The all-new third generation Isuzu D-Max pickup truck was just launch in Malaysia in April 2021 and within a couple of months it has brought a significant growth in sales compared to its predecessor, which according to Isuzu is in line with global sales trends for the latest generation D-MAX.
Related: 2020 Isuzu D-Max Displayed at Thai Motor Expo
Since its debut, the third-generation D-Max has been selling at an average of 1,200 each month in Malaysian market which is more than double the 500 units average achieved by its predecessor- the second-generation model (the one we have here). This reflects similar trends seen in markets such as Australia, New Zealand and Thailand, according to the company.
The most successful D-Max variant is the 1.9L Premium automatic, which accounted for almost 36% of D-Max sales in Malaysia. Then comes the flagship 3.0L X-Terrain variant which accounts for 17% of D-Max sales in Malaysian market. The 1.9L diesel is the RZ4E-TC common-rail injection turbo engine (offered with the second generation model since 2019) that has been refined to offer improved throttle response, with outputs unchanged at 150 hp of power and 450 Nm of torque. The 4JJ3 3.0L turbodiesel in the flagship variants is now fitted with a new engine head and turbocharger with the resulting outputs of 190 hp and 450 Nm of torque, which is 13 hp and 70 Nm more than those from the 4JJ1 powerplant of the second generation model (that we have here).
Related: New Toyota Hilux vs Isuzu D-MAX on Papers
Commenting on the overwhelming response, the COO of Isuzu Malaysia, Masayuki Suzuki said.
“The response to this new model has been extremely positive considering the limited opportunities our prospects have had to fully experience the new model, due to the strict movement controls and safety protocols. Our current aim is to ensure the smooth, safe and timely delivery of vehicles to our customers despite the various administrative and logistical concerns faced domestically and globally.”
The third-gen Isuzu D-Max is built on the Dynamic Drive Platform iteration of the body-on-frame chassis offering improved rigidity, crash protection, driving stability and reduced NVH levels. The engine intake assembly has been raised, enabling an increased wading depth from 600 mm to 800 mm. Further improvements include a 30 mm increase in wheelbase, rear doors that now open wider, 20 mm more shoulder room for rear occupants, larger brakes and revised suspension geometry. For off-roading, its under-body now comes with a 1.5 mm-thick steel skid plate, with an additional 6 mm steel sump guard for the engine and gearbox. Ground clearance is ample 240 mm when fitted with 18-inch wheels.
The flagship X-Terrain variants also comes fitted with ADAS suite including forward collision warning, autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control with stop and go functionality, auto high beam, lane departure warning, pedal misapplication mitigation, and turn assist.
Related: Isuzu D-MAX Outsold Toyota Hilux in Thailand Becoming Highest Selling Pickup Truck of 2020
The third-gen D-Max has been doing wonders for Isuzu in almost every market where it has been offered so far. It was also crowned as the bestselling pickup truck in Thailand beating the Toyota Hilux Revo by a huge margin. However in Pakistan the second generation model continues to suffer from low sales while losing its market share from 15% to just 3% against the Toyota Hilux. Do you think the company should consider introducing the third-generation model to better position itself against the Hilux? Let us know with your comments.
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