Although the PR department at Isuzu Ute Australia doesn’t want to talk about it, the all-new 2020 Isuzu D-Max isn’t far away.
Third-generation Isuzu D-Max ditches utilitarian focus to ramp up technology, comfort.
I recently reviewed the 2019 Isuzu D-Max LS-T 4WD Dual Cab and I commented on the lack of ‘modern’ technology compared to market rivals. Well finally here’s a solution to my concerns.
It was recently launched in its home market of Thailand and if the video (shot in Victoria) is any indication, sales of Isuzu D-Max here in Australia will continue to be strong.
Here’s an industry comment from Go Auto.
My main role in the car business now is to help people buy new cars and to advocate for people who are struggling with issues against the manufacturer. Of course, once I’ve driven the new Isuzu D-Max, I’ll be all over it providing my review.
In the meantime, let me give you the full review and comment by Go Auto’s Haitham Razagui.
The all-new Isuzu D-Max marks a significant departure from the current model’s utilitarian style, with bold exterior styling and a hi-tech, almost luxurious interior.
A 9.0-inch central touchscreen featuring Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring dominates the overhauled interior along with digital controls for the dual-zone climate control and a much more sophisticated-looking multi-function steering wheel, behind which is a revised instrument cluster with a large full-colour trip computer display.
Families will welcome the presence of rear air-conditioning vents in dual-cab variants, the rear quarters of which are claimed to be now more comfortable and easier to access.
The D-Max’s class-leading cabin storage is carried over, with dual gloveboxes, a dash-top compartment and slide-out cupholders at each end of the fascia maintained. Isuzu claims a total drink-holder count of 10, including storage for 1.5-litre water bottles.
Blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert is available on the new D-Max, which also has six airbags, automatic bi-LED headlights quad LED tail-light clusters, rain-sensing wipers, all-round parking sensors and bigger 320mm front brake rotors but no mention yet of autonomous emergency braking (AEB) or lane-keep assist.
The windscreen has a coating that reduces harmful ultraviolet rays and cuts infrared radiation to reduce the amount of heat entering the cabin. Keyless entry and start is also offered, along with remote engine start.
A contrast-stitched leather-look finish has been applied to the dash top, door trims and central armrest, matching the upholstery of plush-looking new seats that include an “anti-vibration elastic comfort” foam that is designed to reduce occupant fatigue.
The new, more modern centre console mimics European passenger car design by flanking the gear selector with a metallic and piano-black panel with controls for parking sensors and other driving mode functions, while the rotary four-wheel-drive controller has moved to the central stack, Nissan Navara style. Isuzu says switching between 4×2 and the two 4×4 modes is now quicker and wading depth has been boosted from 600mm in the current model to 800mm. The engine has been located further back to improve weight distribution and the all-new chassis is said to be 23 per cent stiffer than that of the current D-Max.
However, the company only mention an automatic transmission in relation to the 1.9-litre engine and while the 3.0-litre engine appears to be initially manual-only, which could be why IUA is holding off making any announcements, along with the absence of safety systems such as AEB that are required for a five-star ANCAP safety rating.
As reported last year, Australia is Isuzu’s biggest export market for the D-Max and MU-X and
IUA executives have confirmed that Australian feedback will influence the specification of next-generation products.
The current 3.0-litre engine that was developed for Australia to comply with local Euro 5 emissions regulations in 2017 has been revamped for the all-new model, producing 140kW of power at 3600rpm (up 10kW) and 450Nm of torque between 1600 and 2600rpm (up from 430Nm between 2000 and 2200rpm). In addition to these improved outputs, Isuzu claims 300Nm is available from just 1000rpm and the upgraded engine is more fuel-efficient.
When it was introduced in February 2017, Isuzu executives confirmed to GoAuto that the 3.0-litre engine could be further enhanced to meet stricter Euro 6 standards if required.
Apart from its relatively heavy steering, the current D-Max is one of the easier one-tonne utes to park, but for the latest model, Isuzu has further increased the maximum turn angle of the front wheels to reduce its turning circle while also reducing steering effort and re-gearing the system to deliver “improved steering performance”.
In addition, the company has responded to criticism levelled at the current D-Max about the fixed reach of the steering column by including four-way movement in the new model along with eight-way driver’s seat adjustment.
