Adding a new engine and some visual and equipment tweaks, Isuzu has facelifted the D-Max Blade and updated its features to keep it on track against its pick-up rivals. Isuzu focused more at the cost of refinement and interior quality, though it also gave attention to its ruggedness, toughness and workhorse reliability.
The traditional 2.5 turbo engine was put off by a four-cylinder 1.9-liter diesel engine but still, retains its 163 bhp. However, its torque output slightly dropped from 400 Nm to 360 Nm that pulls only between 1400 to 2000 rpm. It has a six-speed manual or a five-speed automatic transmission with sequential shift.
Meant for carrying and towing, this pickup can pull up to 3500 kg of braked trailer as with its pickup rivals like Volkswagen Amarok, Nissan Navara and Ford Ranger. However, it has better hauling capability with an improved 1101 to 1282 kg in its load bay than a Navara or a Ranger can. Its towing and carrying capacity may differ depending on the model used: single cab 4x2, single cab 4x4, extended cab 4x4 and double cab 4x4.
Inside the cab, even the basic Utility trim models have dual front, side and curtain airbags, and height-adjustable seatbelts for maximum occupant protection. The 4x4 models have the four-wheel-drive benefit for added security in slippery conditions. Hill start assist and descent control are available on all of the car model selections. The Blade also has heated leather seats, electric windows, keyless entry and start, climate control and front parking sensors, a DAB radio, Bluetooth connectivity, built-in sat-nav, and rear camera. It also boasts its five-year, 125,000-mile warranty and 12,000-mile/24-month service intervals.
The D-Max might be aging but with the refinements, it still can be as competitive as it was. It truly is a more rounded pickup than before which will keep the market competition tighter as to its pickup peers.