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Isuzu D-MAX RC (2012-Present)

Isuzu D-MAX RC (2012-Present)

3.9 from 160 reviews

Dmax Auto

I have had two Isuzu Dmax's one manual and one auto. My manual towed a 3t caravan and I sold it at 150000km with the same clutch and brakes from new. The second which I still own is a 2014 Xrunner auto has a 5 speed automatic transmission which has done 115000km and I have never had a problem towing the same van. If you leave it in auto mode you should not get an overheat on your transmission towing. Let it choose the gear it wants to tow in and you will find it works great and the ECU learns. I tow my van a lot and at 90000km I had a transmission shop service it and he said it is good and the oil was only a bit cloudy. I added an Elocker for towing off road which I would like as an option and just recently upgraded my suspension. Both Dmax's have been great tow vehicles.

Purchased in June 2014 for $48,000.00.

Build Quality
Value for Money
Cleaning & Maintenance
Noise Level
TransmissionAutomatic
BoughtNew
Year2,014
Performance
Acceleration / Power
Handling
Braking
Suspension
Gear Shifting
Fuel Efficiency
Design
Interior Design
Features
Comfort

Is the D-Max a genuine tradesman type vehicle

Brought a 2015 D-Max Space Cab with alloy tray as a replacement for my 2010 PK Ranger (still the most reliable 4WD I have ever owned). The D Max is fitted with a steel bull bar (dealer fitted) and from day one vibrated. The whiplash was so violent when you hit rough roads that it snapped off 2 High Gain mobile aerials attached the bull bar mounting. The dealer has never been able to resolve the issue. In my opinion I think the steel bull bar is too heavy for the front suspension. Solved the issue of the High Gain aerial by shifting it to a fender mount. The next issue was the whole passenger side of the vehicle developed a 30mm lean. The dealer initially claimed that the vehicle was not loaded correctly. Put the vehicle on a weigh bridge and the loadings on front and rear axles were within the specifications and the total vehicle weight was at 72% loading. (tray rated at 1000kg). Rearranged the load (vehicle has a constant tray load of about 600kg) to no avail. Dealer could not resolve. Vehicle developed a vibration through out the drive chain that even at idle the bull bar and spotlights shuddered. Despite investigations it was never resolved. The vehicle has travelled 140,000km now and the motor is starting to shown signs of getting a little tired. The blue tooth connection is also failing despite a request to the dealer to investigate which was never resolved.
Despite its shortcomings it has always had a good fuel consumption (approx 10l / 100km) and the ride is very comfortable. The space cab area is quite surprising in how much equipment you can fit.
If you are looking a smart looking ute that sits on the driveway from Monday to Friday looking good then go camping / fishing or bush bashing on the weekends then it would suit your needs perfectly. As a hard working tradie ute carrying a constant load maybe not so.

Purchased in March 2016 for $40,000.00.

Build Quality
Value for Money
Cleaning & Maintenance
Noise Level
TransmissionManual
BoughtNew
Year2,015
Performance
Acceleration / Power
Handling
Braking
Suspension
Gear Shifting
Fuel Efficiency
Design
Interior Design
Features
Comfort

BUYING A NEW D-MAX SX SPACE CAB UTE

It was obvious that Doug at Harrison Isuzu believed in the product he was selling, listened to our questions and was very helpful in the lead up to our eventual purchase of our new D-MAX SU ute.

Purchased in March 2019.

Build Quality
Value for Money
Cleaning & Maintenance
Noise Level
BoughtNew
Year2,018
Performance
Acceleration / Power
Handling
Braking
Suspension
Gear Shifting
Fuel Efficiency
Design
Boot Size
Features
Comfort

Nothing to write home about

I brought my MUX early 2017 (Auto) after previously owning 2 D Max's, (Manuals). If I don't start the car at least once in 2 to 3 days it takes about a dozen pushes of the start button. Transmission lousy. Trading at the end of the year.

Purchased in February 2017.

Build Quality
Value for Money
Cleaning & Maintenance
Noise Level
TransmissionAutomatic
BoughtNew
Year2,017
Performance
Acceleration / Power
Handling
Braking
Suspension
Gear Shifting
Fuel Efficiency
Design
Interior Design
Boot Size
Features
Comfort

3 months and counting. What a joke. You buy a new ute so you dont have problems. Not happy

Hi i haven't even had my ute for more than two years yet and it been sitting at the dealer for the last 3 months. It continues to go into limp mode when you first start it in the mornings. They still cant give me answers to why this is occurring. I can't believe that with technology they have these days, you would think that the problem could be found. Izuzu Australia haven't even had the courtesy to call me back. It shows that they just want your money when you purchase a vehicle. But when there's a problem they dont care if it jeopardises you're likely hood. I really on my ute. But i can't really on izuzu

Purchased in May 2017 for $50,000.00.

