Isuzu says new D-Max was ‘benchmarked’ against Hilux and Ranger

An Isuzu official has confirmed the Japanese company benchmarked its new D-Max against both the Toyota Hilux and Ford Ranger, the sales leaders in this bakkie segment in many major markets.

Speaking to CarsGuide, Isuzu spokesperson Eiji Mitsuhashi said the automaker had the segment’s most popular bakkies squarely in its sights when it was developing the new D-Max.

“The Toyota Hilux, and also Ford vehicles, were the benchmark for this car,” Mitsuhashi told the publication.

“The D-Max is now also widely demanded as a passenger vehicle, so we also have to take that into consideration,” he added.

Revealed in Thailand in October 2019, the fresh-faced D-Max is powered by a “newly developed” version of the Japanese firm’s familiar 3,0-litre turbodiesel engine, with peak outputs hiked to 140 and 450 N.m.

While Thailand is already building the new D-Max, Isuzu Motors South Africa earlier told it was “engaging” with the brand’s head office in Japan in a bid to secure production of the newcomer at its Struandale factory in Port Elizabeth.

The next-generation Mazda BT-50 will, of course, share much with this new D-Max thanks to an agreement signed by the two companies in 2016.


Buy a Toyota Hilux on South Africa’s most trusted car marketplace.

Toyota Hilux for sale
Used Toyota Hilux for sale
Toyota Hilux for sale in western cape
Toyota Hilux for sale in cape town
Toyota Hilux for sale in johannesburg
Toyota Hilux for sale in kwazulu natal
Toyota Hilux for sale in eastern cape

Article written by

Ryan Bubear

Ryan has spent most of his career in online media, writing about everything from sport to politics and other forms of crime. But his true passion – reignited by a 1971 Austin Mini Mk3 still tucked lifeless in a dark corner of his garage – is of the automotive variety.