2021 Isuzu D-Max LS-E Review | Philkotse Philippines

Updated May 28, 2021

Editor's: 4.0/5
A refined workhorse truck, and more.
2021 Isuzu D-Max LS-E Review | Philkotse Philippines

In this review...

  1. Introduction
  2. Exterior
  3. Interior
  4. Tech & Safety
  5. Engine & Performance
  6. Fuel Efficiency
  7. Verdict
  8. Variants & Price
  9. Color Options
  10. Specs

2021 Isuzu D-Max LS-E Philippines: Introduction

Pickup trucks are now designed differently. Gone were the days when pickup trucks were solely used for utilitarian purposes. It has now become more of a lifestyle vehicle, and the departure of having a spartan-like design allowed the pickup truck to have a wider target market. 

 

The pickup truck segment in the Philippines is one of the tightly contested vehicle categories. Joining the pickup truck battle royale is Isuzu Philippines with the launch of the all-new 2021 D-Max. So, what can you expect with the 2021 Isuzu D-Max? Does it have what it takes to leap into new heights? You’ll know the answer to that in this 2021 Isuzu D-Max Philkotse car review. Of note, the D-Max featured in this review is the top-of-the-line LS-E variant.

4.0/5

Isuzu D-Max 2021 Review

How we do our reviews
  • aesthetics
    4.50/5

    Overall exterior & Interior design, build quality, form vs function

  • Safety & Technology
    4.50/5

    Number of safety & tech features, consistency during usage

  • Performance
    4.0/5

    Power delivery, acceleration, transmission, suspension, handling

  • Comfort & Practicality
    3.50/5

    Overall Ride Comfort, Space, Storage Areas

  • Value for Money
    4.0/5

    Sticker price vs overall package

2021 Isuzu D-Max LS-E Exterior Review: Sharper than ever

The 2021 Isuzu D-Max now comes with a more aggressive and bolder appeal. Isuzu Philippines’ pickup looks better and more composed as compared to the outgoing model. The design of the grille is revamped, complementing the overall design of the vehicle. You also can’t help but notice the D-Max’s restyled bumper, which now comes with an angular design.

A picture of the 2021 Isuzu D-Max LS-E parked near some trees

The 2021 Isuzu D-Max LS-E

The top-spec LS-E variant is integrated with LED headlights, LED U-shaped daytime running lights, and LED fog lamps, making it stand out from the rest of the D-Max’s variant range. Of note, the D-Max LS (top-spec variant with manual transmission) also comes with the said set of LEDs. Overall, the D-Max’s new front end is better as compared to the old model.

A picture of the 2021 Isuzu D-Max from the side

The 2021 Isuzu D-Max from the side

The prominent fender flares in dark grey give the D-Max the right amount of muscle, with a dark grey accent on the over fenders that go well with the orange exterior paint. However, I think that it will stand out more if it comes with white exterior paint. Another design overhaul seen on the 2021 D-Max is the restyled roof rail design, which now looks more seamless and can carry up to 100 kg of cargo. 

>>> Related: ISUZU SPORTIVO 2016 FOR SALE

I also like the character lines seen on the D-Max’s side profile since it gives the truck a crisp look while providing the right amount of swag. The all-new truck looks good when viewed from the side but I’m not a fan of its new wheel design. It’s as if Isuzu wanted to make the 18-inch alloy wheels look sporty and tough-looking but ended up having a wheel design that’s confused as to what persona it wanted to portray.

2021 Isuzu D-Max rear shot

Check out the Isuzu D-Max LS-E's rear end

The rear gets a subtle yet notable design change. It comes with a redesigned LED taillights that I find more distinctive and more modern. The tailgate, on the other hand, comes with sharp lines that give texture to the D-Max’s rear. As a whole, the exterior design of the 2021 D-Max looks great especially when you compare it to the outgoing model. 
 

YOU MAY WANT TO READ

Ford Ranger Raptor

Ford Ranger Raptor

₱ 1,998,000

Maxus T60

Maxus T60

₱ 998,000 – 1,328,000

Chevrolet Colorado

Chevrolet Colorado

₱ 1,199,888 – 1,638,888

2021 Isuzu D-Max LS-E Interior Review: Total transformation

The interior of the all-new Isuzu D-Max features a total design overhaul that’s now at par with the cabin layout of its segment rivals such as the Ford Ranger Wildtrak and the Nissan Navara. The cabin looks significantly different from the old model, and it makes you feel that you’re not sitting inside a D-Max. Isuzu left the spartan-like interior of the D-Max and shifted gears by giving its pickup truck a more premium-looking cabin. 