TransmissionAutomatic
BoughtNew
Year2,017
Performance
Acceleration / Power
Handling
Braking
Suspension
Gear Shifting
Fuel Efficiency
Design
Interior Design
Boot Size
Features
Comfort

Updating previous post.

Further to previous listing of serious problems with 2017 6 spd auto not changing properly when towing, and overheating transmission light coming on if in manual mode etc, last years trip towing same caravan, well within weight ratings, proved to be more like should be, even using 5th gear instead of going straight from 4th to 6th. 3 Isuzu dealerships failed to find a problem, and blamed the driver. Last trip vehicle had reached 16.000km before setting out. Still has overheating light problem, but returned a burn rate of 15 ltrs per 100km instead of the previous trip of 16.5. Still, when travelling without trailer using cruise control, vehicle constantly changing from 6th to 4th on shortest and slightest rises.
Hope this is helpful.

Purchased in June 2017.

TransmissionAutomatic
BoughtNew

Isuzu canopy

the Isuzu canopy is no good , after 3 years the side glass on the r h side of lift up window started to come out of holder, Isuzu would not fix it as canopy is warranted for 3 years or 100,000 km, the repairer told me the frame is buckled and needed a new one. so I will have to keep window closed.not good enough when vehicle is 5 years warranty ,I had it back to Isuzu a few times to stop it leaking .

BadgeLS-U
BodyCab Chassis
CabCrew Cab
TransmissionAutomatic
Date PurchasedDec 2015
Drive4WD

Tough

Without doubt the most genuine workhorse out there , if you want refinement get an Amarock , if you want reliability and an engine capable of 600k , D Max all the way , I had the first one 240k still on original clutch , rotors and only replaced pads once towing 3 ton regularly.

BadgeLS
BodyUte
CabDual Cab
TransmissionManual
Date PurchasedAug 2009
Drive4WD

Great Outback vehicle, simply great.

We use the Dmax as our only car. We have altered it slightly by adding a canopy and a few extras for outback travelling. But we also use it for normal driving as it is a four door and it is quite comfortable. It is economical on fuel, even when towing a Caravan offroad. It is a great workhorse and will go where many other trucks breakdown. The price is better than a few other vehicles in the same range and it also has a capped service for 5 years. We have had no problems with it and although large it is a dream to drive.

Badge48000
BodyUte
CabDual Cab
TransmissionAutomatic
Date PurchasedMar 2017
Drive4WD

Quite simply a great ute...

Bought mine at 60 000ks old. From original owner in absolute immaculate condition.

It's now done 104 000ks. I do about 1000 ks a week, with approx a 600kgs load, and absolutely 0 major issues to report. Which was my main reason for picking the dmax. Reliability.

I will now list some of the annoying relatively small faults with it:

Suspension is crap with a load. It's obviously built for comfort. But by 100 000ks mine were truly sagged (inverted) and even before that it was "floaty". Recently had that replaced with aftermarket and it's now awesome.

The Bluetooth handsfree is terrible. Other people struggle to hear you. Oneday, I may look at an aftermarket headunit.

And thats about it really. Interior is holding up really well, looks brand new really, when I clean it. No unusual noises/rattles or anything starting to appear. Very happy.

I'll be sure to keep servicing it regularly and from what I've experienced so far, and seen from others with higher K utes, I expect to get at least 400 000ks of relatively trouble free motoring out of this ute.

BadgeLS-M
BodyCab Chassis
CabDual Cab
TransmissionAutomatic
Date PurchasedFeb 2018

Love it! Great ute for this price range

My D-Max ute is the 2018 space cab 4x4 auto tray back – the one with rear wing doors for the back. It’s my new work truck. For a work truck, I think it’s a beauty! It has a solid feel to it on the road, goes and stops well, and is nice to drive for a ute. The power is fine, and being auto it’s easy to drive and better suited to the diesel than a manual gearbox in my opinion. I’m averaging 8.3 litres per 100kms and that includes commuting in heavy traffic, and then general driving, but no towing or loads. It’s easy to see out of, and my truck has a rear camera (essential) and a rear window demister. Some spec sheets say these are not fitted to the base model so check this out when you buy one. The stereo is fairly basic, and there is no GPS or Apple connectivity other than Bluetooth. Cruise is fine, as are the other controls. Disappointingly, it doesn’t show the outside temperature, minor I know but I miss that. The front seats have come in for some criticism and although I find it comfortable to sit in, I do find it uncomfortable after an hour of driving. The back seats, or jump seats, would suit people who you don’t want to talk to again! But, they’re legal for adults to sit in so compared to walking they’re still handy. Best thing is that’s where all your gear goes. One thing though, you have to close the front doors pretty firmly due to the movement in the rear opening doors – there’s no pillar of course. If I were in the market for a dual cab 4x4 then this would take some beating for the price.

