THE QUIET ACHIEVER

ISUZU D-MAX

LARGELY UNNOTICED IN THE TOP TEN, THE ISUZU D-MAXíS SALES CONTINUE TO GROW STRONGLY.

2015íS MOST POPULAR 4X4S

Isuzu Ute Australia sold 1022 more D-Max 4x4s in 2015 than in 2014. That still ranks it number eight on the list of the top-ten best-selling 4x4s Ė which is where it ranked in 2014. This is nevertheless a 10 per cent jump in sales, but in a highly competitive market that saw the arrival of no fewer than five new or facelifted utes in 2015, the D-Maxís sales are still impressive, given the D-Max remains unchanged.

What is even more remarkable is the fact that Isuzu Ute Australia was only established in 2008, so the brand has come a long way in a very short time. Of course, Isuzu utes have been sold in Australia for a long time, but they were hidden behind Holden badges, a fact that seems to escape many people.

This generation D-Max arrived here in 2012 and has remained largely unchanged in the intervening period, save for upgrades to safety and towing ratings. The ladder chassis and body shell of this D-Max is essentially a GM design and is shared with the current Colorado, but the D-Max has its own engine, gearbox(s), rear axle, suspension tune, external body panels and interior fitout.

The D-Maxís 3.0-litre diesel is a revised version of what was used in the previous-generation D-Max and Colorado, and in the last of the Holden Rodeos. Consequently, it is a wellproven unit. Likewise, the D-Maxís five-speed automatic gearbox has a proven track record, as itís essentially the same gearbox that was used in the Toyota Prado up until recently; it was also used in the original petrol 200 Series.

The fact that the D-Maxís powertrain is so well-proven is its real strength and thatís what makes it a good ownership proposition even though many competitor utes have more advanced designs. The D-Max is also sharply priced right across the range and the top-end models are especially well equipped for the asking price.