Isuzu outguns Hilux and Ranger

December 25, 2022 0 By Cypher9ja



The South African motoring industry in 2022 proved once again that Mzansi is undoubtedly bakkie country.

While there was lots of activity in the SUV, hatchback and sedan segments, it was the bakkies that got the most attention. Bakkie news spanned from Peugeot’s re-entry into the segment by virtue of the Landtrek, the first Jeep bakkie in the form of the Gladiator and the hottest production Toyota Hilux yet to the all-new Isuzu D-Max, Ford Ranger and Volkswagen Amarok.

In fact, five of the ten most popular motoring topics on The Citizen’s website this year were bakkies. Over the last 10 days of December, The Citizen Motoring looks back at these five along with the rest of the top 10 Motoring Newsmakers of 2022.

New Isuzu D-Max

The latest reincarnation of one of South Africa’s favourite bakkies, the Isuzu D-Max, was our seventh most popular motoring subject this year.

The Japanese carmaker rolled out the seventh generation of the D-Max out in April while keeping the previous generation as the more fleet-orientated rebadged D-Max Gen 6.

New to the Gqeberha-built seventh generation D-Max was the addition of the flagship V-Cross which is tasked with rivalling other top-of-the-range offerings like the Toyota Hilux Legend, the Ford Ranger Wildtrak and Nissan Navara Pro-2X/4X.

The new Isuzu D-Max not only features styling and safety enhancements, but also a healthy dose of additional oomph. In fact, so impressive is its acceleration that it delivered a sucker punch to its direct rivals during testing.

Sprinter of note

Up until April this year, the fastest production four-cylinder bakkie Road Test Editor Mark Jones has tested was the 2.5-litre Nissan Navara Pro-2X. This Navara clocked the 0 to 100km/h sprint in 12.19 seconds, which was marginally quicker than the 3.2-litre Ford Ranger Wildtrak (12.34 seconds) and the 2.8-litre Toyota Hilux Legend RS (12.42 seconds).

The new 3.0-litre Isuzu D-Max V-Cross unexpectedly took over one and half seconds off the Navara’s time by smashing the sprint in 10.59 seconds. A time that will be hard to beat for the new 2.0-litre Ford Ranger and VW Amarok pair.

Our other 2022 Motoring Newsmakers are:

No 10 – New Range Rover rolls in

No 9 – VW Amarok shows face

No 8 – Kona N the new Golf GTI killer