BadgeSX
BodyCab Chassis
CabCrew Cab
TransmissionAutomatic
Date PurchasedApr 2018

Best truck on the market

These vehicles are built to last,I know of allot of farmers who had Rodeos and ran them around for 10-20 years in the paddock so to speak, with minimal problems.
The D Max is basically the same thing.I regularly tow 3 tonne trailer and its still good on fuel.
currently at 60000km after 2years .

BadgeLS-U
BodyCab Chassis
CabCrew Cab
TransmissionManual
Date PurchasedJun 2016
Drive4WD

The Hardware is Great, Software Needs Work

I'll say from the outset that my 4 previous cars were new 4wd's (2 Hiluxes followed by 2 Tritons) and this 2017 D-max is easily the best of the bunch. But that's not to say there weren't issues, both initially and one current....

My previous 2013 Triton had the so-called "hi-power" 2.5L diesel but that engine was hopeless under 2000 rpm - turbo lag and virtually no torque to get you moving etc. So when D-max shopping, I first test drove a manual version to see how the engine pulled, esp at low revs. And it was wonderful in comparison. Its new 6 speed transmission easily pulled off the mark in 2nd gear and the clutch pedal was half the weight of my previous Triton. It's heavy clutch and lack of low speed engine torque meant you were constantly using the gear lever to "row" it along like a boat and it was killing my left knee in particular.

I'd always been a bit of a "die-hard" for manuals but I've conceded they don't work so well with "short-breathed" diesels and determined to go with an auto this time. When first considering buying a D-max, I was frustrated at how much the 2 different dealers and sales staff I consulted didn't know about the car. Since the D-max had a new 6 spd transmission in both manual and auto, my first question of the manual transmission in particular was, "Why?" I found the engine to be especially torquey so I then asked if it was because it had 2 overdrive gears (the "holy grail" of transmissions). All replied in the negative. A week or two later when I finally received my brochure in the post and was reading the specs, there it was - 4th gear was 1:1 ratio. That meant 5th & 6th were both overdrive, in manual and auto.

My real dealership frustrations concerned genuine Isuzu accessories. They couldn't actually show me a vehicle fitted with any. When I asked detailed questions about the hard tonneau cover (2 different locking systems) and the sports bar (was it a single welded unit or less desirable bolt together job), no-one knew and they had no close-up photos available. As it turned out, I ordered the wrong locking system for the tonneau, which should've been a moot point because they also didn't know at the time that the hard tonneau cover wasn't available in the Spacecab version I'd ordered. Since the contract was signed, without checking with me, they sourced an after-market version but with the same locking system that I specifically didn't want. And since I was no longer getting a factory hard tonneau, I could've then sourced an aftermarket custom sports bar in the welded style that I wanted, IF I'd have known. So yeah, some heated words were exchanged with the sales manager.

Anyway, I've had it nearly a year now and it's generally great but I've had an issue with the new 6 speed auto transmission. I should say an issue in conjunction with the cruise control. I read reviews before I bought the car and knew there were criticisms that the new auto had a habit of hunting for gears, esp around 70-80kph.

A few months back, I was driving unfamiliar country roads in the foothills around Dungog, NSW. Despite the winding and undulating roads generally being a tad narrow and sometimes rough, the speed limit was 100k's but I was more comfortable setting the cruise control at 90. The issue was when I hit some hills. I don't mean overly steep or anything, in fact, I'm confident my old manual Triton would've handled them with minimal speed loss at best and without a downshift. But ok, this is an auto. It rarely selects 6th gear anywhere below 90kph so I'm driving predominantly in 5th or less. So I hit a hill steep enough to drop a few k's on the speedo, and the cruise control isn't having any of that. But instead of shifting down one gear (4th), it makes with its most annoying habit of shifting down 2 gears.

