Isuzu hasn’t really been a household name in India for mainly two reasons which are the Ford Endeavour and the Toyota Fortuner. Competing with these giants is never easy, however, the Japanese manufacturer is far from giving up the fight. For 2021, Isuzu has launched the updated D-Max pickups along with the updated MU-X SUV.
While the MU-X looks like the more practical buy, the D-Max is why Isuzu is famous as it is the only personal pickup on offer currently.
The D-Max earlier was available in just one variant, but this time around, you have the Hi-Lander, V-Cross Z and V-Cross Z Prestige to choose from. The Hi-Lander is the entry to the D-Max range with an introductory price of Rs 16.98 lakh. Powered by a 1.9-litre turbo-diesel engine for all three variants, the D-Max will have 161bhp and 360Nm. Mated to the Hi-Lander will be a new 6-speed manual gearbox, but it won’t have the option of an automatic gearbox or four-wheel drive. It will however get parking sensors, additional AC vents for the rear passengers along with a USB port.
In terms of design, the Hi-Lander will continue with the sharp and striking styling that we are familiar with on Isuzus. You have grey bumpers with grey ORVMs and high-rise suspension to give it that jacked up look we all love. The headlamp clusters are redesigned from the previous D-Max as well and the 16-inch wheels give it that butch look.
The interior is a blend of black and grey and a dash of chrome as well. However, more of the interior is yet to be seen.
The V-Cross Z on the other hand will get most of the above mentioned, but crucially, will also get the option of a 6-speed automatic gearbox and 4WD. Along with that you also get Bi-LED headlamps, bigger 18-inch wheels and a side step for added character.
On the inside, you have a plusher looking cabin thanks to steering mounted controls and a 7.0-inch touchscreen, but no Apple or Android integration. What is also exclusive to the V-Cross is the rearview camera that is a big help considering the dimensions and a PESS (Passive Entry Start and Stop) system that aids in better efficiency.
On the V-Cross Z Prestige, which is the top of the line trim, you get a brown and grey leather-wrapped upholstery along with piano black accents and soft-touch panels. In terms of features, you get TCS with ESC and hill descent control as well.
What is worth noting is that on the 4WD variants, you get terrain command, shift-on-fly mode, along with a wider track and longer wheelbase as well. The V-Cross Z will start from an introductory price of Rs 19.98 lakh.
Along with the pickups, Isuzu also brought back the MU-X SUV that competed with the Toyota Fortuner and the Ford Endeavour. Priced between Rs 33.23 – 35.19 lakh, it undercut both its rivals, but also misses out in terms of equipment. However, you do get the same 1.9-litre diesel engine with the 6-speed automatic gearbox and the option of 2WD and 4WD as well. The feature list might not be the best, but you do get six airbags, LED headlamps, parking sensors with a camera, powered seats, a 7.0-inch touchscreen and cruise control.
Speaking at the launch, Mr. Tsuguo Fukumura – Managing Director, Isuzu Motors India, said, “Isuzu’s passenger vehicles range of pick-ups and SUVs have been consistently well-received since launch. Being a Game Changer, they have been able to create a positive impression and satiate the aspirational vehicle needs for discerning customers. We are delighted to expand our offering in this segment with the addition of the Hi-Lander and V-Cross Z 4×2 AT variant to cater to a larger audience. The new Isuzu passenger vehicles are developed to truly enhance the value proposition with best-in-class design, performance, comfort, safety, and driving pleasure for our valued customers.”