Isuzu Motors South Africa has rebranded its KB, with the popular bakkie now adopting the D-Max badge on local shores, in line with international markets.

The local arm of the Japanese automaker furthermore says the range has been tweaked to offer “higher levels of specification, quality and efficiency”. The top-spec derivatives, meanwhile, gain what Isuzu describes as “a more luxurious execution”.

In addition, the high-spec 3,0-litre LX derivatives (130 kW/380 N.m) gain a new six-speed automatic transmission, replacing the five-speed versions used on the outgoing models. As in the MU-X, this cog-swapper includes a “sequential sport mode”.

These models furthermore gain a new chromed grille, along with new tapered chromed accents extending across the full length of the revised L-shaped headlamps. Inside, the LX models feature new soft-touch panels, “more attractive” grain for the dashboard and door trims, plus a piano black finish on the air vents and window switches.

An eight-inch colour touchscreen replaces the 6,5-inch version used in the previous model, while a new Alpine infotainment system (with a nine-inch screen and built-in navigation) is optionally available. Safety updates include the addition of a “brake override system” (which restricts accelerator input if the brake pedal is applied simultaneously) plus trailer sway control.

Some 16 single-cab derivatives are available (including new Dropside Base models), along with extended-cab models and double-cab variants.

"We are proud to announce the introduction of the enhanced Isuzu bakkie along with the adoption of the D-Max name for the Isuzu bakkie portfolio, this aligns us to the brand identity of the broader company and ensures that our product naming conventions are consistent with the global approach," said Craig Uren, executive officer sales, service and marketing.

Pricing for the 30-model range kicks off at R246 200 fort the D-Max 250C Chassis Cab Base and tops out at R606 400 for the D-Max 300 4x4 Double Cab LX 6AT.