Drumroll. You’re looking at the first pick-up truck to outsell the Toyota Hilux in Thailand. Ever. Let that fact sink in.

The latest D-Max takes Isuzu’s trusty pick-up to an all-new product direction, expanding on its well-established repertoire of efficiency and dependability with a much-welcomed infusion of style and sophistication.

The Isuzu D-Max is well-established as a no-nonsense workhorse that will take any punishment without fuss. The latest one infuses style and sophistication to the mix.

Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC)

Adjusts cruising speed according to vehicle directly in front whilst maintaining constant distance. Includes Stop & Go functionality.

Lane Departure Warning (LDW)

Detects and warns against accidental drifting from lane.

Automatic High Beams (AHB)

Automatically dims high beams on dark roads to avoid dazzling other drivers.

Pedal Misapplication Mitigation

Detects accidental throttle application and suppresses engine torque and alerts driver if another vehicle is detected in front.

Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB)

Detects potential collision and alerts the driver, followed by automatic braking.

Turn Assist

Monitors opposing traffic at junction and brakes automatically to avoid accidents.








1.9, 150PS, 350Nm

3.0, 190PS, 450Nm

6-speed manual, 4x4

6-speed manual, 4x4




1.9, 150PS, 350Nm

1.9, 150PS, 350Nm

6-speed manual, 4x4

6-speed auto, 4x4




1.9, 150PS, 350Nm

3.0, 190PS, 450Nm

6-speed auto, 4x4

6-speed auto, 4x4




3.0, 190PS, 450Nm

6-speed auto, 4x4


If Looks Could Kill…

Outwardly, the new D-Max is a handsome-looking truck, and when decked in the range-topping X-Terrain trim as made available for our review, it looks dressed the part to take on the segment’s other flagships such as the Ranger Wildtrak, Hilux Rogue, Navara Pro-4X, and Triton Athlete.

Bi-LED headlamps

Sculptured V-shaped bonnet

Infra-red absorbent windscreen [First in class]

Aerofoil wipers with integrated washers

Large radiator grille with four-prong Isuzu accent

Proportions Tweaked for Sleeker Profile

Lower CD thanks to improved aerodynamics

Roofline, -20mm

Door sill height, +20mm

Wheelbase, +30mm

Bonnet height, +15mm

Interior – Where Utility Meets Luxury

The cabin is where Isuzu really blew our expectations away. A far cry from its utilitarian predecessor, the new D-Max looks and feels premium inside. This is, dare we say it, the segment’s new benchmark in both design as well as fit and finish.

It is well-known that the D-Max will be re-badged as the next BT-50, and even without any input from Mazda, Isuzu has constructed a cabin of quality that genuinely does not look out of place in a regular Mazda product.

Horizontal layered dashboard design

Soft-touch plastic

Stitching effect

Satin chrome trim inserts

Tilt & telescopic steering

9-inch touchscreen, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay

Modern switchgear with premium feel

Rear A/C

2.1A USB port

All-New Dynamic Drive Platform

The D-Max is fully redeveloped from ground up. The all-new Dynamic Drive Platform endows the D-Max with a beefier chassis than before, the objective to further reinforce the D-Max’s reputation as a robust go-anywhere pick-up truck.

Aluminium prop shaft, -4kg

Leaf springs reduce from 4 to 3 leafs for better comfort and lower unsprung weight

Torsional rigidity, +20%

Engine mounted further back

• More balanced weight distribution

• Bigger crumple zone, better protection

Familiar Engines, Improved Performance

Whilst its platform is entirely new, the D-Max’s pair of powertrains are carried over from the preceding model, albeit with some enhancements to keep them competitive against fast-improving rivals.

As standard, all variants of the D-Max are 4x4 and paired with 6-speed transmissions, be it manual or automatic.

The award-winning 1.9-litre RZ4E turbodiesel, itself a relatively new engine introduced with the predecessor’s facelift model, receives a new turbocharger for better response and improved top-end performance.

The flagship 3.0-litre 4JJ3-TCX powerplant, meanwhile, is much more significantly enhanced, receiving revisions to its commonrail injectors and variable geometry turbocharger, along with redesigned piston and combustion chamber. These improvements helped gain 13PS and 70Nm on the dyno charts over the preceding model.

Hot day? You can start the D-Max remotely, let the A/C cool the cabin down a few minutes then climb on board.

Safety through Advanced Technology

Perhaps no area demonstrates the sheer advancement of the D-Max’s product concept than in the aspect safety. All variants are rated five stars by ASEAN NCAP, with the X-Terrain model additionally being packed with Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS).

Through a pair of stereoscopic cameras, the Isuzu D-Max ‘sees’ what happens in front of it. They are supplemented by four sonar modules front and rear for short range detection and a further two radar modules for long-range detection toward the rear

Blind Spot Monitor (BSM)

Watches out for vehicles approaching in your blind spot.

Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA)

Keeps an eye when you’re reversing out of the parking.

“A pick-up truck that is comfortable yet powerful, with 450Nm of torque, overtaking in this truck is easy.”

- Cardock

“The D-Max certainly has come a long way as a product compared to its predecessors. This third generation model is the first time that Isuzu has given this much emphasis to qualities such design, comfort, and refinement.”

- Kon

Our Verdict

“Earlier when Kon was driving, I fell asleep at the back and didn’t feel a thing."

- Rachel

"The D-Max is best in class not on any one particular item, but as a package put together."

- Thana

Longitudinal rigidity, +26%

"The ladder frame which underpins the truck consists of eight crossmembers."

- Kon

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This is the D-Max, but not as we knew it. Once renowned for its resolute focus on more pragmatic virtues, Isuzu has now seen fit to move the D-Max with the times and embrace a greater degree of modernity in its trusted pick-up.

There remains a degree of conservative thinking in the tuning of its engines - the 3.0-litre is now the segment's biggest powerplant, yet its outputs are decidedly modest, being merely on par with the more aggressively-tuned 2.4- to 2.5-litre rivals. That's on paper.

On the road, however, the engine pulls with pleasing effortlessness with near-instant torque delivery. Here, Isuzu convincingly proves the old adage of there being no replacement for displacement. Compared to smaller capacity engines on high boost, the 3.0-litre D-Max goes about its business in a distinctly relaxed feel. More pleasant in day-to-day driving for one, and also requires less revs to climb slopes - handy on slippery ground.

Refinement is much improved too. The new D-Max is now a convincingly smooth operator on the road. The previous model, to be fair, already did a fair job on sound insulation, but the new one further improves its road manners with a more supple ride. Not as plush as the coil-sprung Nissan Navara, neither does it handle as outright sporty as the Mitsubishi Triton, but it strikes a happy medium.

From being the just a trusty workhorse, the D-Max has suddenly elevated itself to become a convincingly complete all-rounder. It is now a properly A-list pick-up truck that does not just haul ass in the plantations but also cocoons you in all the creature comforts one expects in a modern car. Watch out, Toyota Hilux!Perhaps no area demonstrates the sheer advancement of the D-Max's product concept than in the aspect safety. All variants are rated five stars by ASEAN NCAP, with the X-Terrain model additionally being packed with Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS).

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"I guarantee you, you cover the steering wheel logo, you'd never be able to tell what this is."

- Bobby

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