Taking the Isuzu on a test of all seasons

2015-09-23 06:00
The Isuzu KB300 4x4 double cab.
Photo: Supplied

The Isuzu KB300 4x4 double cab. Photo: Supplied

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ISUZU has extended its KB range by adding three derivatives to the range, bringing the number of models to 18.

Two of the models are extended cab and double cab options for the KB250 Fleetside models. The third model is sure to excite bakkie lovers who would like to travel in luxury: the 4x4 Double Cab Isuzu KB300 LX with a 5-speed automatic transmission and luxury features like a high-tech infotainment system with touchscreen, integrated DVD, reverse camera and satellite navigation, keyless entry and start/stop and LED daytime running lights and LED technology in the rear lamps.

For this week’s Express on Wheels I recently spent just over a week with the KB300 DTEQ 4x4 double cab with manual transmission. While the test model was not equipped with all the bells and whistles, Isuzu has since announced new comfort and convenience features for all double and extended cab LX derivatives the highlight of which is a class-leading touch screen infotainment system with satellite navigation, internet, WiFi, and smartphone integration.

It also integrates the Rear Park Assist reversing camera, which is a convenient and valuable safety feature – and in my opinion a must-have for bakkie drivers on the school run.

Keyless entry with Start/Stop ignition button is standard on all LX-grade models with the four-door body style. Leather is available as an option on the Double Cabs.

And while bakkies are not my favourite vehicles on the road - because I don’t like their look, how they drive or how they clog up the parking lots on the school run - I can’t look a gift horse in the mouth – so I put it to the test on the mom’s taxi route.

Let’s face it – love them or hate them, there are an abundance of them on the urban commute which are driven by both the proverbial soccer moms as well as working women. And with all the recently announced upgrades in comfort features, we are sure to see these numbers increase.


The two weekends of the road test period could not have been more different. The first was characterized by heavy raining with flooded roads and subsequent potholes, while the other was sunny and perfect for a family outing.

In the rain, it was comforting knowing that you don’t have to worry about damaging the vehicle driving through those potholes that magically appeared – and above all, that you won’t get stuck in the pools of water that so quickly appeared in the most unexpected places.

Three children in the back are a bit cramped and luggage such as handbags and togbags had to be put on the loadbed due to the lack of legroom in the back.

In the back the passengers, however, do have comfort features such as an armrest and nifty cupholders that are hidden away in the centre console which also offers great storage space.

The gear changing was difficult and took some time to get used to – especially distinguishing between first and third gear.

After a week on the mom’s taxi route, and used to the gears, we took it out on a sunny afternoon on the open road for a trip to Jeffrey’s Bay.

A great positive is the responsive steering wheel control. On the open road it performed well and was not as floaty as one would expect from a big bakkie without any cargo.

The fuel consumption during my week with it of mainly urban driving was 11 litres per 100km.

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.

Prices for the Double Cab versions are:

KB 250 D-TEQ F/S 4x2 R325 700

KB 250 D-TEQ LE 4x2 R406 200

KB 250 D-TEQ LE 4x4 R429 100

KB 300 D-TEQ LX 4x2 R463 700

KB 300 D-TEQ LX 4x2 Auto R474 900

KB 300 D-TEQ LX 4x4 R523 600

KB 300 D-TEQ LX 4x4 Auto R529 700

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