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Isuzu D-Max is a pickup truck made by Isuzu. It shares the same platform with several General Motors (GM) mid-size trucks in the United States. These being the Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon and Isuzu i-Series. The Chevrolet Colorado name is also applied to a rebadged version of the D-Max in the Middle East and Thailand, although not identical to the American version. The original D-Max is sold alongside the Chevrolet Colorado in the Thai market where they are both built. In Australasia between 2003 and 2008, the D-Max was marketed as the Holden Rodeo, but has since been relaunched as the Holden Colorado. The Isuzu D-Max itself was also introduced in Australia during 2008, selling alongside the Holden offering. in the United Kingdom, the D-Max is offered there as the Isuzu Rodeo.
Australia / New Zealand
In Australia and New Zealand, the D-Max was sold as the third generation Holden Rodeo (RA) between 2003 and 2008, before being facelifted into the form of the Holden Colorado. This was a result of the GM-Isuzu split resulting in GM losing the right to use the "Rodeo" name. As with Rodeo, Colorado is available as either two- or four-wheel drive and in a range of body styles including single cab, space cab and crew cab. Power is provided by a range of petrol and diesel engines. Of the petrol engines, Holden offers a 2.4 litre four-cylinder as well as the Australian-made 3.6 litre GM High Feature engine|Alloytec engine. The diesel powerplant is a four-cylinder Isuzu 4JJ1 unit displacing 3.0 litres. The main difference between the Colorado and the Rodeo is the revised body work from the A-pillar forward.
During October 2008, the Isuzu D-Max was launched in Australia, alongside the almost identical Holden Colorado. Officially available in Australia as its own brand under the marketing name Isuzu Ute Australia, separate to the medium-heavy truck parent, Isuzu Australia.
Julie Beamer, director of GM Chile announced on March 5, 2008 to their workers of the only remaining automobile factory in Chile would close on July 31. To that day, the only product currently on production on that factory was the Chevrolet D-Max. The news came little after Hugo Chávez reduced the import quota for cars in Venezuela, the main export market of Chilean-made Chevrolet D-Max, but GM Chile said on its official statement that the reason behind the end of production in Arica were the lack of favorable conditions for vehicle manufacturing in Chile, and the stiff competition from many other carmakers and countries on Chile's car market.
In 2002, the D-Max was prepared for a world premiere in Thailand. This location was chosen because GM-Isuzu had recently decided to close their small truck assembly plant in Japan and move their joint operation to Thailand. The D-Max is available in various models. The Spark (single cab) is available only as a 4x2, with 3 configurations between cab chassis, long bed with power steering and without. SpaceCabs (extended cab), and Cab4s (crew cab) can be divided into 2 major configurations: standard height 4x2s (SL, SX, SLX), and 4x4s (S and LS) with the "Rodeo" name instead of SpaceCab. Crew cabs are all sold with the same Cab4 name (Cab4 models became available late in last quarter). All are built and sold alongside the almost identical Chevrolet Colorado which had debuted in late first quarter of 2004.
Engine choices for that year till end of third quarter of 2004 derived from its direct predecessor: 4JH1-T 3.0 and 4JA1-T 2.5.
Hi-Lander 3.0 (lifted 4x2), trim style became available in late 2003, and ground clearance equals that of the 4x4 models. There are only 2 cab styles to choose between. This makes Isuzu the third manufacturer in Thailand to begin selling lifted 4x2 pickups (after Toyota and Ford).
In October 2004, Isuzu introduced the DDi iTEQ common-rail diesel engine family for the D-Max. The first engine to appear was the 3.0 4JJ1-TC 146ps, however since then, a design change in the front end of the car has forced engine alterations. Additionally, new MUA-5H 5-speed manual transmission also introduced.
During the first quarter of 2005, a 2.5 4JK1-TC 116ps, the second DDi iTEQ engine, was introduced and offered as economical choice to replace its aging predecessor (4JA1-T was concurrently available for that year only). A mid-cycle refresh brought many models fitted with a new front bumper that incorporated an "instant spoiler" underneath, 4x4 models and Hi-Lander's suspensions were raised up 25 millimeters extra.
