. It came as no surprise the reason for this occurrence is that the first Isuzu bakkie was produced at the Kempston Road plant in Port Elizabeth in 1978. President Cyril Ramaphosa honoured the invitation to welcome the highly anticipated all-new Isuzu D-Max. Locally manufactured D-Max features bold looks, two engine options, upgraded safety systems and high tech.

The all-new Isuzu D-Max looks bold and to give it a distinctive on-road presence it has LED daytime running lights, Bi-Led projector headlamps, crisp new LED combination tail lamps and LED high-mount brake light at the rear that continue the contemporary theme. Despite its athletic appearance, the new Isuzu D-MAX is bigger and more spacious in all key areas, other than the roofline which is 10 mm lower than the previous model. The bonnet and load area have been heightened by 15 mm and 30 mm respectively, while the wheelbase has been extended by 30 mm for greater optimisation of the cabin structure. There’s plenty of room for life's biggest adventures be it for work or private use.

Inside, the high series models are equipped with a fully integrated Wide Extended Graphic Array (WXGA) 7-inch or 9 -inch touchscreen infotainment system depending on the model, the D-max multimedia system offers connectivity via Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto to seamlessly mirror your connected smartphone. The Isuzu D-Max offer a smart and sophisticated cabin with soft-touch materials and an upper-class quality feel.

With advanced driver safety systems in place, all-new ISUZU D-MAX models come standard with impressive safety credentials such as Anti-lock Brakes (ABS), Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BAS). Also added to the mix are Electronic Stability Control (ESC) with Traction Control, Hill Start Assist (HSA), Hill Descent Control (HDC) and Trailer Sway Control. The Isuzu D-max is equipped with up to eight airbags depending on the model.

The range-topping V-CROSS raises the benchmark even further, as it boasts an Intelligent Driver Assist System (IDAS) that incorporates a comprehensive suite of active and passive safety features. It includes advanced features such as Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS), Lane Departure Prevention (LDP) and Lane Keep Assist System (LKAS), Blind Spot Monitor (BSM), Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Parking Aid (front and rear) and Multi Collision Brake (MCB) that will automatically apply the brakes when the airbags are deployed.

The new range comes with a choice of two diesel engines: a 1.9-litre Ddi producing 110kW and 350Nm, and an upgraded 3.0-litre Ddi producing 140kW and 450Nm connected to a choice of a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmissions. The D-Max is available in both 4x2 and 4x4 guises across all body styles.

The five specification grades start with standard guise which includes items such as an AM/FM radio with an integrated CD player and Bluetooth, manual air-conditioning, an immobiliser and tilt and telescopic adjustment for the steering wheel as well as follow me home headlamps. Safety features such as airbags for the driver and front passenger and anti-lock brakes (ABS) with electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD) and brake assist round off the package.

The next step up is the L specification level. These models gain an anti-theft alarm, power windows and satellite audio controls on the steering wheel, to name but a few. Safety is further enhanced with the addition of ISOFIX child seat anchors in the Double Cab models.

The list of features on LS models includes 17-inch alloy wheels, a 7-inch screen for the infotainment system which offers Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, six speakers, USB ports in the front and rear, cruise control, seven airbags, halogen daytime running lights, a rear-view camera and black side steps.

In LSE models the size of the alloy wheels is increased to 18 inches, with a standard Tyre Pressure Monitoring System. The infotainment system has a 9-inch screen and eight speakers, while a passive entry start system (PESS) is also added. Additional features include, among others, LED head and tail lamps, dual-zone automatic air-conditioning, front and rear park assist, a tow bar, roof rails and a chrome tubular sports bar.

Pricing is as follows:

Single cabs R401,700 to R528,800

Extended cabs R433,600 to R670,300

Double cabs R498,900 to R814,700

As standard, a comprehensive five-year/120 000 km warranty and roadside assistance, as well as a five-year unlimited distance anti-corrosion warranty.

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