Isuzu has a very long and rich heritage in our market, with a loyal following. The company has been engineering and manufacturing reliable and durable vehicles for the last 48 years. In that time, they have learnt valuable lessons about what it takes to engineer a vehicle that can cope with the tough driving conditions in South Africa. Bakkie drivers in this country are quite particular about their needs and Isuzu customers are no different. As such, the automaker aims to develop and build vehicles which are capable of meeting and exceeding those customer expectations.
For 2020 Isuzu has updated its product offering and has for the first time made the X-Rider nameplate available with the 3.0 litre engine and automatic transmission. In response to the popularity of automatic transmissions in the light commercial vehicle segment, the 3.0 X-Rider is only available with a 6-speed automatic transmission.
X-Rider, LX and LE updates:
The 3.0 X-Rider is available with two 18″ wheel options in black or diamond cut. An X-Rider 3.0 TD logo adorns the front doors along with clear side indicators. All 3.0 X-Riders come with standard black side steps, matt black roof rails, black X-Rider Sports bar, a lockable tailgate with a rearview camera, black Isuzu logo, and a standard 3.5-ton tow-bar.
The 3.0 X-Rider Automatic is powered by the familiar 4 cylinder 130kW turbo diesel engine from Isuzu. Matched with a 6-speed automatic gearbox, max power output is reached at a low 3 600 rpm, with max torque of 380Nm between 1800 and 2800 rpm.
Exclusive X-Rider interior features include black leather seats with red stitching; a leather wrapped steering with red Isuzu logo. Door panels have piano black finish with X-Rider logo. The piano black finish can also be found on the centre console. Infotainment is standard an 8″ AX2 TFT touch screen system with steering wheel controls and is used in conjunction with the rear-view camera The 3.0 litre Double Cab X-Rider Automatic is available at Isuzu dealerships for R 551 100.00.
The rest of the D-MAX model range has received cosmetic changes to enhance the luxury feel of the leisure models which now have an all-black interior including a black roof liner and black cladding on the pillars. In addition, 4×4 models get a black 4×4 sticker which has been changed from red. 4×2 models now come standard with a tow bar and Sports bar. The LE models have been repositioned to make them more attractive to fleet buyers and better positioned against their main rivals. 3.0 litre LX and LE Plus models feature a Brake Override System – activated when both brake and accelerator pedals are pressed together.
Isuzu’s 7-seater SUV has received cosmetic upgrades to enhance its styling, giving the vehicle a robust appearance and luxurious style. Exterior styling upgrades include the addition of piano black inserts on the front grille and lower bumper valence including piano black front fog light bezels. The mu-X now has a stylish new 18″ wheel, black running boards with piano black inserts on the edges. The piano black treatment continues at the rear of the vehicle with a blacked-out rear bumper seal.
Changes inside the vehicle include soft leather trim and piano black finish on the door panels with LED ambient lighting strips on all four doors. There’s piano black trim around the window switches, on the air vents, and around the centre console.
The mu-X has an 8-speaker audio system with iPod and Bluetooth phone connectivity, including two roof-mounted speakers for superior sound performance. The Ax2 infotainment system with an 8 inch TFT touch screen display is, while a larger 9-inch Multi-Function Alpine infotainment system with satellite navigation is offered as an optional extra. Both units have steering wheel mounted audio controls.
Isuzu mu-X buyers can rest easy knowing their passengers are safe in this 5-Star ANCAP (Australian New Car Assessment Program) rated SUV thanks to passive and active safety features such as side-intrusion bars and a comprehensive suite of electronic crash avoidance systems. A less known feature of the mu-X is the Brake Override System which is activated when both brake and accelerator pedals are pressed together.
The Isuzu mu-X is available in two models, the mu-X 3.0 4×2 6-speed Automatic which retails at R 643 100.00, and the mu-X 3.0 4×4 6-speed Automatic which retails at R 712 200.00.
Next Generation D-MAX Bakkie
Isuzu has also announced that work is underway on the engineering and testing of the next generation D-MAX bakkie which will be manufactured at Isuzu’s assembly plant in Port Elizabeth. This will be the 7th generation of the company’s popular bakkie, and as we’ve come to expect, the local version will have some uniquely South African features and characteristics.
“This next generation D-MAX is a significant step forward for Isuzu in all respects. It offers state of the art technology to enhance the driving experience, efficiency and safety. As you know we have very high expectations for the D-MAX here in South Africa so a significant amount of work has to be done to ensure that we deliver a vehicle which is capable of coping with our challenging environment and customer demands,” said Rimmer.
Some of the key projects being undertaken include testing on the load box which in the current bakkie is has significantly thicker steel in strategic areas such as the load box inner panels, load box front panel, and tailgate.
Other areas receiving attention from local engineers include, dust sealing, suspension tuning and development of local dampers, development of all terrain tyres, rear differential lock and axles, wiring harnesses, and accessories such as canopies, roll bars and nudge bars.
Isuzu is proud of the D-MAX’s rich heritage of reliability and durability, the company believes the local team’s experience will ensure that the next generation Isuzu D-MAX remains competitive, durable and reliable in our tough conditions.