Isuzu Malaysia is a regular participant of the Borneo Safari off-road challenge for years now. And what better way to showcase a new model than this annual off-road challenge event. The Isuzu D-Max Blue Power 1.9l recently took the course as a sweeper vehicle alongside the Borneo Safari competitors through a week of gruelling off-road tests in absolute treacherous conditions, which ended in the Sabah State capital city Kota Kinabalu. The D-Max 1.9-liter sent to the Safari was a stock standard, fitted with a body lift to carry extreme tyres, long distance shocks, snorkel and heavy duty guards.
Isuzu D-Max 1.9 picks up EEV status
Having debuted in the market a month ago, the Isuzu D-Max 1.9l Blue Power features the 1.9l engine and is virtually based off the current D-Max. A new front grille with bi-LED projector headlights and LED DRLs, fog light garnish have been added, along with new wheels in 18-inch sizes, folding door mirrors, decals and an optional tailgate assist.
Moving inside, more soft touch materials have been included to improve cabin quality and NVH levels. The seats are made of a combi of leather and fabric, while there’s a secondary charger at the back.
Although a smaller displacement engine, performance and durability are not compromised with the D-Max 1.9. The engine coded RZ4E-TC produces 150PS at 3,600rpm and 350Nm at 1,800-2,600 rpm and is paired to a 6 speed manual or automatic transmission. This engine has lighter components and parts that reduce friction (37% less), which translates to 56 kilograms lighter overall powertrain weight. Engine power output has increased by 10 percent with a Variable Geometry System (VGS) turbocharger system. The VGS even improves engine response at low RPM for both on- and off-road. Maximum torque has also increased by 9 percent.
The use of lighter components and improved package meant a much improved fuel efficiency on the D-Max 1.9l, with as much as 19% improvement. Furthermore, the use of more sturdy components and parts ensure a quieter cabin. The newest D-Max on the block is more environmentally friendly and has a lower cost of maintenance.
New driver assist systems added to the fold are namely the Hill Descent Control (HDC) and Vehicle Launch Assist Control.
The Isuzu D-Max range has now been updated to 11 variants, starting from the 1.9l low ride 4×2 manual all the way up to the 4×4 Auto Premium that comes with 1.9l and 3.0l engines.