After a long wait, Isuzu has finally launched the 2021 D-Max pickup in India. The new D-Max range includes the base Hi-Lander and top-spec V-Cross variants, with the former priced from Rs 16.98 Lakh and the latter going for Rs 24.49 Lakh (ex-showroom, India). While the Hi-Lander is the only one of its kind, the D-Max V-Cross comes in two trim levels, including the entry-level Z 2WD (AT) and the range-topping Z Prestige 4WD (AT). The BS6-rated D-Max was so far meant primarily for the commercial buyer, with variants like the Regular Cab and S-Cab. However, the newly-launched Hi-Lander and V-Cross variants are aimed at private buyers.
The 2021 Isuzu D-Max remains mostly unchanged when compared to its pre-BS6 avatar. As far as its exterior goes, the new Hi-Lander variant gets a chiseled front bumper with side-mounted air intakes, gloss black grille, regular halogen headlamps, black wing mirrors, and steel wheels. While the black finish on the outside might make it look a little sporty, there isn’t anything particularly fancy about the D-Max Hi-Lander. On the other hand, the fully-loaded D-Max V-Cross certainly possesses more curb appeal. For instance, all the black exterior bits are now replaced by their chrome counterparts, and the steelies have been supplanted by 18-inch alloy rims.
Both of these make the V-Cross look and feel more expensive – the chrome-laden front grille, especially so. In fact, there’s chrome around the front fog lamp housing and within the headlamps as well. Moreover, the halogen headlamps have now been replaced by modern LED projectors with dedicated LED DRLs.
The general design of the Isuzu D-Max is mostly in line with that of other pickup trucks, but because they aren’t that common on our roads, even average-sized pickups such as the D-Max grab attention. Meanwhile, the interior of the 2021 D-Max is surely not filled with all of the latest in modern technology and hardware. Having said that, there is enough (especially in the V-Cross variant) to keep buyers fairly satisfied.
In its entry-level Hi-Lander form, the 2021 D-Max gets most of the basic amenities. This includes stuff like power steering, power windows, a manual air-conditioning system, and a 4-speaker audio system. On the safety side, the D-Max Hi-Lander scores dual front airbags, ABS with EBD, rear parking sensors, and rear ISOFIX anchorages. Moving up to the range-topping D-Max V-Cross Z Prestige, you will get fancier features like fixed side steps, a rearview camera, keyless entry with push-button start, faux leather upholstery, an electrically adjustable driver’s seat, cruise control, a multifunctional steering wheel, automatic climate control, an 8-speaker audio rig, and a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system. While the quality of much of the plastics is far from premium, the interior of the D-Max V-Cross certainly looks nicer than that of the Hi-Lander.
Under the hood, all variants of the 2021 Isuzu D-Max come with a BS6-compliant 1.9-liter four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine. The oil burner pushes out 161hp along with 360Nm of maximum torque, driving either the rear wheels or all fours. Meanwhile, transmission chores are handled by either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed torque converter automatic. The four-wheel-drive version of the new D-Max V-Cross can be had with the manual or the automatic gearbox. As for the base Hi-Lander, it can only be had in rear-wheel-drive form and with the manual transmission. Furthermore, the Z Prestige variant of the new D-Max V-Cross also comes with Hill Descent Control, Electronic Stability Control, and Traction Control systems.