The all-new Isuzu D-Max is here, but unlike the Ford Ranger and the Chevrolet Colorado--its main rivals in the hotly contested pickup segment--the D-Max still uses the engine from its previous-generation model. This may be a point of contention for the folks who want to be on top of the horsepower and torque race, but don't count Isuzu's 3.0-liter CRDi turbocharged 4JJ1-TC iTEQ diesel engine out just yet--especially when we're talking about fuel mileage.
Even without a variable-geometry turbocharger, the D-Max's engine develops 144hp at 3,800rpm, and 294Nm from 1,400rpm to 3,400rpm. It is also the engine that was under the hood of the D-Max LS 4x2 with a manual transmission that traveled 1,985km on a single full tank (76L). That's a very astounding yet believable 26.12km/L.
"We conducted this test last month and we had a very good result," said Isuzu Philippines Corporation sales division chief Joseph Bautista during a thanksgiving lunch his company hosted for the media. "We asked for assistance from the Automobile Association Philippines and its expert drivers, and the result was verified by Smart Driving Corporation."
The D-Max gets better mileage now compared to the older model, yet the engine is the same. How is this possible?
"It has less aerodynamic drag now," explained Bautista. "And drivers can use the multi-information display to help them."
According to IPC's press release, the D-Max's body was developed to be aerodynamic and was even tested in the wind tunnel of the Japan Railway Research Institute, the facility used in developing Japan's bullet trains.
On a side note, Isuzu has a new motor, the 2.5-liter CRDi 4JK1-TC iTEQ, which produces 108hp at 3,400rpm and 280Nm from 1,800rpm to 2,200rpm. It is also said to be a capable yet efficient motor.
IPC is still mum about when the more powerful engines will be made available to Filipino customers, but when it finally brings them in, we have one request: Isuzu should still retain the 4JJ1-TC in its lineup. This is because not everybody wants to have an engine that breaks records when it comes to torque and horsepower. Efficiency still goes a long a way. And Isuzu's 4JJ1-TC powerplant is far from anemic.