So there I am on an unfamiliar road, approaching the top of a steepish hill and not knowing what the road's like over the crest and doing some 87kph when this insane car selects 3rd and applies full acceleration to get back to the set cruise control speed. The engine's roaring at over 3000 rpm and my heart's pounding as I'm stabbing madly for the brakes. It had done this before when I was cruise controlling around town at around 70 kph. Of course the engine (3rd gear) wasn't spinning nearly as fast and I shrugged it off as 70 probably being on the low side for a 2 tonne car in cruise control. But this...? I pulled over to catch my breath. It happened a few more times during the trip before I decided to dispense with the cruise control and just drive it.

Frankly, I think the issue is more to do with the engine management system (computer) than the gearbox. The reviews I read pre-purchase said the new manual gearbox is made by Isuzu but the auto is from an outside supplier (name long since forgotten). I can understand what's happened.... Isuzu were about to release a new model and, to meet that deadline, they've rushed the new auto into production before it was fully sorted. Every manufacturer has been guilty of that before.

It's now nearly a year later and I'd like to think the issue has been resolved. It's first yearly service is coming up, and since I do think it's to do with engine management, I'll inquire about any software updates or fixes. Or whether it's just my particular vehicle. But the engine itself is just superb after the Triton. As an adapted light truck engine, it's not quite as refined as some other makes. Idling, it sounds a little bit like an old farm tractor compared to some others but the thing I love most, especially with my full tandem trailer on the back, is that it *pulls* like a farm tractor.

BadgeLS-U
BodyUte
CabSpace Cab
TransmissionAutomatic
Date PurchasedOct 2017

A good ute

Ive read the reviews here. Interesting. Such diversity.
I've owned 4 x 4wd's (Hilux's and now Dmax) and grew up with Toyotas including Troopy's, 80 series wagons, 3 x Hilux's between 2001 and 2015, 75 series utes and 100 series Wagons in my family. My last 4bie before the Dmaz was a 2004 SR5 TD Hilux. I loved it. We did trips to Simoson, Cape York and other outback areas and Fraser, Moreton nad Bribie regularly.
I like the Dmaz best.....not because its the latest.
Ive had it now 2.5 years and 40,000k's and have used it towing and offroading. It is my first auto and I wont go back to a manual.
Its been ultra reliable. It uses way less fuel....in fact it uses less fully loaded and towing our camper compared to the old Hilux. Not a single reliability or warranty issue. WAY cheaper than the competition and really.....has everything we could want while appreciating what gets us home....reliability.
I dont understand many of the negative reviews other than to suggest there are many happy owners who dont post.
I included my history to show what my experience is and what I expect.
I recommend a Dmax.
Thanks.

BadgeLS-U
BodyUte
CabDual Cab
TransmissionAutomatic
Date PurchasedMay 2016

Before 1000km fantastic - after 1000km terrible

Bought the MY18 LS - T dual cab two months ago. Up until 1000 km it was fantastic. It felt as though you were floating on a cloud as you drove down the road. But exactly at 1000 km the ride became terrible. It felt like you were driving down a corrugated dirt road on smooth highways. The vibration was felt through the steering and brake pedal as well as the cabin as a whole. When you spoke it sounded full of vibration. Isuzu service centre looked at the vehicle and blamed the Ironman bull bar fitted at delivery without fitting the heavy duty suspension. Isuzu said i had to wait one month for them to look at it and so I booked it in. They did the 3,000 km service but didn't fix any of the warranty defects. I had to book it in for them to order parts and fit them; this will take another month's wait as they are far too busy. So I'm left with a vehicle that is not pleasant to drive because of the vibration, body rolls around corners and under brakes. It's also causing me knee problems on long drives because of the vibration. Toyota service are never too busy to attend to your vehicle up here in Cairns but Isuzu are just too busy. I bought this DMax because it got great reviews and reviewer said they had great customer service; but I now know you can't believe all the reviews. In hindsight I should have got a Hilux.
I'm getting an independent assessment of the bullbar and suspension and will up date this review if it improves the performance of the vehicle. But for now I would not recommend the MY18 Dmax.

BadgeLS-T
BodyUte
CabDual Cab
TransmissionAutomatic
Date PurchasedJul 2018
Drive4WD

Worst car I have ever owned

Been back close to 20 times for various faults and most of them
Still have not been fixed . Worst choice of car I have ever made . Almost 70000 on it and have had nothing but issues with Isuzu . Every time I take my car for a service it comes back with damage to it . At what point can you get your money back for a lemon car ? A car worth $56k to buy is apparently worth under 30k 18 months later and made to be my problem and loss . Please don’t make the same mistake as I did people . Fuel economy is false in there stats also . Buy a ranger or lux

BadgeLS X-Runner
BodyCab Chassis
CabDual Cab
TransmissionAutomatic
Date PurchasedApr 2017
Drive4WD

A great ute

WE love our d-max that we have now had for seven years. It is totally reliable and is just great and does every thing that we ask of it. The only replacement parts have been front shocks beside replacement tyres and normal servicing. We tow a tractor on a two ton trailer and it handles the job with ease.