Meanwhile, a new double-wishbone front suspension set-up with higher mounting points is claimed to improve stability in all conditions while long-span rear leaf springs manufactured with a “warm stress shot peeing” method are said to provide better durability and flexibility for a smoother ride.
Similarly, adopting shear mounts between the chassis and body – now 20 per cent stiffer and stronger due to the use of more high-tensile steel – is said to help reduce noise and vibration. Isuzu says corrosion resistance has also been improved. In 4×4 versions of the new D-Max, the tail shaft is a weight-saving one-piece aluminium unit and is hooked up to an electromagnetic locking differential.
A rear differential lock has been offered as a factory option in overseas markets such as South Africa for some time, with Isuzu Ute Australia preferring to rely on electronic traction control to get the job done in the dirt.
Externally, the headlight design of the new D-Max provides a clear link to the outgoing model, while the huge grille marks a significant departure for the Isuzu brand. The company also makes much of aerodynamic improvements to the redesigned D-Max, with underbody panelling and unique integrated rear bumper contributing to its newfound slipperiness.
As reported, the latest D-Max will share much with the next-generation Mazda BT-50 following the discontinuation of its long-standing co-development partnership with General Motors that spawned the first two D-Max models as well as the Holden Colorado and Rodeo utes, Trailblazer and Jackaroo SUVs and even the Piazza sportscar.
Similarly, a multi-decade collaboration between Mazda and Ford has come to an end, the latter teaming up with Volkswagen to develop its next generation of commercial vehicles.
The still-secret new-generation MU-X wagon version could go upmarket enough to spawn a rival to the LandCruiser Prado, with a Mazda-badged version also possible under the new co-development arrangement between the two Japanese brands.
Having launched here in June 2012 – almost simultaneously with the related Holden Colorado – the second-generation D-Max is among the oldest of Australia’s current crop of one-tonne utes, after the Volkswagen Amarok that arrived in February 2011 and Ford PX Ranger six months later.
Since then, the D-Max has become Australia’s second-most popular 4×2 ute after the Toyota HiLux and fifth most-popular 4×4 ute after the HiLux, Ranger, Mitsubishi Triton and Holden Colorado. The Isuzu MU-X is also far and away the nation’s best-selling ute-based SUV.
IUA sales were up 7.1 per cent in 2018 with 27,640 units recorded, missing its targeted decade of double-digit percentage growth. Its ambition of achieving 30,000 annual sales by 2020 is also in jeopardy as the volume is down 7.0 per cent so far this year with 18,521 sales to the end of September.
I’m Bob Aldons, the owner and founder of The Car Guy, and Car Business, reviewing cars, reporting on car industry matters, car tech, Formula 1, the motoring world at large and helping you to buy #anynewcarcheaper
I’ve spent the last forty-one years immersed in the automotive industry from salesman to the owner of a 7 brand multi-franchise dealership and since 2015, as a new car broker.
I know cars.
If you’re hunting around for a great price on your next new car, you should call me, the car buying expert, from Car Business.
My company, a Brisbane Car Broker, Car Buyers Agent or Car Buyers Advocate, will return your inquiry within 24 hours and make the process of buying a new car easy and stress-free.
Are you tired of salesperson tricks? I protect you from the pressure exerted by car dealer’s salespeople. There isn’t any obligation – just a pretty significant saving in terms of time, stress and financial reward.
You’re where? Seriously, my services are available for you in any Australian state and territory: from Darwin to Hobart, Cairns to Perth. Car Broker Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Hobart, and Darwin – I’m available when you need me to be.
Whether you’re a retail customer, a small company or a large national fleet, I’ll go to work and get that price down. Lower new car prices are my goal. So you’ll get the best prices from me rather than hoping you can do it by yourself.
If I can’t get you the best new car price, better than you can get yourself from a car dealer, I won’t charge you any fee. No Saving, No Fee. – that’s what you should expect from a car buying expert.
Car Business will help you to purchase your next new car – Cheaper
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People Also Ask/Frequently Asked Questions
Car Buyers always seem to need answers on a vast number of topics about their cars.
