Isuzu gives its range and models a facelift

2017-05-04 06:01
The extended cab version of the facelifted Isuzu KB range.              Photos: SUPPLIED

The extended cab version of the facelifted Isuzu KB range. Photos: SUPPLIED

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AT the end of last year General Motors South Africa (GMSA) launched its facelifted version of the sixth generation Isuzu KB with styling changes to the front fascia and rear tailgate as well as a redesigned instrument gauge cluster.

GMSA recently gave Bettie Giliomee two of their new Isuzu bakkies to put to the test on the mom’s taxi route, the facelifted KB 300 D-TEQ LX 4x4 with extended cab (R479 200) as well as the new X-Rider double cab (R388 400) based on the KB 250 Hi-Rider Double Cab.

The X-rider has bold styling with decals inside and out and is available in extended and double-cab versions.

In fact, the X-Rider’s styling is so eye-catching, that while waiting to take delivery of the test vehicle and standing next to it, another Isuzu owner, who was driving past at the time, made a u-turn and came over to ask me where I got the nice X-rider bars.

The KB 300 D-TEQ LX 4x4 extended cab

The extended cab has plenty of space behind the seats for all your loose luggage and shopping. In the LX models there is a lockable storage space behind the driver’s seat.

The 300 D-TEQ extended cab is available in 2-wheel and 4-wheel drive, where the test model is the 4-wheel drive variety, which only comes with manual transmission.

The gearbox felt typically like that of a bakkie with changing gears taking a little bit more effort than that of a car, but one quickly adjusts to this driving style; as well as to the fact that it’s engine is so powerfull that at times it’s easier to pull away in second gear rather than first.

Those who do not like changing gears in a bakkie will be pleased to know that the 4x2 version of the KB300 D-Teq extended cab is available with an automatic transmission.

Exterior

The revamped Isuzu sports a new front facia and rear tailgate design. The front fascia changes include changes to the bonnet, radiator grille and fog lamps. New headlamps with projector and integrated LED daytime running lights are also standard on LX models.

The Extended Cab LX comes standard with Rear Park Assist, helping one to navigate those tough parking spots on the school and shopping centre run.

On Double Cab LX models a rearview camera is integrated into the tailgate handle.

The LX models have new 18 inch alloy wheels, while the rest of the range has new 16 inch styled wheels.

The 3 litre 4x4 LX Double Cab also now comes standard with a towbar, sportsbar, roofrails and power adjustable leather seats.

Interior

The layout of the interior is very basic, but a lot has been done to give it a car-like feel. The upgrades include a new instrument cluster design and gear shift indicator for manual models.

The LX models also come standard with a touch screen infotainment system with satellite navigation, internet, WiFi and smartphone integration.

Steering wheel mounted cruise control is available on LX models only.

The interior also features multiple storage compartments.

Ride

The KB range is available with 2.5-litre and 3.0-litre engines. The powerful 3.0-litre DTEQ turbocharged diesel engine produces 130kW and 380Nm from the common rail direct injection turbodiesel.

The new Isuzu’s rear suspension has been tweaked for improved ride comfort. Without a big load on the urban communte, I did find the ride a bit floaty on my daily commute which includes a lot of speed bumps and traffic circles – but no more so than other bakkies that I have test driven.

What sets the X-Rider apart?

The X-Rider model was launched last year with just over 700 units available. It proved so popular that this year it returns as a permanent fixture in the range of 19 KB derivatives available in SA.

Styling is what mainly sets the KB 250 X-Rider 4x2 Double Cab apart from the other Isuzu KBs.

These include diamond-cut 18-inch alloys with red “Isuzu” centre caps, the black bumper guard with integrated fog lamps, black tubular side steps/sports bar with X-Rider decals, and the blacked out B-pillars. The wheels are shod with low-profile 255/50 Grabber AT all-terrain tyres.

There’s a heavy-duty tow bar as standard, giving the X-Rider a 2.1-tonne braked trailer towing capacity.

It’s interior styling is also more upmarket and luxurious than that of your usual workhorse and it features leather upholstery, steering wheel and gear-lever boot as well as Piano Black trim on doors, air vents, radio and front console. Red stitching accentuates the luxury feel of the leather interior.

The X-Rider insignia is embroidered on the front headrests, with a red ‘X’ in the same font also appearing on the door trims.

Other hi-spec features include remote keyless entry, satellite controls on the steering wheel, air conditioning and projector headlights with daytime running lights.

One of the features I, however, missed on the test model was park assist sensors. With bakkies becoming more like town cars these days, park assist should almost be a standard feature on most double cabs.

Pricing and Model Line-up

  • Isuzu KB 250 Base Single Cab (LEED) R 236 500.00
  • Isuzu KB 250 Fleetside Single Cab (LEED) R 258 800.00
  • Isuzu KB 250 Fleetside (SAFETY) R 285 600.00
  • Isuzu KB 250 Single Cab LE R 334 500.00
  • Isuzu KB 250 4X4 Single Cab LE R 392 700.00
  • Isuzu KB 250 Extended Cab Hi-Rider R 337 400.00
  • Isuzu KB 250 Double Cab Hi-Rider R 358 400.00
  • Isuzu KB 250 Crew Cab X-Rider R 382 500.00
  • Isuzu KB 250 Double Cab LE R 439 600.00
  • Isuzu KB 250 4X4 Double Cab LE R 462 000.00
  • Isuzu KB 300 Double Cab LX R 384 200.00
  • Isuzu KB 300 4X4 Single Cab LX R 445 100.00
  • Isuzu KB 300 Extended Cab LX R 418 200.00
  • Isuzu KB 300 Extended Cab LX (Auto) R 432 200.00
  • Isuzu KB 300 4X4 Extended Cab LX R 479 200.00
  • Isuzu KB 300 Double Cab LX (Cloth) R 486 900.00
  • Isuzu KB 300 Double Cab LX (Auto)(Cloth) R 501 200.00
  • Isuzu KB 300 4X4 Double Cab LX (Cloth) R 536 400.00
  • Isuzu KB 300 4X4 Double Cab LX (Auto)(Cloth) R550 100.00

All Isuzu KB models are sold with a fully comprehensive 5-year/ 120 000 km warranty and roadside assistance programme, a 5-year/ unlimited mileage anti-corrosion warranty and a 5-year/ 90 000 km service plan. Service intervals are 15 000 km or twelve months for all derivatives.

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