Back in the 1980s, the Mitsubishi Pajero was considered as a status symbol for the elites. By the 90s however, the Toyota Land Cruiser started to outnumber the Pajero and later on the Prado & Hilux culture took over.
Pickups and 4×4 become successful as they are strong, have the complementing rugged appearance and are fun to drive. They are stylish with great designing and aerodynamic cuts, the cabin is also comfortable with latest functionalities, and over the years the safety front has also been tremendously improved.
Hilux in particular has been very successful vehicle in its class and has been doing tremendously well for many years in our market. Now however, even the Hilux is about to see some competition as several automakers are willing to tap this segment, thanks to the Auto Policy 2016-21.
Volkswagen indicated to bring their Amarok pickup in Pakistan, Foton is in process of setting up an assembly plant to build its Tunland pickup here but the immediate competitor for the Toyota Hilux in Pakistan will be the Isuzu D-MAX, which is known as a very tough and rugged vehicle and being one of Isuzu’s most successful products, rivals Toyota Hilux in key markets. In Pakistan Ghandhara Industries Limited (GIL) has made a Technical Assistance Agreement with Isuzu Motors Limited to assemble and sell the Isuzu D-MAX pick up in Pakistan.
Like Toyota Hilux, the Isuzu D-Max is a greatly styled vehicle carrying bold, masculine features and a solid road presence. Dimensionally its quite similar to the Hilux as well having a bigger wheelbase of 3095mm (Hilux 3085mm). The D-MAX is slightly wider with 1860mm (Hilux 1855mm) and slightly shorter in height 1795 mm (Hilux 1815mm) and length 5295mm (Hilux 5335mm).
In addition to the exterior the D-MAX also offers a very impressive interior which is quite reminiscent to Chevrolet Colorado, and why not since Isuzu shares the platform with the Chevy. Even the rear-end and side profile is quite similar to that of Colorado. Not to mention the D-MAX is sold with a Chevrolet Colorado badge in certain middle-eastern markets.
Isuzu D-MAX in Pakistan
According to the information exclusively received by CarSpiritPK, the D-MAX in Pakistan will be available in 2 engine and multiple body and trim configurations. Both the engines will be diesel powered units including a 2.5 liter 4JK1-TC TCX and 3.0 liter 4JJ1-TCX. Both the engine have very decent torque figures at 320 Nm and 360 Nm respectively.
The Isuzu D-MAX will be available in single and double cabin with standard and premium trim options available with manual as well as automatic transmission. The D-MAX will reportedly offer more than the Toyota Hilux and it’s flagship Revo version.
According to the information received by us the D-MAX will be available with Push-start, Airbags, Traction control with ESC, Projector headlamps with LED DRLs, Isuzu premium infotainment system with 8-inch screen and 8 speakers, and will offer high value 4×4 accessories including the bull bar etc. GIL will formally launch the Isuzu D-MAX in Pakistan by mid 2018.
The initial batch of these pickups will be imported while the company will be selling the D-MAX at a discounted price at the beginning in order to capture greater market share which will be a good move. Official prices are yet to be announced but considering the ongoing Rupee devaluation against Dollar, car & fuel prices in Pakistan are likely to go up. However GIL will price the D-MAX below or around the Toyota Hilux.
The Isuzu MU-X
Like the Toyota Fortuner, which is a 3-row 7-seat vehicle based on the Hilux platform, the Isuzu’s answer to Fortuner is MU-X, which is a three-row seven-seat version of the D-MAX. Although it’s too early to suggest anything at this stage, the success of D-MAX in Pakistan may open doors for the MU-X and perhaps that’s the reason why Indus Motors is working on to introduce the diesel version of the Fortuner in 2018.
On papers the Isuzu D-MAX looks a promising option and has got all the potential to dethrone the Hilux, only time will tell if that’s really going to be the case. If GIL can ensure proper sales & after sales support then the D-MAX will create some serious troubles for the Toyota Hilux in our market. Stay tuned to CarSpiritPK for more information on the Isuzu D-MAX in Pakistan.
A 3d animation professional with over 20 years of industry experience having served in leading organizations & production facilities of Pakistan, an avid car enthusiast and petrolhead with an affection to deliver writings to help shape opinions. Formerly written for PakWheels as well as major publications including Dawn. Founder of CarSpiritPK.com