New 2021 Isuzu D-Max – full official details and UK on-sale info

  • Confirmation of UK specification for the new Isuzu D-Max
  • New looks, new hardware, better to drive but still as tough as they come
  • Highly advanced safety kit and first current five-star crash test rating for a pickup

At last we have official details of the new Isuzu D-Max pickup, which is set to arrive in UK dealers in March 2021. A heavily re-engineered version of the previous model, the new D-Max features sharp new styling, revised suspension, an upgraded chassis, more luxurious interior and a host of new safety equipment – some of which is not currently available on any other pickup.

As a result, the new D-Max has become the first pickup to receive a five-star crash safety rating from Euro NCAP under the latest testing regime.

It is also promised to be more refined to drive on the road while also being more capable off-road. Towing and load carrying remains priorities, we’re told, but the whole sounds like it will be substantially more pleasant to drive.

Keep reading for all the info we have so far.

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New looks inside and out

The 2021 Isuzu D-Max has a much sleeker appearance than the model it replaces, with plenty of the swoops and scallops that characterise modern car design.

However, the thing that’s probably catching your eye is the front grille, which seems to have a sort of double decker arrangement reminiscent of fangs or an accident with the clone tool in photoshop, depending on your realm of experience.

If nothing else, we reckon it will help move slower drivers out of the way on the motorway.

On the inside the 2021 D-Max has a new ‘layered’ dashboard, updated infotainment systems and improved materials. ‘Soft-touch panelling and elegant detailing’ are mentioned, a far-cry from the no-nonsense working environment the current D-Max range features inside.

New Isuzu D-Max, 2021, interior, black (non-UK)

No pictures of the interior have been released to the UK just yet (in fact, there's only one official UK D-Max image, as per the top of this page), but we have some from when the new D-Max was announced for other markets in 2019 and 2020, as per the picture above…

We've added some other non-UK images to the gallery and below as well.

2021 D-Max technical specs

Isuzu has upgraded the new D-Max’s front and rear suspension, which is said to bring much better on-road refinement and handling without compromising load-carrying and off-road capability.

Isuzu has been showing continual improvement in these areas over the last few years, so we have no trouble believing these claims – though it will be interesting to see if it can come close to the impressive road manners of the latest Ford Ranger and Toyota Hilux.

New Isuzu D-Max, 2021, front angle, orange (non-UK)

Extra sound insulation helps with road noise, while new ‘speed-sensitive’ electronic power steering should make the 2021 D-Max easier to drive, more stable on the motorway and more nimble around town.

The ladder chassis has been strengthened compared with the previous version, thanks to the use of larger rails, and there’s now an extra panel to increase underbody protection.

Bigger brakes reduce stopping distances, reduce brake fade and extend component service life. Isofix mountings allow for safe installation of child seats.

We haven’t seen any kerbweight figures yet, but would speculate that this has made the new D-Max heavier than its notably light predecessor – which may have an impact on final payload ratings and fuel economy, both of which are also unreleased at this stage.

We're told all versions will comfortably carry over 1.0 tonne (1,000kg), however.

What engine does the new D-Max use?

Power comes from a 1.9-litre 164hp turbodiesel engine with 360Nm, the same as that fitted in the outgoing model. This therefore still has less torque than the old 2.5-litre twin-turbo that was replaced in 2017, but does now meet the latest Euro 6D emissions regulations.

New Isuzu D-Max, 2021, interior, angle (non-UK)

The engine is combined with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard. The optional six-speed automatic is said to change gear 25% faster than before. Entry-level models will be 4x2 (rear-wheel drive), but the vast majority of the range will come fitted with selectable 4x4 (four-wheel drive).

The 2021 D-Max will maintain the 3.5-tonne (3,500kg) towing capacity of the old model.

Will it be any good off road?

With extra strength in the chassis, redesigned suspension and what’s described as a faster ‘on-the-fly’ four-wheel drive selection system, the 2021 D-Max should certainly be good off-road.

Higher specification models will come standard with a rear differential lock, too.

How many different versions are there?

As previously, Isuzu will offer the new D-Max in Single Cab, Extended Cab and Double Cab body styles, offering the flexibility to suit working operators and lifestyle buyers.

New Isuzu D-Max, 2021, Single Cab, white

There will also be ‘four brand new trim levels’. We expect these to be split between Utility, All-Purpose and Adventure specifications – with the All-Purpose and Adventure variants coming with the rear diff lock as standard. What the individual specifications will actually be called hasn’t been confirmed yet, though.

Class-leading safety

Perhaps the most significant difference between this D-Max and the previous model, at least before we’ve driven it properly, is that the amount of safety equipment has been enormously improved.

To the point that the D-Max now has some kit that isn’t available on any other pickup. It's been awarded a five-star rating by Euro NCAP, too.

Starting with what’s fitted as standard, every new D-Max comes with an E-Call system that will contact the emergency services in the event of an accident and an ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) package that includes autonomous emergency braking, traffic sign recognition, intelligent speed limiter, lane departure warning and lane keeping assist. Which is very impressive.

New Isuzu D-Max, 2021, Double Cab, blue

What’s more so, however, is rear-facing radar system that’s also fitted as standard on all D-Max Double Cab models. This is a first for any pickup in the UK, and enables rear cross traffic alert, blind spot monitoring and – another pickup first – emergency lane keeping, which actively intervenes if you’re about to change lanes into something.

All models also come with a driver's knee airbag as standard now, while Double Cab models come with an innovative centre airbag, bringing the total number of airbags fitted in these passenger-centric versions to eight.

How much does the 2021 D-Max cost and when does it go on sale?

Isuzu hasn’t released any pricing yet, but we shouldn’t have too long to wait, as the new D-Max is due to reach showrooms in March 2021.

We’d expect a modest price rise but the new pickup to remain one of the best value on the market. As before, it will also come with a five-year / 125,000-mile warranty and five years of UK and Europe roadside assistance.

COVID-19 permitting, Parkers will be one of the first to drive the new Isuzu D-Max in the UK, so keep your eyes peeled for a review coming soon.

Also read:

>> Our current Isuzu D-Max review

>> Early drive of the 2021 Isuzu D-Max (Thailand specification)

>> The Parkers pickup group test

>> New pickups coming soon