For many Filipinos, Isuzu has been synonymous with pickups for decades. It currently retails the D-Max line in the local market, ranging from the standard utility versions to more lifestyle-oriented models such as the LS-A and the Boondock.
Isuzu D-Max: Tough Enough for Anything
In the U.K., however, the automaker offers a trio of Isuzu D-Max variants that can more than hold their own when going off the beaten path. We’ll come out and say it: they look every bit as good under our tropical sun as they do under gloomy British weather.
The D-Max XTR is a brawny off-road machine
First is the XTR, designed as an off-road model. It sports generous amounts of black body cladding in what Isuzu calls Raptor coating.
The fascia has been redesigned for a more aggressive look, with a bumper guard, hood protector and headlight frames. This Isuzu D-Max features prominent XTR badging, right down to the satin black 17-inch alloys.
Side steps with integrated drainage protect the bodywork from stones and rocks
The XTR wears Pirelli Scorpion All Terrain Plus tires and rides on bespoke Pedders suspension, which includes Kevlar ceramic front brake pads biting down on slotted discs. Angular side steps and a generous 250-mm ground clearance complete the XTR’s stance.
Inside, up to five occupants can settle down on seats finished in leather, suede, and carbon fiber. Drivers take command of a flat-bottomed leather sports steering wheel. In-car entertainment is handled by a 7-inch touchscreen head unit with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and available navigation.
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A sporty flat-bottomed steering wheel welcomes you in the driver's seat
There’s also the AT35, a collaboration between Isuzu and Arctic Trucks, a 4WD engineering company specializing in cold-weather vehicles. The rig sports large wheel arches and extended side steps, with a tubular bull bar attached to the cargo bed and prominent AT35 badging.
The variant comes with 17-inch alloy wheels wrapped in Nokian Rotiiva All-Terrain rubbers, and a Bilstein suspension set up gives it an even more extreme 290-mm ground clearance.
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The AT35 was engineered to set colder environments on fire
Seats for five are draped in bespoke leather, matched with Arctic Trucks stitching on the headrests. A 9-inch multifunction touchscreen dominates the dashboard, featuring Bluetooth connectivity and satellite navigation. Automatic climate control and wireless charging round up the convenience features.
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Interior amenities include leather seats and a large 9-inch touchscreen head unit
But perhaps the most extreme one so far comes in the form of the D-Max GO2 (go-to), so named because Isuzu is marketing it as a truck that can go to places where other pickups fear to tread.
The GO2 uses a registered D-Max Utah double cab variant as the base, to which aftermarket parts have been added such as an ARB front bumper and a Britpart Pulling Power winch.
A full underguard kit for the engine, transmission, and rear differential has also been installed, as well as a Safari snorkel replacing the stock air intake for increased wading depth.
The GO2 is a D-Max Utah variant fitted with aftermarket parts
The rig rides on Pedders TrakRyder eXtreme adjustable front coilovers and rear shock absorbers, incorporating a lockable rear differential. Stock 18-inch wheels have been replaced by 16-inch alloys wearing 33-inch General Grabber X3 Mud Terrain tires for serious forays into wet, muddy, or rocky wastelands.
Heavy-duty upholstery figures prominently in the GO2’s cabin, with rubber floor trays that catch dirt, mud, and snow to keep the interior clean. It also has automatic airconditioning and a 7-inch touchscreen featuring smartphone integration connected to an 8-speaker setup, and USB ports for the front and rear.
Venturing forth to places where other trucks dare not go
The common power unit is Isuzu’s 1.9L RZ4E turbodiesel four-banger that generates 164 hp and 360 Nm of torque, mated to either a 6-speed manual or automatic gearbox. Shift-on-the-fly 4WD is standard across all variants, as well as antilock brakes, electronic stability control, hill descent control, and 6 airbags.
The AT35 starts at £33,184 (Php 2,090,901.40) for the double cab manual, reaching £35,180 (Php 2,216,668) for the automatic with navigation.
The XTR has a basic retail price of £39,180 (Php 2,468,705.31) for the double cab stick version and £40,180 (Php 2,531,665.96) for its slushbox equivalent.
Meanwhile, the GO2 is an aftermarket demonstration of the D-Max’s customization options, which aims to inspire D-Max owners on how they can come up with their own purpose-built trucks.
Is there any chance we can get our hands on them, Isuzu Philippines?
Know more about Isuzu D-Max
Isuzu Philippines offers the Isuzu D-Max as its entry in the midsize pickup truck segment. This tough workhorse from the Japanese carmaker is designed to take on any road. Isuzu D-Max got the reliability of its predecessors and the Fuego. However, the current pickup truck is equipped with more modern features that perfectly fit the Filipino lifestyle. Additionally, Isuzu D-max also has a remarkable rear bed size that can carry a multitude of heavy and large items. The Isuzu pickup truck can also be optioned with a set of accessories such as camper shells, bed covers, and many more. Isuzu D-Max also comes in a commercial vehicle layout. It can also be configured as the cab and chassis variant. This configuration can be had with an enclosed van type rear end, passenger layout, bed, or other job-specific configuration. Isuzu Philippines offers the second-generation D-Max with a couple of engine and transmission options. The first option is a 1.9L turbo diesel that produces 148 horsepower and 350 Nm of torque. For car buyers who are looking for more power, they can opt for the bigger mill, which is the 3.0L engine that pumps out 174 horsepower and 380 Nm of torque. These two engines are equipped with the brand’s BluePower technology for Euro 4 compliance and better fuel efficiency. Both engines can be paired with either six-speed automatic or six-speed manual transmission.
Joseph Paolo Estabillo