There are a few questions that I’m asked regularly, so to save you a phone call, check out my “People Also Ask” questions and answers below.
If your question isn’t listed, I’m happy for you to call me on 0418 748 498 or send an email to [email protected]
My advice is free.
Q: Why Should I deal with a Car Broker rather than just going to a dealer?
A: It’s the goal and the job of a car salesperson to make as much money for his dealership as he possibly can. And that applies to the car, finance (finance and insurance), and aftermarket sales (tint, paint, interior, rust).
It’s the role of a car broker or car buyer’s agent to buy the same car at the lowest possible price. Your broker will get prices from at least five dealers or more, get independent finance and insurance quotes and then only recommend the car protection you need rather than the products the dealer wants to sell you. Dealers, on average, make around $3800 on a car sale. An astute broker will get that margin down to around $1800, saving you about $2000 on your vehicle purchase
Q: Should I take Finance and Insurance through a car dealer?
A: Generally no. An average car dealer relies on the car buyer to be exhausted after the trauma and stress of actually buying a car. They depend on their finance manager to make an average profit of $1100 for EVERY car buyer coming into their dealership. The income per finance contract rests around $2700 per contract. In recent times, the ACCC (Australian Consumer and Competition Commission) has looked closely at the way that finance companies and their dealers sell to consumers. Recently, voluntarily, finance companies have reduced the flex rate (the maximum rate allowed to be charged over the base rate for particular consumers) to 2%, down from 8%.
There is still need to be wary of some of the non-standard lenders. For those in our community who have fallen on hard times, have bad credit or are on Centrelink benefits, some lenders are still allowed to charge exorbitant interest rates, upwards of 25%.
Q: It’s a fact that dealers, forced by their manufacturers charge very high prices for genuine spare parts. Recently I needed to purchase a set of head bolts for a 2008 Alfa Romeo Sedan. Price quoted by my local dealer was $294. I picked them up from the UK for $115 including freight to Australia. I expect to receive them at the same time as the local dealer would take to get them from Melbourne.
A: It’s not the dealer’s fault on this occasion. Typically a dealer makes around 20% profit on genuine spare parts sales. It’s the manufacturer/Importer who is charged prices higher than dealers in overseas markets can buy at. Shop around. To determine whether you can buy the part you need, you’ll first need the part number. Get your VIN, ring the local dealer and ask for the part number. They may oblige and if they do, just search on the net through Google. You’ll be amazed. There’ll even be local suppliers who can provide a genuine part for you at around overseas prices. For Jeep, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Isuzu Ute and Volkswagen, visit my site www.genuinespares.com.au
Q: If you have a larger vehicle, with a lot of glass area, the chances are that you’ll want or need window tinting. At the point of sale, dealers will want to charge you up to $795 to tint the windows of your car. Again, you’ll want to avoid the stress and pressure of negotiating anymore and sign where you’re asked.
A: Window tinting can be obtained for under $400 through Car Business. My company has arrangements with local tint shops to do just that price – $400. Don’t be overcharged. $400 is the price to pay for the average vehicle
Q: How do I pick the right car for my needs?
A: Typically, car buyers will have a general idea of what sort of car they want to buy. However, in a market like ours with nearly 60 brands and thousands of models, historical ownership doesn’t have to be maintained. Find an honest buyer’s agent and have a chat to them about your requirements. My company, Car Business, offers this service to our customers without any obligation. You can fill out the lifestyle form, by clicking and a representative of Car Business will contact you to discuss your needs. We use the R J Pound Comparative new Vehicle Price Guide to assist buyers in understanding the alternatives. It may not be the one you’re thinking about right now.
Q: I need some accessories for my new car, but I’m not sure that I’m getting the best price from the dealer
A: Accessories are another area that dealers make a lot of their profit. Apart from the window tinting, paint and interior protection and rustproofing, a typical salesperson will run through a long list of accessories. Even the manufacturer has copious amounts of accessories in their new car brochure.
Don’t feel obligated to buy any accessories you want through the dealer. I suggest to a lot of my customers to phone the spare parts department of the same dealer and ask for a quote on the accessories they want. You might be surprised at a price. The other way is to search on the internet. There are lots of retailers who buy the same parts you want from overseas suppliers (even ones that supply the manufacturer directly) and will offer them at a substantially better price. All you have to do it fit them up, but generally it’s a pretty easy thing to do for the home handyman
Q: If I sell my car privately will I get a better price?