In the third quarter of 2006, the D-Max received a minor redesign and the introduction of a third DDi iTEQ engine, 3.0 4JJ1-TCX. This engine is a modified 4JJ1-TC, incorporating a new Variable Valve Geometry Turbo (VVGS). The extra power warranted an introduction of new transmissions as well: the MUX 5-Speed manual and MaxMatic-III automatic transmission. All models equipped with Xenon headlamps were changed to projector headlamps instead. Also introduced was the new "Hexapod-plot" interior. Other DDi iTEQ engines were also tweaked a bit for extra power and efficiency.
In 2007, Isuzu celebrated its 50th anniversary of its long history of commercial activities in Thailand with "Gold Series" models sold for the 2008 model year. For the Isuzu D-Max and MU-7, all models are "Gold Series" only. Included in the package, every model will get a Gold Isuzu badge at the front sides, and more luxurious interior features are included as well. All SLXs, Hi-Landers, and LS 4x4s feature gold Isuzu badges in 3 locations total: front grille, rear tailgate, and on the steering wheel incorporated in a gold ring. The 4x4 S model was dropped. New "Wide Vision" blind-spot rear view mirror available to some models. The Hi-Lander Cab4 model with the VVGS turbodiesel engine became available for the first time. The 4x4 models get a new front bumper design with chrome accents. An additional 3 new exterior colors have been added, but only to select models. Also added was the choice of a 2.5l 4-cylinder engine in LS 4x4 and Hi-Lander models.
During the middle of the first quarter of 2008, Rodeo LS and Hi-Lander SpaceCab were also fitted with the 3.0 VVGS Turbodiesel engine to fill all the remaining gaps in lineup.
Early fourth quarter of 2008, Isuzu introduces D-Max Platinum models for 2009 to replace the outgoing Gold Series. New exterior colors to the selected models. LS 4x4 and Hi-Lander received new fascia; chrome on LS 4x4 and semi platinum-silver on Hi-Lander. Minor-modified headlamps and new fog lamps for platinum look. Revamped fenders and side trims with chrome trim. 4x2 SLX and SX derived fascias from 4x4/Hi-Lander (before Platinum's fascia) and revamped side trims without chrome trim. Chrome fascia for 3.0 SLX models and color-keyed fascia for SX. Top heads of 3 DDi iTEQ engines changed from gold to platinum. Some models dropped 4JJ1-TC 3.0l engine. All retooled to be acceptable with Biodiesel B5. Interior changed to platinum tone. Cab4 LS also featured new sumptous leather upholstery in black. Several highline models featured Platinum Entertainment package (by Kenwood): included DVD/VCD/MP3/DiVX player and 6.1" touch-screen; compatible with iPod, Bluetooth, TV tuner and navigation system. Additionally also featured rear view camera for reverse assist (Platinum Vision). All SpaceCab models featured new middle pillars called Safety Pillar Cab; pillars and door beams larger and thicker. Not all Cab4 models received retooled rear suspension called Super Flex Plus suspension. Badges and rings which were once gold are now in silver/platinum as well. Spark EX also received new gauge and indicator. D-Max Platinum models commenced on sale from 15 October.
Middle of September 2009, Isuzu introduces D-Max Super Platinum models. SL model was dropped. Exterior featuring new colors, highline SLX 4x2 models received same fascia and front bumper as Hi-Lander / LS 4x4 style, new 16" wheels and newer styles of alloy wheels for SLX / Hi-Lander / LS 4x4, newer rear bumper, and new "Super Platinum" marque at tailgate. Models with 3.0 VVGS Turbo also received light silver decorate at scoop rim. LS 4x4 models received skid plate attached under bumper in brighter silver, newer side step. Highline Hi Lander / LS 4x4 models have newer style blind spot rear view mirrors, and new short-plot antenna. Hexapod-plot interior of highline 4x2 models turned tone to black modern graphite with some silver decoration, cloth seaters in newer fabric style and darker grey tone which designed to be in same tone as door panels. While highline Cab4 models updated the interior by 2-tone plot: graphite for console and beige for seaters. And for the first time ever in one tonner segment, some highline models equipped with i-GENii (Genius Exploring Network Interactive Intelligence) GPS touchscreen navigation system as standard equipment right out from the plant; featuring Thai language menu and Thai voice assistance. Users can always update with both database and map. Additionally, built-in Bluetooth included.
The Thai-market Colorado is smaller than the North American model of the same name and almost unrelated. In late January 2006, Chevrolet introduced a G-80 differential lock system as optional for most Colorado trim levels. This feature is not available on the D-Max. The Thai-market Colorado received a minor redesign in late 2007.
