New 2021 Isuzu D-Max – official details, spec and UK pricing 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

UPDATE: We have now driven the new 2021 Isuzu D-Max - read our review.

Meet the new 2021 Isuzu D-Max pickup, which is now on sale priced from £20,999. A heavily re-engineered version of the previous model, the new D-Max features much sharper 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 2021 D-Max has become the first pickup to receive a five-star crash safety rating from Euro NCAP under the latest testing regime. As before, it comes in a wide range ot trim levels and specifications to suit all kinds of buyers, with each version packed with 'an incredible' amount of equipment.

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

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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.

2021 Isuzu D-Max V-Cross - dead-on front, gunmetal grille

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. You can even have LED headlights.

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.

2021 Isuzu D-Max V-Cross - UK spec interior, right-hand drive

Higher-spec models now come with dual-zone climate control, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and infotainment screens up to 9.0 inches in diameter.

That said, the most basic Utility versions retain an easy-clean vinyl floor in place of carpet, which will please anyone who regularly works in muddy environments.

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.

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.

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 are also new trim levels.

The entry point is still called Utility, and comes in all three body styles. Above this, however, now sits the 'All-Purpose' range, which is split between the DL20 and DL40 - not the catchiest of model names, but DL signifies that the rear differential lock is included as standard equipment.

The DL20 comes in extended- and double-cab variants, while the DL40 is limited to the double-cab.

You can also only get the new range-topping V-Cross model as a double-cab. This is so far the only D-Max in the 'Adventure' range, but we'd expect that to change as more versions are added later.

The old D-Max XTR remains on sale while stocks last; this is Isuzu's answer to the Ford Ranger Raptor (you can see how the two compare in our twin-test).

What do you get as standard equipment?

Here's a quick rundown of the standard equipment highlights for each new D-Max model range.

2021 Isuzu D-Max Utility standard equipment:

  • > Automatic headlights with high-beam assist
  • Automatic wipers
  • > DAB radio
  • > Stop-start system
  • > Easy-clean vinyl floor
  • > Black plastic bumpers, door mirrors and door handles
  • Steel wheels
  • > Full suite of Advanced Driver Assist Systems (ADAS) - detailed below

2021 Isuzu D-Max DL20 standard equipment (in addition to Utility):

  • > Rear differential lock
  • > Heated front seats
  • > Rear parking sensors
  • > Front foglights
  • > Front centre armrest
  • > Body-coloured bumpers
  • > Silver door handles
  • > 'Medium grey' grille
  • > 18-inch alloy wheels
  • > Optional automatic transmission

2021 Isuzu D-Max DL40 standard equipment (in addition to DL20):

  • > Keyless entry and start
  • > Leather upholstery
  • > Eight-way electrically adjustable driver's seat
  • >7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • >Dual-zone climate control

2021 Isuzu D-Max V-Cross standard equipment (in addition to DL40):

  • > Gunmetal exterior styling for the grille, side steps, door mirrors, door handles and 18-inch alloy wheels
  • > 9.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with CD player and eight speakers
  • > Auto-dimming rear-view mirror
  • > Automatic headlight leveling
  • > V-Cross carpet mats

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 and lane departure warning. Which is very impressive.

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.

D-Max automatics also get adaptive cruise control and lane keeping assist.

All models 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?

Prices start at £20,999 for the entry-level D-Max Utility; that's a CVOTR (commercial vehicle on-the-road) price, so doesn't include VAT but does include registration fee, etc.

DL20 models start from £25,999, DL40 from £29,749 and V-Cross from £31,249.

The new D-Max remains one of the best value pickups 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.

Our new Isuzu D-MAx review is coming soon.

Also read:

>> Our new Isuzu D-Max review

>> Best pickups in the UK

>> New pickups coming soon