It has been almost a year since Isuzu launched the all-new D-Max pickup in Thailand. Given the local demand for pick-ups in Thailand, it's unsurprising that their home market was prioritized and export markets have had to wait.
Now, if you’re highly anticipating its arrival in the country (just like us), then we have some good news. Isuzu has begun exporting the new D-Max to foreign markets this month.
According to a press release from Isuzu, exports of the new D-Max will begin with Australia before “proceeding sequentially to countries across the world”. Unfortunately, they did not specify a date as to when the pickup trucks will arrive in the Land Down Under. Instead, they did say that “after Australia, Isuzu will move forward to export the all-new D-Max to Europe, among others”.
Considering the Australia and Europe markets are being planned first per the announcement, it might take a while before the new D-Max arrives in the Philippines. One probable reason why Australia was first is that they have the steering wheel on the right; just like Thailand.
Isuzu did assemble the first and second-generation D-Max in the Philippines but ceased to do so when they could no longer justify the cost versus importing from Thailand. On average, assembling a vehicle in the Philippines incurs a handicap of about USD 1500 per unit (about PhP 75,000) versus importing the same from Thailand.
We had expected the Philippine market to get the D-Max fairly early because another reason that Isuzu Philippines executives cited for the cessation of the local assembly is to increase the speed when offering a new model. But that doesn't seem to be the case for the all-new model.
In review, the all-new Isuzu D-Max is longer, wider, and taller than the current-model sold locally. Styling-wise, the pickup looks a lot bolder thanks to the aggressive front end with a massive grille and slimmer headlights. Meanwhile, the interior has been completely redesigned with none of the round patterns to be found.
The Thailand-spec D-Max is available with two powertrains. The first is the 1.9-liter RZ4E introduced in 2017 featuring the same power figures of 150 PS and 350 Nm torque. The other is a 3.0-liter BluePower mill producing 190 PS and 450 Nm torque. Both engines can are available with either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic and is available in both 4x2 and 4x4 variants.