Brand new Isuzu D-Max on sale in 2021

  • New looks and new capability for tough pickup
  • Upgrades include more premium interior, extra tech
  • First all-new Isuzu D-Max since 2012, on sale early 2021

Isuzu has revealed an all-new D-Max pickup truck, with more aggressive looks, a better quality interior and improved off-road capability. Exact UK spec is still to be announced, but the new Isuzu D-Max is now set to go on sale here in early 2021, replacing the current model that was first launched back in 2012.

It was due to arrive in late 2020, but we understand that the coronavirus pandemic has caused a slight dealy. We have managed to score an early drive of the new model in Thailand, where it is built - read our all-new Isuzu D-Max review, or continue with this page for all the technical info we have so far.

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Is the 2021 D-Max really all new?

From the official announcements made in Thailand, where the D-Max is built, and Isuzu's home nation of Japan, that’s how it’s being described, and although engines carry over, it seems Isuzu has modified or replaced everything else, including the chassis frame, the way the body is mounted and the suspension.

Isuzu D-Max 2021 - rear view, orange

Increased use of high strength steels and a newly reinforced roof see body rigidity go up by 20% while maintaining the D-Max's famed lightweight construction. All of this helps reduce vibration and improve refinement.

With changes to the suspension including a slightly longer wheelbase, we're predicting the new model will offer more comfortable ride quality and greater on-road stability, too.

We're digging the thoroughly updated look, with a front end design that manages to look more premium while also cranking up the aggression.

Isuzu D-Max 2021 - dead-on front view, orange

The toughened front is matched by bold wheel arches and rear bumpers that are fully integrated into the body sides for the first time.

Overall it appears far more modern than before, even though the proportions are similar.

What’s the interior like?

Another area of significant improvement is the cab, which now not only features a modernised appearance but also claims to be built from better quality materials and come with better sound insulation.

Isuzu D-Max 2021 - cab interior, black

The sharp angles and long horizontal lines are 'designed to enfold the driver and passenger as if they were in the cockpit of an airplane,'  while the new D-Max will also feature a reach and rake adjustable steering wheel for the first time.

There are two-tone dashboard finishes available, complete with a stitched-looking top portion (we say looking, as the Toyota Hilux has a similar feature that’s simply moulded into the plastic), while the taller centre console is dominated by a properly integrated 9.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system.

Isuzu D-Max 2021 - cab interior, two-tone

We’re pleased to see that beneath this is a long row of buttons – which not only looks attractive (to these eyes at least) but also reassures us that not all of the controls have been moved onto the touchscreen, meaning things like the heating and ventilation should still be easy to operate on the move.

Lower-spec D-Max get a 7.0-inch touchscreen; both versions are compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

More work-oriented models will come with a simpler and more practical interior finish, as you'd probably expect.

Did you say the new D-Max has improved off-road performance?

For the first time, the new D-Max will be available with a locking rear differential – this is electronically controlled rather than mechanical, and will help you claw your way out of really sticky stuff more effectively than the current open diff.

Isuzu D-Max 2021 - side view, orange

It will also be quicker and easier to shift between two-wheel drive (2WD) and four-wheel drive (4WD), apparently, while wading depth is increased from 600mm to 800mm, matching the best in the mid-size or one-tonne pickup class.

We’d expect the D-Max’s renowned 3.5-tonne towing capacity to carry on as before.

What engines will power the 2021 D-Max?

In the UK and Europe we’re told the D-Max will retain the 1.9-litre turbodiesel that was introduced into the current model in 2017.

However, it will be adapted slightly to meet the ever more stringent emissions regulations. This definitely means the addition of an AdBlue tank for the first time; whether this might also mean some changes to the power and torque outputs remains to be seen. These presently stand at 164hp and 360Nm.

Isuzu D-Max 2021 - front view, blue, crew cab

At the very least we understand that gear ratios and engine 'control systems' have been 'optimised'. Bigger front brake discs and a new brake servo should help the Isuzu stop better.

In addition, the D-Max has switched to a single-piece aluminium propellor shaft, 'a significant weight reduction' that will also likely make the engines feel more responsive.

In other parts of the world this pickup is offered with 2.5-litre and 3.0-litre engines as well, and the latter has been boosted to 188hp for the new model. But don’t hold out any hopes of seeing those motors over here.

Any stand out features for the new D-Max?

Though we're still waiting on confirmation of exact UK spec, the new D-Max does have some fancy new features.

These range from ‘wet’ wiper arms – meaning the washer jets are hidden in the blade rather mounted on the bonnet, making for more efficient washing with less loss of visibility – to upgraded parking sensors.

Isuzu D-Max 2021 - cab interior from passenger side

Safety items such as blindspot monitors and rear cross-traffic alert have been confirmed. There’s no word on autonomous emergency braking (AEB) at this stage, but we’d be very surprised if it didn’t make an appearance on top-spec UK models.

Dual-zone climate control, keyless entry and start, automatic lights and wipers, and one-touch indicators are also available.

Any details on the load capacity?

Not specifically, but Single Cab, Crew Cab and Double Cab body styles have already been shown, so we can expect Isuzu to continue to offer a full range of variants in the UK.

Isuzu D-Max 2021 - front view, white, single cab

Improvements to the 'package design' mean that each cab type does at least have a longer loading platform this time, though by how much we haven't yet been able to establish.

Does the new D-Max share parts with any other pickups?

The new D-Max also forms the basis of the next-generation Mazda BT-50 pickup.

We’re not expecting to see this return to the UK, though.

When does the new D-Max go on sale – and how much will it cost?

The new D-Max is now set to go on sale in the UK in early 2021.

Pricing is understandably still to be confirmed, but with extra equipment and more technical complexity, we’d brace for a modest price rise over the current range.

We’ll bring you more news on the Isuzu D-Max as soon as we have it.

Also read:

>> New Isuzu D-Max first review

>> New pickups coming soon

>> Isuzu D-Max (2012-on) full review

>> Ford Ranger full review