2012 Isuzu Dmax into ownership

Submitted: Wednesday, Aug 22, 2012 at 09:04
ThreadID: 97572 Views:11394 Replies:4 FollowUps:10
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I thought I would give a brief review of the new 2012 Isuzu Dmax now that it has been in my carport for about a month. Thus far, we have only done a couple of thousand kays but so far we have been very impressed.

We have the LS Terrain model. Initially we ordered just the LS-U model, but due to dealership delivery problems they upgraded us to the top of the range model. We have the 5 speed automatic and 5 year, 100,000 km warranty for $52,000 which we were very happy with. In our view, we wouldn't pay extra for the top of the range. We aren't too bothered with leather seats, roof rails or sat nav. However, she is a big girl, and the rear view camera is proving worthwhile. And the missus likes the electric height adjustment on the drivers seat. She is a small lady but finds it very easy to drive.

Being top enders, we drove 100km south of Darwin to give it a run on the highway. Seriously, there is no need for a 6 speed gearbox. The engine lopes along with ease. Cabin noise at 130kph (legal limit for NT) is quite good, and plenty of torque on board for overtaking a couple of 4 trailer road trains that we encountered. The engine was never left wanting.

We went off road to one of our regular haunts near Robin Falls. Into low range 1st and 2nd the Dmax crawled over the steep rutted and washed out tracks with ease. Plenty of clearance underneath kept the Dmax out of strife, and the auto gearbox worked a treat. there are several steel bash plates in the right places to keep the precious bits in tact, I seriously could not ask or want for more power.

Being a ute, the ride is bouncy. We intend to put a canopy and a few extras onto it down the track when they become available through ARB or TJM. Hopefully this will settle the ride down with a bit of weight on the back.

The trip computer is handy. The Dmax has a 76 litre tank. Whilst on the highway sitting on on 120-130, it was showing low 8's for fuel consumption. With half a tank to go, the computer was showing a range til empty of 400km, which was very impressive. We are getting about 10litres/100km around town, which is quite good for a new automatic diesel engine that is still tight.

Back in town, the Dmax is getting plenty of glances, as there is only a couple on the road I have seen up here in Darwin. My neighbours who own cruiser utes, hiluxes and Navaras all like it, but they are giving me heaps for the leather seats. Oh well.
All up, she is a great truck. We love it to bits. If any readers want to know anything about the new Dmax I'm happy to help out.

Happy travels.

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Reply By: Ross M - Wednesday, Aug 22, 2012 at 11:03

Wednesday, Aug 22, 2012 at 11:03
I like the Dmax also.
I have a 2011 model and I think the new model has some design improvements for the better.
The thing for you to watch now is, if when it goes in for it's 3000km free service that they actually check the items the book says to check.

Mine, apart from checking the engine oil level had NO work at all performed on it.

There are many others which have had their 10,000km service where gearbox, tcase and diffx2 oils should be changed and tailshafts greased and they have not been done. I discovered three such vehicles inside 4 days all not done at the 10,000km time and all from the same dealer. Other reports from owners in OZ have experienced the same thing. This is an industry wide norm. However some dealers do the right thing with service but are in the minority.

100,000kmand 5year warranties don't mean much when services are not done correctly.

Please have your service items marked prior to service, so you can have them checked afterwards to determine if done properly and integrity of the dealer.
At $52,000 invested, I would be doing so.
AnswerID: 493384

Reply By: Member - Scooby (WA) - Wednesday, Aug 22, 2012 at 11:57

Wednesday, Aug 22, 2012 at 11:57
Hi Az,
Thanks for the review. I will be interested to hear more after you have had her longer and knocked up a few klm's.
I like the sound of the Dmax and Izuzu make great motors.
AnswerID: 493387

Follow Up By: Top End Az - Wednesday, Aug 22, 2012 at 12:05

Wednesday, Aug 22, 2012 at 12:05
Hi Scooby

Thanks for that mate. As it's a new model and there aren't many out there yet so I'll keep the forum updated if people are interested. The main reason for choosing the Dmax over the Colorado was that the Dmax kept the tried and tested Isuzu motor whereas the Colorado has changed to a different diesel unit.

As far as the servicing goes, I'm a bit reluctant to use the dealers. I'd prefer to use my own authorised service centre.


