All-New 2020 Isuzu D-Max Unveiled In Thailand With Better Looks, More Tech, Improved Drivability

Better looks, more tech, improved driveability.

Eight years since this generation of the Isuzu D-Max went on sale globally, Isuzu has now revealed the all-new D-Max. Redesigned from the ground up, the D-Max now has an improved design, better driving dynamics, and more technology.

2020 Isuzu D-Max Exterior

2020 Isuzu D-Max Exterior

The all-new D-Max looks much more aggressive than its predecessor. Its front is characterized by a large grille with fang-like chrome or gloss black bars depending on the variant, which is then flanked by slimmer bi-LED headlights with U-shaped LED daytime running lights. Lower variants get a smaller grille and less fancy exterior embellishments. Isuzu says its wedge-shaped profile has been wind tunnel tested at Japan Railways’ (JR) Technical Research Institute. Meanwhile, the side profile now features a character line that runs from the front wheel arch all the way to the rear LED taillights. Isuzu has also adopted some clever design details and features, such as walk away auto lock, remote engine start, and automatic wipers with integrated washers, similar to what the all-new Mazda 3 and Mercedes-Benz’s Magic Vision Control uses.

Underneath that aggressively-designed body is an all-new Isuzu Dynamic Driver Platform. The new body-on-frame construction features an expanded cross-section, improved impact absorption and optimized crossmembers, resulting in a lighter and stiffer frame than before. The usual body mounts have been replaced by shear mounts to improve drivability and reduce NVH levels. The body itself now features more high-tensile steel than before–from 30% to 46%. The increased rigidity has also enabled Isuzu to lengthen the pick-up’s bed. The front double wishbone and rear leaf spring suspension have also been upgraded for better ride comfort and durability.

2020 Isuzu D-Max Interior

2020 Isuzu D-Max Interior

Changes are even more apparent inside. Whereas the outgoing model had a rather plain interior design, with only the circular climate controls being the interesting design cue, the all-new D-Max adopts an angular, hexagonal approach. Quality has also been improved through the use of more premium plastics as well as a stitched upper dash. Front and center is a 9-inch touch screen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There’s also an 8-speaker sound system and a new instrument cluster with a color multi-information display. Lower variants, meanwhile, will still feature a simpler interior design meant for fleets.

Under the hood of the Isuzu D-Max is a new 3.0-liter 4JJ3-TCX BluePower diesel engine that now produces 190 hp and 450 Nm of torque, an increase of 13 hp and 70 Nm over the outgoing 4JJ1-TCX. This is thanks to numerous improvements such as a reshaped combustion chamber, higher-pressure injectors, carbon coating on the piston pints, among others. The 1.9-liter RZ4E-TC engine remains unchanged, still producing 150 hp and 350 Nm of torque, though Isuzu says this engine accelerates faster thanks to optimized gear rations and control systems. Power is sent through the rear or all four wheels via a 6-speed manual or automatic transmission.

Isuzu has also upgraded the safety features of the D-Max. Higher variants of the D-Max now get blind spot warning with rear cross-traffic alert for the first time, though other advanced safety features such as lane departure warning, automatic emergency braking, and adaptive cruise control are still not offered. Isuzu says that the D-Max’s new architecture has been designed in a way that the D-Max can be adapted to future connected, autonomous, and even electrified technologies.

The all-new Isuzu D-Max will go on sale on October 19, 2019, in Thailand first with the rest of the ASEAN region to follow shortly.

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