But what makes this new 1.9-litre Ddi BluePower turbodiesel so special?
Although the new engine might be a lot smaller than the older 2.5-litre unit, the new 1.9-litre RZ4E-TC turbodiesel makes 14 PS and 30 Nm more, bringing the total output figures to 150 PS and 350 Nm. This can be attributed to the 37% reduction in internal friction of the new engine when compared to the older 2.5-litre engine.
This new engine is also 62 kg lighter than the older 2.5-litre unit. As such, lighter weight equals to better performance and improved fuel economy. Isuzu says that the updated D-Max, when equipped with the 1.9-litre Ddi BluePower engine, consumes just 8.0-litre/100 km, making it one of the most fuel-efficient pick-up trucks on sale in Malaysia. Furthermore, locally-assembled 1.9-litre variants of the D-Max are also Energy Efficient Vehicle (EEV) certified, making it the first pick-up truck in Malaysia to receive the certification.
Yes, we are aware that power figures are lower than rival pick-up trucks in the segment, but this is done for a good reason.
Isuzu intentionally detunes their engines for maximum reliability to cope with poor fuel quality or maintenance habits. This is especially true in East Malaysia, where the majority of the D-Maxes in Malaysia are sold. There, many D-Maxes are used in rural areas where the operating conditions can be very tough and many locals there trust their lives with their Isuzus - for many, their livehood depends on an Isuzu.
If power is your thing, a quick look at the drag racing scene in Thailand will dispel any myth about the performance potential of the 1.9-litre BluePower engine, which is known to push out over 300 PS with minimal tuning.
The company also sponsors the Isuzu Race Spirit drag racing series in Thailand, which has a special category for the 1.9-litre Ddi BluePower engine.
The 1.9-litre Ddi BluePower has also proved itself at the Africa Eco Race, where Team Enduring 2000 Racing team won the 6,022 km race with an Isuzu D-Max running on standard, unmodified engine and transmission.
Driver of the Isuzu D-Max, Harry Suzuki said, “Fuel economy was good too. We carried more fuel than we needed because we’d never run 1.9-litre engine before and it proved to have much better fuel economy then 3.0-litre, which is an advantage when competing in endurance events. The engine weight felt much better too which meant better handling.”