A picture of the D-Max LS-E's dashboard

The 2021 Isuzu D-Max LS-E features a lot of soft-touch surfaces

The 2021 Isuzu D-Max has a two-tone interior theme of black and dark brown along with piano black trims. I specifically prefer the dark brown accent on the D-Max as it gives the cabin a classy and sedan-like look. The top-spec D-Max LS-E variant also comes with leather seats in dark brown finish. Speaking of which, the driver’s seat has an electronic power adjustment and comes with side bolsters that keep you in place while you drive.

A picture of the D-Max LS-E's steering wheel

The steering-wheel received a new design as well

Another thing that surprised me is the D-Max’s new steering wheel design. It looks more appealing and sleek as compared to the old version. If you’ve driven or owned a previous generation D-Max, the new model’s steering wheel design will surely put a smile on your face. You’ll also appreciate how the door panels are accentuated with tapered lines, which add texture to the rather bland panel. The black roof lining, on the other hand, makes the cabin look more compact and premium at the same time.     

The instrument cluster is also tweaked, and it now looks better and goes well into the overall vibe of the 2021 Isuzu D-Max’s interior. It has a 4.2-inch digital display in the middle that gives you essential vehicle information such as average fuel consumption. Placed right at the center of the dashboard is a 10.1-inch infotainment touchscreen, a feature that completes the transformation of the D-Max interior.  

A picture of the D-Max LS-E's rear seats

The D-Max LS-E's rear seats. Note the rear AC vents

Rear passengers will be accommodated with a bench-type seat, an expected feature in every pickup truck. The rear bench seats also come in leather, and up to three individuals can board in the back with enough leg- and head-room. The rear seats are also slightly reclined, which gives passengers a more comfortable ride. The new D-Max features rear aircon vents that have a USB port. The rear also features grab handles for easier ingress and egress.

A picture of the D-Max LS-E's bedliner

The LS-E comes with a bedliner

The cargo bed of the all-new D-Max gives you versatility in case you need to use it for hauling items. Isuzu Philippines didn’t release the exact payload capacity of the next-generation model but, based on specs from other markets, the D-Max has a maximum payload capacity of 1,120 kg. Of note, almost all variants of the 2021 Isuzu D-Max come standard with a bedliner.  The base variant LT doesn’t come with a bedliner.

2021 Isuzu D-Max LS-E: Tech & Safety Review

The top-spec 2021 Isuzu D-Max LS-E is equipped with several tech and safety features, a huge leap as compared to the outgoing model. The 10.1-inch infotainment touchscreen already comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, a feature that gives you seamless smartphone integration. You can easily play your go-to soundtrack in Spotify and listen to your favorite songs through this truck’s eight-speaker surround system. Yes. Eight.

A picture of the D-Max LS-E's touchscreen

Using the LS-E's touchscreen is a breeze

Another thing to note is that the 2021 Isuzu D-Max comes with an Advanced Driver Assist System (ADAS), comes with the same features integrated to Subaru’s EyeSight tech. Through the D-Max’s twin-camera system, ADAS comes with features such as forward collision warning, autonomous emergency brake, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, blind-spot monitoring, among others. ADAS is like your extra set of eyes while driving, which gives you a safer journey. ADAS can also be described as having your parents on board with you as it gives warning sounds or alerts to you while driving.

The rear view camera's got decent resolution too

Aside from ADAS, the top-spec Isuzu D-Max has seven airbags, an anti-lock braking system, electronic brakeforce distribution, brake assist, electronic stability control, traction control, hill start assist, and hill descent control. Obviously, it is a well-equipped pickup truck, and Isuzu didn’t hold back when it comes to making it a safe vehicle. As a result, the 2021 D-Max managed to get a five-star safety rating from the New Car Assessment Program for Southeast Asian Countries (ASEAN NCAP).

