The pickup wars is on the uptake once more. After unveiling the 1.9-liter powered mu-X last March, Isuzu Philippines Corporation (IPC) has officially launched the 2018 D-Max RZ4E. Equipped with the same downsized turbo-diesel engine as the mu-X, the D-Max RZ4E aims to deliver power and efficiency in the midsize pickup segment.
Much like its PPV brother, the 2018 D-Max RZ4E now gets a fresher-looking exterior. Starting with the front, the pickup now has Bi-LED headlights that are complemented by reshaped LED light signatures. It also received updated foglight bezels that give the pickup a more sophisticated look. Finally, there's the redesigned front grill which highlights the D-Max's macho appearance.
Changes at the rear are minimal and only consist of new LED taillights, 'RZ4E BluePower' badges and the special 20th anniversary insignia. A fresh set of 16-inch alloy wheels, along with new exterior colors (Sapphire Blue and Galena Gray) round up the exterior changes on the 2018 D-Max RZ4E. LT models only get halogen headlights and bulb-type taillights.
Inside, the 2018 D-Max gets a slightly updated cabin which Isuzu claimed now delivers a more car-like look and feel. It also gets vibrantly-accented fabric seats that give the D-Max RZ4E a comfier seating for all occupants. Providing in-car entertainment is a 7-inch touchscreen display that supports AM/FM radio, USB, Aux, iPod and Bluetooth. Other stadard amenities in the 2018 D-Max RZ4E are manual air conditioning, USB charging ports for the front and rear, 12V power socket, new multi-info display and gauges, power folding side mirrors, and an array of storage bins and cubby holes.
From its namesake, the 2018 D-Max is now available with the 1.9-liter RZ4E CRDi four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine. It displaces 1898cc and generates 150 PS at 3600 rpm along with 350 Nm of torque at 1800 – 2600 rpm. Available transmission options for the D-Max include a six-speed manual with Gear Shift Indicator (GSI) and a six-speed automatic transmission with manual select. The RZ4E D-Max is only available as a 4x2 pickup.
Significant features in the RZ4E that aid in reducing emissions and delivering smoother operation include: Diamond-like Coated (DLC) piston pins, new fracture split design connecting rods and DLC fuel injector needles. Finally, the RZ4E also comes with a water-cooled variable geometry turbocharger system (VGS). According to Isuzu, this allows the 1.9-liter engine to deliver excellent throttle response at low rpms.
"The RZ4E is a new-generation diesel engine which has been the result of Isuzu's over 4 years of extensive research in BluePower diesel engine technology, and represents our first foray into the lower displacement but higher output engine technology that has become the trend in Europe and in Asia," said Hajime Koso, IPC President.
Standard safety features available on the 2018 D-Max RZ4E are the following: anti-lock brakes (ABS) with electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD) and brake assist (BA), a brake override system (BOS) and dual SRS front airbags. Other safety kit like hill-start assist (HSA), hill-descent control (HDC), traction control (TC) and electronic stability (ESP) are available on the 3.0-liter BluePower D-Max models.
Pricing of the 2018 Isuzu D-Max RZ4E are as follows:
D-Max RZ4E 4x2 LS M/T - Php 1,179,000
D-Max RZ4E 4x2 LS A/T - Php 1,249,000
Aside from the LS crew cab model, the 1.9-liter RZ4E engine is now also seeing use in the LT, Flexiqube and cab & chassis models.