Published on March 9th, 2022 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Is The Isuzu D-Max 1.9L Diesel Enough For Malaysians Today
Isuzu D-Max Premium 4×4 1.9L Diesel Drive Review
Since its launch in April 2021, the current generation Isuzu D-Max has comprehensively dominated the country’s pick-up truck market sales. Over 5,000 units booked and counting and Isuzu Malaysia has already delivered 3,000 plus units (even with supply issues due to Covid-19) to date and demand for this new D-Max range continues to remain strong despite strong competition in this rising segment.
This time we are test driving the D-Max Premium 4×4 with the award-winning RZ-4E 1.9-litre diesel powerplant which has been on the minds of some pickup truck buyers but with the daunting question to be answered ‘is a 1.9L diesel powerful enough’?
Well, we asked the same question at the D-Max launch and it was time to find out for ourselves over a long weekend.
Despite the presence of bigger and more powerful alternatives in the market, often offering more equipment at comparable or lower prices, this new D-Max’s sales success is quite amazing, but one cannot stay successful forever on just great fuel efficiency which is Isuzu’s big selling point as rivals also start delivering better fuel consumption. Therefore, we need to look at form and function.
We started with inner city use. This is where most pickup drivers live and work. Let’s face the facts, Malaysians are not known for tow jet skies, small boats, caravans and even their own mobile homes.
So, towing power is not important which means high torque is not necessary, unless you are going racing or you are carrying a heavy load. With this 1.9L, we found city driving more than adequate and there was never, we repeat, never a lack of mid-range torque when we were in the city. Yes, it is not like with its 3.0L sibling that has much more torque (450Nm).
With almost 80 percent of the time ‘needling’ along in heavy traffic and under the watchful eye of the local law enforcement, this 1.9L diesel was very useable and very responsive under our control.
Still, you will be surprised to know that this 1,898cc diesel engine delivers 148hp @ 3,600rpm and a high 350Nm of torque @ 1,800rpm. This means, if you really need to tow a new jet-ski trailer or your motor-cross motorcycles on a trailer there will be no issue as it has been rated to tow up to 3,500kg.
Then we decided to take on a short cross state drive and once on the open road and away from the prying eyes of the law, we found easy mid-range acceleration working with smooth gearshifts.
We did our routine shopping at the water front wet market and also decided to get a little something for the garden along the way and found the D-Max’s load height and ‘light’ tailgate easy to use.
After the 3-hour drive, the cabin comfort was appreciated and we could also appreciate the fuel sipping qualities of this 1.9L diesel engine.
So, to answer the question on ‘enough power or not’, we see no reason to look at the 3.0L version, unless you are a…….
- frequent long distance driver
- person who needs to carry heavy loads often across a lot of kilometers
- driver who prefers that added power for smiles
- person that has some heavy towing to do
- person that will be carrying farm produce up and down hilly roads
- that sees fuel costs are not an issue
So, time to take a test drive at your nearest Isuzu showroom and decide for yourself.
Isuzu D-Max 1.9L 4×4 Premium Specifications
Engine: Inline-4, Diesel VGS Turbo 16V
Transmission: 6-speed auto Sequential Shift
Max Power: 150PS @ 3,600rpm
Max Torque: 350Nm @ 1,800 – 2,600rpm