The Honest Workhorse – Isuzu D-Max 1.9L AT Premium

What is a workhorse? According to Cambridge dictionary, a workhorse is a machine that operates without failing for long periods, although it might not be very interesting or exciting. The Isuzu D-Max one of the vehicle that will be classified as a workhorse due to its dependability as a vehicle to carry out day to day task without failing.

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Recently, we were given the chance to try out the latest Isuzu D-Max 1.9L AT Premium, and since it was the 1st Pick-up truck that we’re reviewing which makes me excited about testing it out. Let’s find out, what’s new and what’s not on this new Isuzu D-Max 1.9L AT Premium.

The updated Isuzu D-Max requires trained eyes to spot the updates on the exterior. There are now newly redesign bi-LED headlight with LED daytime running light, and LED taillights. Another additional update on the exterior is that the wing mirrors can now be folded automatically. The last update on the exterior is the new 255/60 R18 rims and tyres that helps boost the image of the new Isuzu D-Max.

The interior of the updated D-Max also reflect the workhorse theme, plenty of hard plastics that are lined around the interior that just tells you that it will last a lifetime. The leather wrapped steering wheel and half-leather, half-fabric seats did manage to make the interior looks more upmarket. The overall layout and design within the cabin of the Isuzu D-Max didn’t change much from the pre-facelift model.

To keep the driver and occupants entertained, Isuzu have now fitted the new D-Max with an 8” multimedia head unit that comes with Bluetooth and can play a wide variety of music file type. The music from the head unit is pumped into cabin through an 8 speakers setup which sound decent enough but a little lacking in the bass department. One unique feature about the speaker setup is that Isuzu manage to mount 2 tweeters on to the roof to give better surround sound.

Seating at the front seat of the D-Max, you’ll be reminded that you’re driving a pickup truck. The seating position is quite tall. The front seats are comfortable enough to travel long distance in, but it lacks thigh support for bigger size person.

Rear seats of the D-Max are the typical pickup truck rear seats, pretty upright and not much support. Surprisingly, there are still 2 ISOFIX points to keep your little ones safe when you’re driving. At this point, the boot space will be mentioned, as this is a pickup truck, you do get a huge uncovered cargo space. In order to enhance the usability of the rear cargo bay, Isuzu is allowing customers to opt for a sliding cargo tray and tailgate assist to help in loading and unloading stuff.

On the safety front, the updated Isuzu D-Max comes with 2 airbags (which is a minimal requirement), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA), Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Traction Control System (TCS), Hill Start Assist (HSA), and lastly, Hill Descent Control (HDC).

The highlight of the updated Isuzu D-Max is the new 1.9L inline 4 diesel engine that pushes out 150PS at 3,600rpm and 350Nm at 1,800-2,600rpm. The 1.9L engine is a very frugal engine and decently powerful. Plenty of R&D money have been invested by Isuzu into the 1.9L diesel engine to ensure the engine will be able to operate with Malaysia’s EURO 2M diesel. The downside about running on lesser quality diesel is that the engine gets a little rough when being rev hard.

In order to transmit the power to the ground, the 1.9L engine is mated to a 6 speed automatic transmission. The gear change of the transmission is fairly smooth with this 6 speed transmission. The 1st gear in the transmission can feel a little on the tall side, but it was design to help the truck to move along when fully loaded in the rear.

Being a truck, you can’t really expect too much on the handling department. The suspension that is fitted to the D-Max is a common suspension setup you can find on any pickup trucks on the market, which is double wishbone upfront and leaf spring at the rear. It can get a little bouncy at the back when there are no loads, but it’s quite acceptable since it’s a workhorse and a pickup truck.

The steering system in the Isuzu D-Max even though is a rack and pinion kind of steering wheel, but the steering ratio is considered on the taller side. When going into corners, you might need to put in more steering angle to ensure you are able to stay in your line. The front disc rear drums brake setup gives enough braking performance to slow down this heavy pickup truck. The diesel clatter from the Isuzu D-Max is quite muted when you’re inside the truck and you’re not gunning it.

The new Isuzu D-Max is one of the trucks that I wouldn’t mind having it as a daily driver because it’s a very frugal, yet it’s still a decently powerful vehicle. It might not have the refinement of its competitor, but it’s still good enough to allow you to drive around hassle free since it was built as a workhorse. At an attractive pricing of RM 115,799.20, you do get 5 years or 150,000km whichever comes first warranty coverage. On top of the regular, Titan Silver, Silky White Pearl, and Stallion Black colours to choose from, now you can get the new Isuzu D-Max with Red Spinel and Sapphire Blue these 2 new colours.

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