Isuzu updates D-Max pickup range with special editions and higher payload

  • Isuzu adds new equipment and extra ability to its D-Max pickup
  • Rugged truck gets new colours and increased payload
  • New Fury limited edition introduced

Isuzu only updated the D-Max pickup in 2017, but it hasn’t been able to resist going back for a few more tweaks, with 2018 bringing a selection of visual and practicality upgrades.

As well as these updates, Isuzu has been busy bringing out special or limited editions of the D-Max, with the Fury and V-Cross models added towards the end of 2018. Full details of both are available below.

How has Isuzu improved the D-Max’s practicality?

Isuzu has made a change to the rear suspension on the D-Max, switching from a five-piece system to a three-piece arrangement on the double-cab model. This might sound like a minor technical tweak, but Isuzu claims it should enhance comfort, reduce noise levels and improve carrying ability.

2018 Isuzu D-Max front

By using a higher strength steel, Isuzu says that it should be just as durable as before, while towing ability remains unchanged. This higher quality of metal should be more resistant to rust, too, which is a handy bonus.

Perhaps the most important impact that the new suspension has is nothing to do with ride or rust-proofing, though – fewer parts means that it is lighter than before, and the 10kg weight saving means a 10kg increase in payload. Every D-Max is capable of carrying more than the minimum 1,000kg needed to qualify for commercial vehicle status, but those extra few kilograms could help.

What new equipment does the 2018 Isuzu D-Max get?

In a nod to the sort of buyers that the D-Max is aimed at, the new kit includes a system that helps with towing. The Trailer Sway Control system is able to detect when the trailer, caravan or horsebox attached to the back of the D-Max starts swaying or snaking.

2018 Isuzu D-Max towing

The system then controls the pickup’s speed by reducing the engine revs and applying the brakes, if necessary, without needing the driver to do anything.

Isuzu has also updated the interior, although the changes are minor tweaks rather than ones that will make you want to trade in your existing model. There are updated soft pads on the arm rests, binnacle and utility box lid, while there is new gloss black trim on the window switches, air vents and glove box.

2018 Isuzu D-Max off road

Just to remind you what you are in, Isuzu has also put a new ‘D-Max’ badge on the glove box, too.

Finally, Isuzu has added a few colours to the D-Max’s palette, with new shades of blue, grey and red offered.

The more fundamental elements of the D-Max remain unchanged, though, with the 164hp 1.9-litre diesel engine unaltered.

Pricing has changed ever so slightly, and now starts from £16,799 for the entry-level 4x2 Single Cab, going up to £29,799 for the Blade trim with the automatic gearbox.

What about the even tougher D-Max Arctic Trucks AT35 pickup?

Most of the changes introduced in 2018 also apply to the heavily upgraded Arctic Trucks AT35 version that comes with huge 35-inch tyres, performance suspension and enhanced visuals in the form of extended wheelarches and side steps.

Isuzu D-Max Arctic Trucks AT35 front

Isuzu has confirmed that the AT35 will recieve the same interior updates, including the refreshed seat trim, softer arm rest padding, binnacle and utility box lid. The gloss black trim on the window switches, air vents and glove box also apply, as does the new ‘Isuzu D-Max badge’

Isuzu DMax Arctic Trucks AT35 rear

More importantly, for those that want to tow a trailer over really rough terrain, the AT35 also gets the new Trailer Sway Control system that uses the brakes to control the pickup if the towed vehicle starts to ‘snake’.

The updated Arctic Trucks AT35 will start at £38,545 excluding VAT.

Are there any new models for 2019?

Isuzu has also brought out a new limited-edition version of the D-Max, complete with a rough, tough name to match the rest of the range. The new D-Max Fury joins the likes of the Utility and the Blade, and brings a selection of visual tweaks to stand out from the more workaday models.

Isuzu D-Max Fury off road

This comes largely in the form of the bespoke bright red paintwork, but this is complemented by a dark grey radiator grille with a red Isuzu badge, dark grey 18-inch alloy wheels, metal side steps, heated door mirrors finished in black, and a ‘Fury’ exterior decal.

Inside it gets a dark grey cloth interior, with red stitching on details such as the armrests and steering wheel. There is a little more ‘Fury’ branding, too – on the floor mats this time.

Isuzu D-Max Fury interior

The standard kit includes air conditioning, a reversing camera, a 7.0-inch touchscreen as part of the infotainment system with front and rear USB ports. If you fancy upgrading the seats to leather, then you can upgrade to a black and red finish for an additional £1,000 (plus VAT).

The Fury is available with a choice of a manual or automatic gearbox and is limited to around 400 vehicles. It is available to order from October 2018, while first models will head to customers in January 2019. Pricing starts at £22,499 (excluding VAT).

The second special edition that Isuzu has announced in 2018 is the D-Max V-Cross. Like the Fury, it is also based on the double cab, and is only going to be available in limited numbers – in this case there will be just 100 sold in the UK.

It is based on the Utah specification, but adds some new kit, including technology that isn’t otherwise available on the D-Max. This includes a wireless charger for your phone, which means that you can simply slot your handset into the top glove box to give it a bit more juice. Said box also comes lined with a non-slip mat so it doesn’t fly out if you head off road.

Isuzu DMax VCross

The second new piece of tech is a front camera that points at the area in front of the vehicle that would normally be out of the driver’s sight, in order to help with parking. The image is shown on the touchscreen in the same way as with the reversing camera. The display toggles between the front and rear cameras when you shift between first gear (or Drive in the case of an automatic), and reverse.

You also get a front skirt and bespoke 18-inch alloy wheels on the V-Cross. The skirt has a grey lower and gloss black upper section and is finished with a red stripe, while the wheels have a 12-spoke design with a black diamond cut finish.

There will be a choice of automatic or manual gearbox on the V-Cross, and they cost from £26,199 (ex VAT) and £27,199 respectively. First deliveries will start in January 2019.

>> Read the full Isuzu D-Max review on Parkers Vans and Pickups

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