Isuzu D-MAX emerges as Philippines' best truck

FACING off tough competition from a field of mostly newer and more expensive models, Isuzu Philippines Corporation's (IPC) pick-up truck has emerged as the best in the country after undergoing thorough technical evaluation conducted by experts.

CAGI Award

Voted as the 2016 Truck of the Year - Philippines was the Isuzu D-MAX 3.0L4x2 LS AT, which members of the Car Awards Group Inc. (CAGI) also named as the 2016 Best 2WD Pick-up Truck locally. Meanwhile, the Honda Civic RS Turbo CVT came out as the D-MAX's counterpart as the model won the 2016 Car of the Year - Philippines title during the same evaluation.

"Ever since its introduction, the current Isuzu D-MAX has always possessed the Isuzu brand's core qualities of reliability, durability and fuel-efficiency. But the pick-up goes further by also being well-appointed in terms of convenience and safety features, as well as exterior design and equipment. This combination makes it a complete package for consumers looking for value and style in a vehicle. The Isuzu D-MAX having now won the 2016 Truck of the Year - Philippines is without doubt a testament to this, and we at Isuzu Philippines Corporation is extremely honored by this recognition," IPC President Hajime Koso said.

CAGI recognized the top titlists, as well as category winners, during an awards gala held on November 21, 2016 at One Rockwell East Tower, Makati City. Almost a hundred different models comprising all vehicle segments in the Philippines were included in this year's testing for the awards.

In a statement, CAGI President Robby Consunji said that the Truck of the Year and Car of the Year Awards are not "simply a show of hands or popularity contest," and that winners are determined by employing "stringent testing methods" used by no other organization.

"It's the only award in the country that is based on instrumented tests to gather evidence of real-world acceleration, braking, and handling performance. After the number-crunching by KPMG R.G. Manabat& Co., this data-driven, unbiased program ensures an accurate representation of an outstanding vehicle on category and overall basis," Consunji said in the statement.

He added the awards will hopefully guide consumers in making the correct choice when they purchase their next vehicle.

2017 Isuzu D-Max Obsidian Gray

The latest D-MAX mimics the strong, emotional and sporty traits of its brand ambassador - celebrity, actor and athlete Derek Ramsay. The pick-up model's recent upgrades include a dynamic and flowing exterior styling that's characterized by a much bolder look in front, and a new tailgate that incorporates a spoiler shape design. Inside, the D-MAX boasts of an electroluminescent instrument meter, colored multi-information display, leather seats, touchscreen multimedia system with steering wheel controls and navigation, passive entry system that's matched to a push-button engine start/stop function, and automatic climate control system.

Under the newly sculpted hood of the D-MAX is Isuzu's proven 4JJI-TC (HI) diesel engine that has a Variable Geometry System (VGS) turbocharger and intercooler. This inline four-cylinder, 3.0-liter, Common Rail Direct Injection engine produces maximum power of 163 PS @ 3,200 rpm and 380 Nm of torque @ 1,800 - 2,200 rpm. Matched to this is a 5-speed automatic transmission with sequential shift.