The top-spec 2021 Isuzu D-Max LS-E doesn’t come with a differential lock, which is a significant feature in case you need to drive through difficult terrain. But the LS variant, the top-spec trim with a manual transmission, comes with this off-roading essential.

In addition, the all-new Isuzu D-Max has a ground clearance of 240 mm, and a water wading depth of 800 mm. The third-generation D-Max is indeed a capable pickup truck.
 

2021 Isuzu D-Max LS-E: Engine & Performance Review

Isuzu wanted the 2021 D-Max to be a pickup truck contender that could challenge its segment rivals. To do that, the D-Max’s 3.0-liter turbodiesel engine has been tuned to deliver a better power output rating. The Isuzu pickup truck can now generate 188 hp and 450 Nm of torque, figures that are at par with its segment rivals. The engine is connected to a six-speed automatic transmission. 

A picture of the D-Max LS-E's engine

The D-Max LS-E's 3.0-liter inline-4 turbodiesel mill

In terms of driving performance, the 2021 Isuzu D-Max didn’t disappoint. In fact, I was a bit surprised at how it drove as compared to the outgoing model. The first thing I noticed was the D-Max’s improved steering feel that’s now lighter than ever. You can easily steer the vehicle with minimal effort, which is good for maneuverability considering that the D-Max is a pickup truck. It also has better steering feedback that came in handy when I was driving around the city. The improved steering feel of the new D-Max reduced driver fatigue and made parking more manageable. 

A picture of the Front of the D-Max LS-E

Another view of the D-Max LS-E's front end

On the other hand, the 3.0-liter diesel engine delivered adequate power and shifted early at 2,000 rpm or a bit above it. This was something to note especially for individuals who want to have a fuel-efficient drive. The transmission was also smooth with minimal to no shift shock at all, which gave me a good driving experience. 

Of note, you can hear a bit of engine noise when the engine is shifting at low gears especially from first going to the second gear. This is not a problem for me since I prefer to hear the diesel engine grunt when driving.

On the open highway, overtaking can be done with confidence since the D-Max came with notable power delivery. It has a good throttle response, and power kicked in relatively on point which allowed me to overtake slower vehicles in the expressway. The steering wheel also got firm when I started to gain speed, giving me better control of the vehicle. 

2021 Isuzu D-Max rear

Another view of the D-Max LS-E's rear end

The thing that surprised me the most was the D-Max’s relative refinement. It now has a more stable ride and could absorb road impacts better as compared to the old version. Yes, the suspension still leans on the firm side which is expected for a pickup truck. But, the tweaked suspension made the ride smoother and significantly gave me a more pleasant drive.
 

2021 Isuzu D-Max LS-E Philippines: Fuel Efficiency

In terms of fuel economy, I was able to get 10.5 km/l while driving at an average speed of 20 km/h. On the open highway, the D-Max registered 14 km/l while driving at an average speed of 90 km/h.  
 

2021 Isuzu D-Max LS-E Philippines: Verdict

The 2021 Isuzu D-Max is a refined workhorse pickup truck that could make it a contender in its segment. It has a bolder and more composed exterior design, which is way better-looking than the outgoing model. It’s now equipped with a retuned diesel engine that generates power figures at par with its competitors. Yes, you can say that other pickup trucks in the local market come with a higher output rating, but you can clearly see that Isuzu did its homework to make the D-Max a more serious challenger in the tightly contested midsize pickup truck segment. 

A picture of the D-max LS-E

It's not just a work truck, that's for sure

The thing I like most about the 2021 Isuzu D-Max LS-E variant is its interior. The layout is a huge leap as compared to the previous version and can no longer be considered spartan-like. In fact, I dare conclude that the new D-Max’s cabin is one of the best in its class. More importantly, this Isuzu pickup truck is also packed with safety features thanks to its Advanced Driver Assist System (ADAS), which allowed it to have a five-star safety rating from the ASEAN NCAP

In terms of pricing, the 2021 Isuzu D-Max LS-E is priced at Php 1,825,000, which is Php 25,000 lower than the top-of-the-line Toyota Hilux. On the other hand, the D-Max is priced higher (Php 97,000) than the Ford Ranger Wildtrak. Considering the price, the Isuzu D-Max is relatively loaded with more features as compared to the Toyota Hilux despite having a lower price tag. But the Ford Ranger Wildtrak has similar features as compared to the D-Max. 

