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The wait has been a long one, but for many, it’s worth it. Here’s the Malaysian-market all-new Isuzu D-Max, replacing the current long-standing model that’s been in service (through various incarnations) since 2003. The second-generation D-Max is priced between RM69,799 to RM100,689 across five variants.

No questions about it, this pick-up is new from the ground up. Built on the i-GRIP (Isuzu Gravity Response Intelligent Platform) base, it’s significantly larger than before in every measurement – 5,295 mm long (+260 mm), 1,860 mm wide (+60 mm), 1,795 mm high (+60 mm) with a wheelbase of 3,095 mm (+45 mm). Ground clearance too has been increased by 10 mm to 235 mm.

The larger dimensions translate to a much more spacious cabin and bigger cargo area. It now has a more SUV-like interior with a bigger focus on passenger comfort, especially those sitting in the back. Isuzu claims that the angled rear seats backs are the best in the class. New additions include isofix mounting points, folding rear seats plus various cupholders and storage compartments.

If the interior looks familiar to you, that’s because the new D-Max shares it with the Chevrolet Colorado. The platform and interior were co-developed with parent company GM, but the running gear, dynamics and exterior styling are completely bespoke to each brand.

It’s a good looking truck isn’t it? There’s a big and bold grille up front, flanked by sharp looking projector headlamps. The bulging wheelarches are now part of the sheetmetal, no longer plastic add-ons. Aerodynamic efficiency is the best in the class, with a 5% improvement in drag coefficient (Cd) than before.

All but the base model get a new 2.5 litre four-cylinder turbodiesel engine producing 136 hp at 3,600 rpm and 320 Nm of torque between 1,800-2,800 rpm, making use of a Variable Geometry System (VGS) turbocharger to outpower the old 3.0 litre motor. Two five-speed transmissions are offered either in manual or automatic flavours; the latter with a manual override function.

The D-Max features an advanced crash protection structure on the passive safety front. Dual airbags, three-point seat belts for all occupants plus ABS, BA, EBD, Traction Control (TCS) and Electronic Stability Control (ESC) systems are also on offer, but only on the two top models.

At the bottom of the range sits the RM69,799 2.5L 4×2 MT low rider variant, using an older 79 hp/176 Nm turbodiesel engine. It gets base-spec reflector-type headlamps, grey grille, 15-inch steel wheels, single airbag and black wing mirrors and rear bumper but keeps the Load Sensing Proportional Valve (LSPV) and limited slip differential (LSD).

The next two models in the line-up, the 2.5L 4×2 MT Hi-Ride (RM79,899) and 2.5L 4×4 MT-L (RM85,499) use the newer, more powerful engine and are equipped with 16-inch alloy wheels, projector headlamps and chrome finish on the grille, wing mirrors and rear bumper as standard. Airbag count stays at one though.

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Moving up to the top spec D-Max 2.5L 4×4 in manual (RM94,619) and automatic (RM100,689) forms get you the e-LUMAX multi-info display, leather-wrapped steering with audio and handsfree controls, 2-DIN multimedia player with Bluetooth connectivity and a six-speaker audio system (with ‘Exciter’ surround speakers embedded into the roof lining).

Exterior additions such as fog lamps, LED rear lights, 17-inch wheels, roof rails, bed liner and side steps are also thrown in as standard on the two most expensive models. As these variants are more likely to be used as family recreational vehicles rather than for commercial or heavy duty use, they go without the LSPV and LSD.

A roll bar is a RM1,200 option on all variants bar the base model. Five colours are available – Phoenix Red Mica, Phantom Grey Mica, Stallion Black Metallic, Titanium Silver Metallic and Magnum White Solid, with the first two offered only on 4×4 models. Isuzu offers a three year or 100,000 km warranty.