BadgeLS-U
BodyUte
CabDual Cab
TransmissionAutomatic
Date PurchasedOct 2011

Good quality build but seriously uncomfortable

I purchased my 2017 LSU as a demo model in March this year. It had been sold to someone else who traded it in on a Toyota after 6 days of ownership because of his back problem. I have now covered 22,000kms. The ute is well built and reliable. It drives well. That said, the poor quality blue tooth is a problem with people that I call telling me that they can barely hear me. If I press my nose against the windscreen when driving, I can just carry on a telephone conversation. The worst feature is the lack of comfort on the seats. People who tell you they are very comfortable are just exaggerating. I have owned four other utes and the Izuzu is by far the worst comfortwise. After a 300km journey you are like a cripple with back pain and a sore backside. I do a lot of kms each year and this has become a real problem. I actually wrote to Isuzu, received a nice but totally unhelpful reply. I recently spoke to my mechanic who does my servicing. His words were "Isuzu are a well built and reliable vehicle but they lack the refinements of other 4wds in the market. They are not quite there yet. " I can only agree with this view. Will I buy another Isuzu? Well, the jury is out on that one. Regards Bob

BadgeLS-U
BodyUte
CabSpace Cab
TransmissionAutomatic
Date PurchasedMar 2018
Drive4WD

Strong reliable Ute And easy to put fun 4x4 Accesorys and and go explore.

There is a lot a like about this UTE i considered buying a used UTE for carting some heavy loads out to the property , my original thought was just a basic Ute , however i did a full shocks and suspension upgrade and found its actually very capable 4wd as well.
Compared to the other Utes even the current LSU version it has not much tech i think only traction control. but it no less capable on hill descent jut using i1gear (sports mode).
It tows well, I have had it loaded to 1tonne payload plus 750FG trailer in tow , it gets a bit heavy on the juice but its to be expected. However Car does not miss a beat with all that load no creaks and no uncomfortable feelings when going around bumpy bends.
Its just a champion Ute.
I plan to do a bit of offroad stuff soon and update this review than.
D

BadgeSX
BodyCab Chassis
CabCrew Cab
TransmissionAutomatic
Date PurchasedJun 2018
Drive4WD

When everything fails you, your D-Max won't

I bought my D-Max in October 2014 and it never failed me. With 86,000 kms on the odo, I embarked on a risky journey across Australia, moving from Adelaide to Gold Coast for work. I towed 2.5 tonnes over the 2000 kms and the D-Max did it all no fuss. Along the way, I hit three kangaroos without bullbar, however, there is barely any damage on the truck. I also picked up contaminated fuel in Cobar, but the D-Max powered through without any issues. You cannot get a more reliable vehicle.

BadgeLS-U
BodyUte
CabDual Cab
TransmissionAutomatic
Date PurchasedOct 2014
Drive4WD

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Questions & Answers

Have a warning light on Transmission Control System Malfunction on Isuzu Dmax 2012, when accelerating sometime sticks in low gear, took it to Isuzu dealer, said it was reprogrammed, but fault has reappeared, any clues to what the malfunction may be. Johnno
No answers

I have 2011 dmax and it is making a horrible squeeke that appears to be coming from under drivers seat, I have removed seat retentioned all bolts lubed up rails & lubed any moving party & refitted. The noise still there, I’ve been all over car can’t find it anywhere!! Anybody had this problem previously & can pass on suggestions please...... Paul
1 answer
You have not said whether it is a Cab Chassis / Space Cab or Dual Cab. I have had no issues with squeaking from the seats in my Space Cab however, whilst the noise appears to be coming from under the drivers seat, it may be something loose on the centre console (assuming of course you have bucket seats), from the rear passenger seat on the drivers side or even a door trim item where plastic is rubbing on plastic.

2014 Dmax without canopy. The seal has deteriorated around the rear high mount stop light (the one above the back window) and now let's in water. With the recent rains (March 2018), I have had to check for goldfish each morning lately. Any ideas where to buy a replacement seal besides the local dealership? Ajm
No answers

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