2024 Isuzu D-Max facelift unveiled, Australian plans to be confirmed

2024 Isuzu D-Max facelift unveiled, Australian plans to be confirmed
2024 Isuzu D-Max facelift unveiled, Australian plans to be confirmed

The first major facelift for the latest Isuzu D-Max ute has been unveiled in Thailand, with a new look and upgraded interior. Australian arrival timing is yet to be announced.

The 2024 Isuzu D-Max ute has received its first major update since the current model arrived locally in 2020, ahead of an Australian arrival likely later this year or early next year if past model upgrades are a guide.

The most significant update since the current D-Max was unveiled in Thailand in 2019 brings a refreshed exterior and updated technology to close the gap to the latest entrants in the ute category.

The updated Isuzu ute is on sale in Thailand now. Australian arrival timing is yet to be confirmed, however if past updates for the Isuzu D-Max are a guide, it could be in local showrooms in the final months of the calendar year.

Plans for a similar update to its Mazda BT-50 twin – and the related Isuzu MU-X four-wheel-drive SUV – are unclear.

There are no changes under the bonnet – where a choice of 1.9-litre and 3.0-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder engines remains – however there have been an array of exterior and interior changes.

New is a restyled front fascia with a more aggressive grille – finished in black on top-of-the-range models – and reshaped headlights, plus revised tail-light signatures with three extruded elements, rather than two on the current model.

New wheel designs up to 18 inches in diameter are available, as well as new-style wheel-arch flares on Thailand’s V-Cross model (sold in Australia as the X-Terrain).

Inside, the 9.0-inch infotainment touchscreen remains on top-of-the-range models – or a 7.0-inch display on cheaper models.

However the volume and radio tuning buttons have been replaced by traditional dials – but the physical buttons for home, phone controls, back and other functions have been ditched for a strip of touch-sensitive controls.

Wireless Android Auto is now available – replacing wired – in addition to carry-over wireless Apple CarPlay connectivity.

A 7.0-inch display now sits in the instrument cluster between two downsized analogue dials, up from a 4.2-inch screen in the current model.

The larger instrument screen is still smaller than the 12-inch widescreen instrument display in the Ford Ranger and VW Amarok – and the Isuzu’s touchscreen is smaller than the 10-inch and 12-inch portrait infotainment screens in the rival twins.

There are few other changes in the cabin; USB-C ports replace USB-A sockets, and Thai models are available in a new brown and black seat upholstery colour scheme.

No updates to the advanced safety systems are listed on the Thai website.

The engines remain unchanged: a 1.9-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder with 110kW and 350Nm, and a 3.0-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder, matched with six-speed manual and automatic transmissions (the latter now with paddle shifters on the steering wheel).

Unverified media reports out of Thailand claim both will be replaced in 2025 by a new 2.2-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine – in two states of tune – with better fuel economy than the current engines.

There is no sign of a hybrid version, but Isuzu has confirmed plans for an electric D-Max in 2025, due to launch initially in Norway, before expanding to Thailand – where the vehicle is built – and other markets, which may eventually include Austalia.

The current Isuzu D-Max was unveiled in Thailand nearly four years ago to the day – 14 October 2019 – and arrived in Australia 12 months later.

In the year-to-date new-car sales race in 2023, it sits in sixth position – and third on the ute leaderboard, behind the Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger.

The update will need to keep the Isuzu D-Max – which is nearing the mid-way point in an expected 10-year life cycle – fresh alongside a wave of new competitors due over the next two years.

A new Mitsubishi Triton is due early next year, new-generation Nissan Navara and LDV T60 utes are due in late 2024 or early 2025, and an all-new Toyota HiLux is scheduled for 2025.

These follow the arrival of the new Ford Ranger mid last year – and its twin under the skin, the Volkswagen Amarok, earlier this year.

Drive sent the following questions to Isuzu Ute Australia (IUA) earlier today ahead of tonight’s unveiling, but we are yet to receive a response.

Will IUA continue to price-protect Australian customers if the vehicle they receive is the updated model?Given the last few years has seen D-Max model-year updates arrive in the fourth quarter of the year (October to December), will that be the case with the latest updates?What is the current average wait time on new orders placed for an Isuzu D-Max X-Terrain?Will IUA use this latest model update as an opportunity to address the price disparity in its range, in particular the LS-U+ which has consistently been priced dearer drive-away than the X-Terrain on your website?

The post 2024 Isuzu D-Max facelift unveiled, Australian plans to be confirmed appeared first on Drive.

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