To put things in perspective, the 2021 Isuzu D-Max is the only all-new model among the recently launched pickup trucks in the Philippine market this year. As such, the D-Max is indeed a formidable contender in the local market.       

Visit Philkotse.com for more car reviews. 

2021 Isuzu D-Max: Variants & Price

Isuzu D-Max Price & Variants in the Philippines

Isuzu D-Max LS-E 3.0 4x4 AT

Php 1,825,000

Isuzu D-Max LS 3.0 4x4 MT

Php 1,630,000

Isuzu D-Max LS-A 3.0 4x2 AT

Php 1,390,000

Isuzu D-Max 3.0 LS 4x2 MT

Php 1,320,000

Isuzu D-Max RZ4E 1.9 LS 4x2 AT

Php 1,309,000

Isuzu D-Max LT 3.0 4x4 MT

Php 1,288,000

Isuzu D-Max RZ4E 1.9 LS 4x2 MT

Php 1,219,000

Isuzu D-Max LT 1.9 4x2 MT

Php 987,000

Isuzu D-Max 1.9 4x2 Single Cab MT

Php 857,000

2021 Isuzu D-Max: Color Options

2021 Isuzu D-Max Color Options

Valencia Orange, Sapphire Blue, Red Spinel, Mercury Silver, Galena Gray, Onyx Black, Splash White

2021 Isuzu D-Max: Specs

Overall

Make

Isuzu

Name

D-Max LS-E

Body Type

Midsize Pickup Truck

Dimensions & Weight

Lenght

5,277 mm

Width

1,880 mm

Height

1,810 mm

Wheelbase

3,125 mm

Engine & Transmission

Type

3.0-liter Turbodiesel

Fuel Type

Diesel

Displacement

2,999 cc

Turbo

With Intercooler

Transmission

6-speed AT

Drivetrain

4WD

Horsepower

188 hp @ 3,600 rpm

Torque

450 Nm @ 1,600-2,600 rpm

4WD Controls

Equipped

Suspension

Front

Double Wishbone

Rear

Leaf Spring

Brakes

Parking Brake

Manual (Hand)

Front

Ventilated Disc

Rear

Drum

Anti-lock Braking System

With

Electronic Brake-force Distribution

With

Capacities

Fuel Tank

76L

Wheels

18-inch Alloy

Exterior

Headlamps

Bi-LED Projector

Taillignts

LED

Daytime Running Lights

With

Foglamps

LED

Radiator Grille

Gun Metallic

Power Side Mirros

With (Auto Fold)

Door handles

Dark gray metallic

Roof Rail

With

Bedliner

With

Over fender

With

Interior

Infotainment Touchscreen

10.1-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

Speakers

8

Navigation System

With

Seat Material

Leather

Steering Wheel

Leather

Aircon

Dual Zone

USB Port

Equipped

12V Accessory

Equipped

Rear View Mirror

Auto Dimming

Safety & Technology

Airbags

7

Brake Override System

With

Anti-lock Braking System

With

Electronic Brake-force Distribution

With

Brake Assist

With

Electronic Stability Control

With

Traction Control

With

Hill Start Assist

With

Hill Descent Control

With

Forward collision warning

With

Autonomous emergency brake

With

Turn assist

With

Mis-application mitigation

With

Adaptive cruise control

With

Manual speed limiter

With

Automatic high beam

With

Lane departure warning

With

Blind spot monitoring

With

Rear cross traffic alert

With

Parking aid front

With

Parking aid rear

With

Multi-collision brake system

With

Martin Aguilar

Martin Aguilar

Author

Martin is the Content Editor of Philkotse. His love for cars first started when he got a remote-controlled toy as a birthday present. Then, Martin’s interest in cars was further developed through his family’s humble collection of Japanese cars.

Martin started his writing career as an editorial assistant and writer for various magazines under ABS-CBN Publishing. Before joining Philkotse, Martin was a writer for Autoindustriya then shifted gears in 2017 to become the editor for AutoDeal.

Aside from his interest in cars, Martin loves to read crime-thriller novels, play basketball in the virtual world, eat tapsilog, and go for random road trip adventures.

View more

ALTERNATIVE REVIEWS TO THE 2021 Isuzu D-Max