FollowupID: 768970

Reply By: Isuzumu - Thursday, Aug 23, 2012 at 09:54

Thursday, Aug 23, 2012 at 09:54
Good review Top Ender, hope to pick up our new LS-T in garnet in auto red next week, got ours here in Qld for $50K very happy with that.
We were able to take one on an hour test drive where I took it down a forest track felt great. I have test driven the Mazda, Colorado and VW and decided to stay with Isuzu cause of their reliability, plus they are a nicer looking vehicle than the rest, I reckon anyway hahahaha also the pricing is much better.
AnswerID: 493443

Follow Up By: Top End Az - Thursday, Aug 23, 2012 at 11:32

Thursday, Aug 23, 2012 at 11:32
Well done Bruce on the purchase. You got it at a very good price. In the NT we seem to not do so well on getting a bargain due to the lack of competition.
The only thing I am not totally convinced with is the roof rails on it. I want to put a canopy on it with a canopy rack when they come out (the rack that extends out over the cabin a little). I don't know if the rails will get in the way. It looks like you won't be able to take them off without leaving holes in the roof. The Isuzu is a good looking ute though. Wonder how it will fair in magazine reviews?
FollowupID: 769044

Follow Up By: Isuzumu - Thursday, Aug 23, 2012 at 12:51

Thursday, Aug 23, 2012 at 12:51
I want to do the same thing and people at ARB said it would not be a problem and if it is you could put spaces on where it bolts thru the canopy roof to give it more height.. Now it will be a waiting game for those things to come out including their bull bar and snorkel.
FollowupID: 769048

Follow Up By: Isuzumu - Thursday, Aug 23, 2012 at 12:57

Thursday, Aug 23, 2012 at 12:57
I love the fuel economy, the one I test drove showed 7.1L/100 at 100kph not bad for a vehicle that only had 200Ks on it.
I am wanting a long range tank to so I would imagine that seeing they are the same chassis as the Colorado they might not be to far away either.
One thing I also noticed the exhaust is 3 inch mandrel bent so I think the figures they have of 380 NM might be a little under dune especially after driving the BT 50, you would not think it had 90 NM less that for sure.
FollowupID: 769050

Follow Up By: Top End Az - Thursday, Aug 23, 2012 at 13:03

Thursday, Aug 23, 2012 at 13:03
Thanks Bruce. Thats good to know actually. I hadn't thought of using spacers to raise the canopy to clear the existing rails.

I want to set it up for touring so I'm eagerlly awaiting ARB to release their products. I was on their Facebook page a while back talking with them. They purchased a Dmax mid July to get the measurements but they wouldn't give a time frame.
Judging by the release of accessories for other new vehicles to the market it looks like a 6 month wait.
FollowupID: 769052

Follow Up By: Top End Az - Thursday, Aug 23, 2012 at 13:08

Thursday, Aug 23, 2012 at 13:08
I hadn't noticed the exhaust. 3 inch Mandrell bent on the standard Dmax? If so that's handy to have straight off the factory floor. When reading about the BT50/Ranger, it's difficult to comprehend how you could need any more power or torque than what the Dmax has already.
It's handy sharing the same chassis as Colorado. It should speed up accessories being released if the aftermarker get twice the bang for their R&D buck.
FollowupID: 769054

Follow Up By: Member - Old Girl - Thursday, Aug 23, 2012 at 13:22

Thursday, Aug 23, 2012 at 13:22
Well done Bruce, lets hope your new tourer is as good if not better than your old faithful. Sharon
FollowupID: 769055

Follow Up By: Isuzumu - Thursday, Aug 23, 2012 at 14:01

Thursday, Aug 23, 2012 at 14:01
Thanks Sharon, will be keeping the old MU for those beach runs lol.
FollowupID: 769058

Reply By: Isuzumu - Thursday, Aug 23, 2012 at 16:54

Thursday, Aug 23, 2012 at 16:54
Top End Az, have you worked out what they have on the GPS where they talk about 10,000 off road destinations or some thing like that. I seen it some where but cannot find it now.
AnswerID: 493458

Follow Up By: Isuzumu - Thursday, Aug 23, 2012 at 17:01

Thursday, Aug 23, 2012 at 17:01
Just found it, it was in a review in Caradvice.com.au and it said "list 10,000 off road destinations"
FollowupID: 769070

Follow Up By: Isuzumu - Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 14:47

Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 14:47
Just found out from IUA (Isuzu Ute Australia) that the Sat Nav in the LS-T has Hema off road data base built in. Not bad for a $50K vehicle, don't think you get that in a $100K LC do you.
FollowupID: 769320

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