All-new Isuzu D-Max vs Triton vs Hilux - which is Malaysia's best-value pick-up truck?

Sanjay · Apr 16, 2021 02:00 PM

All-new Isuzu D-Max vs Triton vs Hilux - which is Malaysia's best-value pick-up truck? 01

All-new 2021 Isuzu D-Max, recently-facelifted Toyota Hilux, and new Mitsubishi Triton - it's a good time to be a pick-up truck buyer in Malaysia as the current crop comprises a healthy mix of all-new and refreshed models.

All-new Isuzu D-Max vs Triton vs Hilux - which is Malaysia's best-value pick-up truck? 02

Which, however, would be the right choice? As usual, we'll pit the three range-toppers of each model (D-Max X-Terrain, Hilux Rogue, Triton Athlete) to see which comes out on top.

All-new Isuzu D-Max vs Triton vs Hilux - which is Malaysia's best-value pick-up truck? 01

New look and minor improvements, but it's still an aging truck underneath

Please note that we left out the Ford Ranger and Nissan Navara out of this comparison for two reasons: the Ranger will be facelifted soon, and the Navara remains mechanically unchanged from the pre-facelift (since 2013).

Specs: Similar prices across the board

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Pitting like-for-like variants, all models fall under the RM 150k mark, with the Hilux sitting at the most extreme end of the scale. 

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But that's understandable, as you're also getting the most powerful engine in the range. The Hilux's new 1GD-FTV (power 204 PS, torque 500 Nm) mill is exclusive to the Rogue (other variants keep the older 2.4-litre, 150 PS/400 Nm engine) and offers plenty of poke whenever you need it. 

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Similar things can be said of the Triton's lightweight, aluminium 4N15 engine. It's rather punchy with a maximum power output of 181 PS and 430 Nm torque, but its a smidge quieter too.

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The D-Max's 3.0-litre mill - it's a new one, codenamed 4JJ3-TCX - now has 13 PS and 70 Nm more than the older engine. Power then is up to 190 PS and torque is 450 Nm. We say its the most refined one of the bunch, with a smooth and linear power delivery. Off-roading prowess is aided by a rear differential lock.

Features - One has ACC with Stop and Go!

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So, all three models are pretty level-pegging when it comes to kit. The D-Max now gains a rather generous ADAS suite - in fact, it surpasses the Triton (heck, even some C-sedans) because it gets adaptive cruise control with stop and go. 

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The D-Max however lacks a 360-degree camera, something both the Triton and Hilux have. We can see it being a dealbreaker for some as the camera is very handy to have around, especially when getting in and out of tight parking spots.

All-new Isuzu D-Max vs Triton vs Hilux - which is Malaysia's best-value pick-up truck? 08

Other than Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity, all three models also get automatic climate control air cond with rear vents, leather seats, as well as tilt and telescopic steering.

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Triton's rear seats are best-in-segment; brown leather seats are only on the D-Max

It must be mentioned that the Triton remains unchallenged when it comes to sheer passenger comfort. Sure, the D-Max and Hilux are nice to drive, but the Triton offers superior passenger comfort - especially round the back thanks to its signature slanted rear seats.

Size - Not too different

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In terms of size, only minor differences seperate the trio - so all three models won't feel too different when it comes to head- or legroom.

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Compared to its competitors, the Triton's relatively-shorter wheelbase grants it better agility and class-leading 5.9-metre turning circle. U-turns will be a little bit harder in the D-Max and Hilux as they have a 6.2- and 6.4-metre turning radius respectively.

All-new Isuzu D-Max vs Triton vs Hilux - which is Malaysia's best-value pick-up truck? 12

D-Max and Triton will be more balanced than the Hilux

Better handling is one thing, but flatbed length is quite another. The short wheelbase means that (once fully loaded) the Triton doesn't feel as balanced as the Hilux, and its longer rear overhang sometimes causes the bed to scrape the ground when going over steep terrain.

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That said, all three can carry around a tonne of weight on their flatbeds too. Water wading depth is a respectable 700 mm for the Triton and Hilux, but the D-Max excels with 100 mm more, something that is attributed to the repositioned intake.

Conclusion - D-Max is great value

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This current crop of trucks are all so competitive that it's hard to pick out a clear winner, at least at first glance.

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It's now a delicate fight of checks and balances. Looking at things closely, the D-Max is the one that ever so slightly edges out the competiton, with its upmarket two-tone interior, comfortable ride, ACC (with stop and go!) and larger infotainment screen.

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Regardless, there is no wrong decision here - but just which one brings you the most value.

Sanjay

Senior Writer

With humble beginnings collecting diecast models and spending hours virtually tuning dream cars on the computer, his love of cars has delightfully transformed into a career. Sanjay enjoys how the same passion for cars transcends boundaries and brings people together.

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