Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Isuzu D-Max Facelift 2.5 & 3.0

Due to the war heating up in the pick-up truck segment, Isuzu’s D-Max has undergone a facelift for 2007. The tough pick-up now sports a refreshed frontal visage plus some sheet metal changes. Interestingly, this is the third ‘nip-and-tuck’ since its introduction in Malaysia.

Striking changes this time around are sharper looking headlamp which utilises an ellipsoidal projector lens (3.0L D-Max only) and bolder-flared wheel arches. The new headlamps is claimed to be 14% brighter than regular multi-reflector items. At the front, the grille cowling and bumper appears more unitary and integrated as a whole, rendering a cleaner, more aerodynamic frontal profile. The bottom smooth-surfaced steel sump acts as a wind deflector, while protecting the oil sump and other mechanical parts. The rear has a redesigned bumper as well as tail lights incorporating clear lenses now.

Apart from the projector headlamps, another first-in-class for the new D-Max is the electroluminescent (EL) meter panel (3.0L version only), which also provides trip information and outside temperature. Another first in the truck segment is its keyless-entry feature plus key-encoded immobiliser for additional security against vehicle theft.

The facelifted D-Max’s 3.0L engine now has what Isuzu called “i-TEQ Super Commonrail” fuel system. Coded 4JJ1-TC, this long-stroke engine replaces the previous 4JH1-TC unit. The new engine has an identical displacement of 2999cc but features a new DOHC 16-valve aluminium cylinder head for improved breathing and hence better combustion efficiency. The twin camshafts are chain and gear-driven for a lifetime of maintenance-free operation and the cams themselves drive roller rockers for quieter and smoother operations. Power of the engine is a respectable 100 kW/136ps at 3400rpm, 4.2% higher than the old engine. Torque figures remain the same with 280Nm for the manual versions and 294 Nm for the automatic but the manner in which the engine peaks is what makes the new engine stands apart. Maximum torque is available between 1200rpm and 3400 rpm for the manual version and 1400rpm and 3000rpm for the automatic version, so driveability is always good with appreciable low to mid-range torque always on tap. Despite this, the new 3.0L commonrail turbo diesel is claimed to be 19% more fuel efficient than the old powerplant.

The 2.5-litre 4JA1-L engine however, remains unchanged from before and is offered only as a 4x2 with manual transmission. This variant is targeted at outdoor entrepreneurs who want nothing more than a dependable, durable and low maintenance workhorse.

The 2007 D-Max also comes equipped with larger front disc brake calipers – 45.5mm now from 42.8mm before. Such upsizing of calipers enable shorter braking distances and also better pedal feel. The brake servo is also bigger now, at 9 inches in diameter to increase braking force. The 3.0L version is fitted with ABS and Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD) for added braking stability, whatever the load. A limited-slip differential (LSD) is standard on all 4WD variants for greater stability and control in slippery conditions.

The facelifted 2007 D-Max is available in a choice of five colours: Starry Black Mica, Angelic White Solid, Mercury Silver, Eclipse Blue and Gamma Grey.

Prices of the new D-Max (OTR inclusive of insurance, for Peninsula Malaysia) are as follows:

2.5 Manual 4X2: RM71,475.30
3.0 Manual 4X4: RM89,776.30
3.0 Auto 4X4: RM96,758.30

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