Last night, Isuzu held the live reveal of the next generation D-Max pick-up truck in Bangkok, Thailand.
The all-new 2020 D-Max marks a huge leap forward for Isuzu's pick-up as the new truck features many upgrades never before seen in an Isuzu. The D-Max rides on a new, larger and 23% stiffer platform with a semi-midship layout; that means they moved the engine a bit further back for better weight distribution. The body uses a significant percentage of high-strength steel for better safety, among others.
There's a new 3.0-liter 4JJ3 turbodiesel engine which will be the top-spec engine along with the 1.9L RZ4E. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, automatic start stop, and many other new features can be found in the new truck. But perhaps the most important improvement is that the high ride height variants can wade through water up to 800mm deep, which is 200mm more than the 600mm rating of the previous model.
Being that the D-Max is made in Asia's pick-up capital, Thailand, we expected there to be a lot of variants for their market, and we wanted to make sense of the huge variety that they have. We just didn't expect that there would be 34 distinct variants depending on body style, trim level, engine, ride height, and transmission type.
The Philippine market doesn't get anywhere near as many variants as the Thai-market, but perhaps it's best to break down what we could get by taking a look at the three principal body types for the D-Max: the Regular Cab, the Space Cab, and the Crew Cab.
2020 Isuzu D-Max Regular Cab
The Regular Cab is what many of us know to be the single cab variant: a 2-door pick-up truck intended for commercial use. It is a two seater model only, and given its commercial application, comes with largely unpainted exterior details like the front bumper, grille, door mirrors and door handles. The wheels are also steel, not alloys.
The Thai market will refer to this version as the Isuzu D-Max Spark. There are two ride heights available: the standard models will have a minimum ground clearance of 190mm, while the taller model for the 4x4 version has a 220mm minimum ground clearance. There will also be a Cab and Chassis version for customers that want to fit it with a body or bed or other specialized configuration.
Being a commercial grade variant with a single cab, the D-Max Spark will have the biggest bed amongst the 2020 D-Max models, measuring in at 2330mm long, 1590mm wide, and 465mm tall, though that does not factor in the wheel wells.
2020 Isuzu D-Max Extended Cab
The Space Cab and Hi-Lander variants are what many of us refer to as the extended cab versions. It's still a two-door model, but it has a provision for a small bench behind the driver and front passenger to allow for either extra passengers (albeit with little legroom) or for cargo (i.e. tools) that needs to be sheltered from the elements.
These two extended cab models have a slightly smaller bed compared to the single cab due to the larger cabin. The bed measures in at 1805mm long which is 525mm shorter compared to the single cab. The width is the same at 1530mm, though the height is better at 490mm or 25mm more than the single cab.
The cabin of the Space Cab is fairly close to the single cab models, but the Hi-Lander is the more upscale variant and features some of the upgrades found in the range-topping Crew Cab versions.
Depending on the specific variant, the ride height of the Space Cab varies from 190mm to 200mm. The Hi-Lander is quite interesting as the minimum ground clearance is either 235mm or 240mm, depending on specific variant.
2020 Isuzu D-Max Crew Cab
The Crew Cab version is what we refer to as double cab, meaning it has four doors so that it can perform the same duties as a 5-seater vehicle, as well as a pick-up truck. The Crew Cab models are spread out amongst the Cab 4, Hi-Lander 4, and V-Cross variants, with the V-Cross being the high grade models.
The Crew Cab variants will have the smallest beds of the range at 1495mm long which is 310mm shorter than the extended cab. Width is the same at 1530mm and height is also at 490mm.
Cab 4 variants have relatively low ride heights with a minimum clearance of 190mm or 200mm, depending on model. The Hi-Lander 4 can have either 235mm or 240mm minimum ground clearance, while the V-Cross 4x4 models will all be at 240mm. The Cab 4 and Hi-Lander 4 can be specced with either with the 1.9L RZ4E or 3.0L 4JJ3, but the V-Cross can only have the 3.0L 4JJ3. Transmission options to either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic that Isuzu calls Rev Tronic.
With the V-Cross being the top of the line variants for the D-Max, it comes with every feature in Isuzu's list such as 6 airbags, Blind Spot Monitoring, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, stability control, traction control, Bi-LEDs, and even a UV blocking windshield.
So what could the Philippines get?
First off, it is unlikely that the Philippine market will be getting the extended cab models; pick-ups here tend to be double cab, so that will comprise the bulk of Isuzu's variants for the D-Max. Locally, Isuzu only sells the single cab variant in cab and chassis form, so we could expect that as well in the future.
We expect the V-Cross models to be the range topping variants here, though Isuzu will likely rebrand them as LS-A, per the local model nomenclature. Lower grade variants could be called LS and LT as before.
As for model timing, it is likely that the new D-Max could be launched sometime next year as Isuzu Philippines no longer assembles the D-Max. All D-Max units are now CBU imports from Thailand as well.