Late first quarter of 2008, Chevrolet also introduced Colorado 4x2 2.5 with diesel dual fuel system via CNG tank. Switchable between diesel (65) and compressed natural gas (35) as the divided aspect (65:35); moreover also can use diesel purely as well. Biodiesel B5 is also acceptable. Location of tank is on the bed behind cab. Available for 2 cabstyles.
The Isuzu MU-7 is an Isuzu D-Max pickup-based wagon with a seven-seat arrangement. The MU-7 has the same front fascia as the D-Max, but has a covered rear end instead of a truck bed. It is only available in some countries of Southeast Asia. In the Philippines this model is called the Isuzu Alterra.
Since early launch, the drivetrain choices are 4x2 and 4x4. All come with one engine: the 3.0 4JJ1-TC DDi iTEQ engine.
Special suspension set which exclusively reserved for all MU-7 is called MOVE suspension. Front: Double Wishbone, torsion bar, anti-roll bar, gas-type shock absorber. Rear: SUV-typed leaf springs via gas-type shock absorber.
In the late third quarter of 2006, the MU-7 range of models was updated and separated as Primo (4x2) and Activo (4x4). With a new 3.0 4JJ1-TCX DDi iTEQ , new transmissions were implemented as well: MUX 5 speed manual and MaxMatic-III automatic transmission. Also new was the interior, incorporating a console with wood decoration and new "best" seat upholstery.
And just as for the Gold Series and D-Max, both MU-7 Primo GS and Activo GS also receive gold Isuzu badges in 3 locations. GS models also come equipped with a new navigation entertainment system incorporating a new reverse assist (with camera from Kenwood), all optional since early 2008. Primo and Activo received Wide Vision blind-spot rear view mirror. Also added was the additional new low cost 4x2 model, the S (with DDI ITEQ 3.0 litre (146 PS)) which is priced below the Primo.
MU-7 Platinum models commenced on market by 1 November. Frontal changed a bit by platinum tone. Revamped fenders and side trims (by lower tone). But emphasized much in inner accessories. Such as new DVD/VCD/MP3/DiVX player with 2 USB slots via 2 units of 8.1' touch-screen (one at console and one at second row ceiling), built-in Bluetooth and Graphic Equalizer function. All this applied to highline Primo and Activo models. All models also received platinum painted engines. MOVE suspension for Activo and Primo also retooled. S model receives automatic transmission as optional.
MU-7 Super Platinum models were introduced in the same month as D-Max. Exterior fitted newer front bumper, newer style alloy wheels (except S), newer blind spot rear view mirrors, and newer choice of exterior colors. Models with 3.0 VVGS Turbo also received light silver decorations at the scoop rim. Interior featuring new Giallio Walnut wood decorations by console and transmission base. Primo and Activo models equipped with i-GENii (Genius Exploring Network Interactive Intelligence) GPS touchscreen navigation system as standard equipment; with Thai language menu and Thai voice assistance. Users can always update the database / map.
Every year since late 2005 until now, there are several special D-Max & MU-7 models. Available exclusively only for a period during Thailand's 2 largest auto shows and also other special Isuzu occasions. They were all unique yet never the same in each presentation.
D-Max Smart models are such one remarkably special model set. Available in several occasions during 2008. This edition modifies SpaceCab 4x2 2.5 by special white pearl exterior color and optional equipment such as immobilizer key.
Ever since Platinum models introduced, D-Max Smart models expanded up to 3 choices: SpaceCab 4x2, Cab4 4x2 and Hi-Lander 2-Door. These 3 models also updated as new Super Platinum models.
In 2009, Sport version of D-Max named X-Series was introduced.Aiming specially at young people target group which normally didn't interest in using pickup. It was marketed as "Lifestyle Pickup" and equipped with additional skirts and prominent red Isuzu letters at front grill. The wheels remain unchanged from normal model but came with gunmetal paint finish. Available in 2-door Spacecab and 4-Door Cab4 with only manual transmission.
In 2010, D-Max and MU-7 Super Titanium models were introduced. It featured frontal camera, usually found in luxury cars, first time ever in Thai pickup.
In late 2010, revised D-Max X-Series were introduced with new skirts and automatic transmission also available.
List of special edition D-Max
- Gold Series - Platinum - Smart - Super Platinum - Super Titanium - X-Series
In the United Kingdom, D-Max pick-ups are sold as the Isuzu Rodeo.