Published on December 2nd, 2013 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez



Isuzu D-Max_3

In recognition of its incredible toughness, remarkable resilience against the elements and impressive power delivery throughout the extreme off-road conditions of this year’s Borneo Safari, the Sabah Four Wheel Drive Association (SFWDA) committee unanimously voted the all-new Isuzu D-Max as Vehicle of The Year.

The “Red Monster” was aptly selected due to its fault-free run and amazing performance through what was deemed one of the most extreme off-road expeditions ever with participants driving over sheer 80 degree slopes and knee-high mud. The convoy even had to stop momentarily when they emerged from the forests near Keningau due to the high number of vehicles that required emergency repairs in the workshops there but the all-new Isuzu D-Max powered on without incident.

What further impressed the organisers was the fact that the two all-new Isuzu D-Max that ferried the media during the eight days event were virtually standard vehicles apart from the body lift to accommodate the large mud terrain tyres and the additional bars and bumpers fitted to protect the body from the elements.

According to the COO of Isuzu Malaysia Daisuke Ishida, the award was significant as it was based on the merit of the vehicle conquering one of the toughest and most extreme off-road events in the world.

“The Isuzu D-Max did not just plough through some muddy path. Over the eight days of the Borneo Safari, it conquered some of the most grueling tests of man and machine imaginable. The all-new Isuzu D-Max deservedly earned the Vehicle of The Year Award by proving it was more than capable of carrying on the legacy of durability and reliability of the old D-Max straight out of the box,” said Ishida.

Isuzu D-Max_2

The two ‘monsters’ were part of an Isuzu sponsorship programme of the Borneo Safari where the trucks formed transport vehicles for the media to cover the event. This year’s event was by most accounts one of the toughest in recent history as it covered the circumference of Trus Madi, Malaysia’s second-highest peak with numerous river crossings, steep inclines and rocky hillslopes.

The all-new Isuzu D-Max that was launched in May this year has been gaining popularity particularly for its impressively spacious and comfortable cabin, excellent comfort and dynamic engine performance. It features a new 2.5-litre engine that delivers better performance than the older 3-litre engine, making the all-new D-Max a better vehicle whether on or off paved roads while offering superior fuel efficiency than before.

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