A: It is sometimes possible to achieve a higher price with a private sale; however this reduces significantly if your vehicle is not presented correctly and is no longer under warranty. The private buyer today is looking to receive the same benefits they would by purchasing from a Dealer and expect huge reductions in price if they believe they are disadvantaged. Add to this the cost of preparing your vehicle to the same standards as Motor Dealers. Look at such items as Safety Certificates, Service, Tyres, Windscreen, Chips and Scratches, Detailing, and Advertising along with the need to be accessible and available at all times including weekends when prospective buyers will want to inspect your vehicle. It may not be the wise choice to have people you do not know, coming to your home.
Once the costs and time involved are assessed, most people choose to trade their present vehicle or to use a professional Car Buying Service to ensure they get a good price without the expense or hassle.
Q: Do you allow and/or recommend RACQ Inspections on second-hand cars?
A: Yes, we welcome the RACQ Inspection Process in our business and recognise the need for such an independent examination. Once completed, I’ll discuss the report with you and facilitate any repairs that are deemed necessary. You can arrange for the RACQ to visit my business. I can arrange for them to inspect your choice of vehicle and have them send the report directly to you if you prefer.
Q: Why are dealers so expensive for service in comparison to other service centres?
A: Dealers service and maintain vehicles as set out by the manufacturer’s recommendations to protect your new car warranty. They will generally be willing to match other service providers as long as they are comparing “like for like”.
Your circumstances can be taken into account regarding changing some filters and coolants etc. They also have factory trained technicians and have the support of specialised equipment and of course the proper factory support. There are many other reasons such as resale value, and when it comes to trade-in price, car retailers always look at maintained service books and especially if a dealer has serviced them.
On the other hand, if you’re carefully managing your money, we can arrange a logbook service at one of our preferred providers.
Do I need to return my vehicle to the selling dealer for service?
The simple answer is NO!
While dealers may suggest or insist that your new car is brought back to their service department, the reality is:
- You can take your car to any of the brand’s service centres for routine or warranty service. Brand X warranty is covered by the manufacturer, not by the dealer. So if there’s a more convenient location to have your car serviced, take it there.
- Dealers may suggest that you have to have your car serviced at the franchised dealer to maintain your warranty. Again that’s a falsehood. You can have your car serviced by any qualified mechanic or technician, provided that they follow the service guidelines for your vehicle as specified by the manufacturer
- They should use as a minimum the oil grade specified by the manufacturer and also parts that are of the same quality standard. You shouldn’t use inferior parts. While I would suggest using the manufacturer’s parts, there are similarly high-quality non-genuine parts available on the market. Things like brake pads, brake rotors, air and oil filters, spark plugs and the like are often cheaper and as good quality as those supplied but the manufacturer
How often should I check my Tyre Pressures?
I check my tyre pressures monthly. I have a tyre gauge purchased from Repco that I rely on to check the pressures in my tyres. Arguably, it’s probably better to check your tyre pressures every second time that you fill your fuel tank. High volume petrol centres have good quality air pumps, and it only takes a few minutes to do that after you’ve got your fill.
What should I do if my car breaks down at night?
Firstly, I’m suggesting that you be in a roadside assistance program such as provided by the RACQ.
If you’ve purchased a new car, you’ll have coverage under your new car warranty. Kia Motors Australia provides seven years of roadside assistance in coordination with their warranty. Hyundai and Ford have a 5-year program.
Mitsubishi provides roadside assistance after the first year provided you’re having your services done at one of their dealerships.
If you run out of roadside assistance, best sign up with RACQ or your state motoring body. (NRMA, RACV, etc.) It’s far from sensible to break down on a dark or unlit road and then have to do repairs yourself, particularly for younger drivers.
A phone call from inside a locked car is preferable to having to find a phone booth or a ‘friendly neighbour’ to call for help
If you’d like to discuss anything to do with purchase, trade-in, private sale, service, warranty issues or just have a conversation about the motor industry in Australia, please give me a call on 0418 748 498 or email to [email protected]