How the Isuzu D-Max 2020 is gunning for Toyota HiLux, Ford Ranger and Mitsubishi Triton: Brand targeting dual-cab top three

Isuzu is targeting the big boys of the ute world with the all-new D-Max, with the company confirming it is hopeful of cracking the top three on the sales charts when its new ute arrives next year.

The 2020 Isuzu D-Max – the ute’s first full update in eight years – was revealed last week ahead of its offical unveiling next week, with a power boost, a tech overhaul and a new look chief among the changes.

And the brand in Australia is hopeful those changes will elevate the D-Max onto the country’s best-seller podium, with spots one, two and three currently occupied by the HiLux, the Ranger and the Triton

“At the moment we’re the fifth best-selling vehicle in the segment, and we are continually looking to improve on that,” a company representative told CarsGuide.

Across both two- and four-wheel-drive segments, the D-Max has shifted 12,299 units to the end of September this year. The Toyota HiLux leads the race, with a combined 36,529 sales, followed by the Ford Ranger with 30,961. The Mitsubishi Triton holds third, with 19,036 sales, and Holden Colorado is fourth with 13,593.

But with a new D-Max coming, Isuzu is confident of improving its position.

While the smaller, 1.9-litre diesel engine offered internationally is yet to be ruled out, it’s understood the D-Max’s 3.0-litre diesel will live on in Australia, only with a power boost that has seen outputs grow to 140kW and 450Nm.

The 2020 model also gets a tough new appearance that adds front and rear LED DRLs, LED headlights, a front-end and a redesigned rear.

The interior gets a significant overhaul, too, with a choice between a 7.0 or 9.0-inch touchscreen that gets Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and more premium-feeling cabin materials across the board. 

International cars get keyless entry, push-button start, voice recognition, auto headlights, dual-zone climate and front and rear parking sensors join the standard kit list on top-spec models internationally, while blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, round-body parking sensors, hill start assist and hill descent control join the safety kit. While uncomfirmed, AEB is expected to arrive for Australian cars, with Isuzu thought to  targeting a five-star ANCAP safety rating.