The new Isuzu D Max X-Rider: Stands out from bakkie stereotypes

Isuzu is a highly regarded brand in South Africa thanks to its tough and reliable bakkies. The brand led the pick-up segment for years, and its success in the country was sealed in 2006 with the installation of a manufacturing plant that builds several truck models, including the bakkie that we will be reviewing in this article.

Isuzu released the 7th generation of the D-MAX bakkie in 2022 and was highly praised by the press and the public. However, Isuzu’s fans had to wait two years for the arrival of the renewed X-RIDER series, the vehicle's popular and sporty limited edition.

The brand-new X-RIDER is all about style and personality. It stands out from the standard bakkie stereotypes. The X-RIDER has everything you need to drive through rough terrain and to haul cargo, but it also has features that you would expect to find in a leisure vehicle. 

Isuzu based the new X-RIDER on the D-MAX 1.9 Ddi LS trim, which provides an excellent foundation in terms of engine and transmission options and comfort elements, such as the 7” infotainment system with touchscreen, rear park assist with reverse camera, Apple Car Play and Android Auto, and front and rear USB ports.

The trusted RZ4E-TC GEN2 1.9-liter turbodiesel engine with common rail injection produces 110kW and 350Nm of torque. Given that both the D-MAX LS and the X-RIDER share the same engine and transmission and weigh the same, there are no significant differences in terms of performance and fuel consumption.

This bakkie stands out from the rest thanks to its gloss black front grille with a distinctive red Isuzu badge, 18” Diamond-cut black alloy wheels, LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL), fog lamps, standard side steps, and X-RIDER badges on the front doors and the tailgate. 

Isuzu offers this special edition version in four outstanding colours: Splash White, Islay Gray, Mercury Silver, and Red Pinel, which contrast superbly with the new rims and the blacked-out B-pillar, door mirror caps, and handles and make the truck stand out while looking amazing and bold. The matching sports bar and off-road tyres seal a perfect look.

The interior features a leather steering wheel with satellite controls, red stitching, and a red ISUZU logo, sports leather seats with red stitching, and an “X” logo stitched into the headrests. The black shift knob boot and the synthetic leather door panels are also finished with contrasting red stitching. The dash is finished in gloss black with red trimmings, among other distinctive features. The pillar covers and the headliner are also dark to complete a sporty interior.

You can find the brand-new Isuzu X-RIDER in three versions:

  • 1.9 X-Rider, 6-speed manual, 4x2, starting from R640,500
  • 1.9 X-Rider A/T, 6-speed automatic, 4x2, starting from R659,200
  • 1.9 X-Rider A/T 4x4, 6-speed automatic, starting from R740,700

All versions are offered with a 5-year or 120,000km warranty and a 5-year or 90,000km service plan. The service intervals are every 12 months or 15,000 kilometres, whichever comes first.

If you don’t mind sacrificing some power, the new X-RIDER offers excellent performance, comfort, and a stunning look for less money than a fully equipped 3.0-engined model, offering exceptional value for money. When compared with its direct competitors, the Ford Ranger FX4 2.0 and the Toyota Hilux Raider X 2.4, with starting sale prices of approximately R650,000, the Isuzu D-MAX X-RIDER is an excellent choice, offering similar performance, especially if you’re an Isuzu fan.

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