Isuzu D-MAX Wins 2021 Drive Car Of The Year - Best Dual Cab Ute Award

29 April 2021

The Isuzu D-MAX X-TERRAIN has been crowned the 'Best Dual Cab Ute of 2021', after winning the coveted '2021 Drive Car of the Year – Dual Cab Ute' award for the first time. 

Just months after its local debut in September 2020, the Isuzu D-MAX rose to the top of the segment ahead of the competition, relegating finalist rivals the Mazda BT-50 and Ford Ranger, to second and third respectively.  

Drive National Motoring Editor and Drive Car of the Year (DCOTY) Judge, Joshua Dowling praised the Isuzu D-MAX for bringing new technology to the segment, standardising advanced safety across all variants.

"The Isuzu D-MAX is the most technically advanced ute on sale in Australia today, with every available piece of safety technology fitted as standard across the range. Isuzu deserves kudos for that decision alone."

"Here's hoping other ute manufacturers take note. The era of restricting advanced safety to dearer models is well and truly over."
Overall, Drive awarded the Isuzu D-MAX X-TERRAIN as the 'Best Dual-Cab Ute of 2021' after thorough testing against its newest competition.

"The Isuzu D-MAX ticks the most boxes. It has an impressive list of advanced safety technology, a gutsy (yet under-stressed) engine, generous off-road ability, acceptable levels of comfort around town, and all in all an attractive package," said Joshua Dowling.

The annual DCOTY awards are regarded as one of Australia's top motoring accolades.

After countless back-to-back comparison tests through the year, the Drive team conducted a week of finalist retesting and further analysis to determine the best vehicle in each category, with a strong focus on what new-car buyers are looking for in each segment.

With close to 100 years of motoring journalism and road-testing experience between them, Drive's panel of judges assembled close to 100 vehicles across 20 categories to name Australia's 'Best Car of the Year', which the Isuzu D-MAX has won the 'Best Dual-Cab Ute' category.

"To win the '2021 Drive Car of the Year – Dual Cab Ute' award has been a long-time target for Isuzu UTE,” said Isuzu UTE Australia Managing Director, Hiroyasu Sato. 

"Since day one when we opened our first Dealership in 2008, we've always listened to the voices of motorists and the media to understand the unique needs of Australians, in order for us to provide the best vehicles here. And, each year we’ve closely followed the annual ‘Drive Car of the Year’ awards as a method of evaluating the competition and what customers value most within the hotly-contested dual-cab ute segment. We'd then use that to anaylse the competition, to predict trends and to continually-develop our product with the factory." 

"We are finally realising our goal by winning this award, with the Isuzu D-MAX X-TERRAIN crowned the best [dual-cab] ute in Australia. It is truly an honour."

Chalking up its third major award since debut: 'Drive Car of the Year – Best Dual-Cab Ute', 'News Corp Australia's Ute of the Year' and 'West Australian Ute of the Year' ward, the third-generation Isuzu D-MAX's award-winning credentials have translated to showroom success, with buyers voting with their wallets.

As reported by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), as of 31st March 2021, 12,958 examples of the third-generation D-MAX have been delivered to date, equating to a cumulative total of 150,071 D-MAX sold, since the first-generation D-MAX went on sale locally in November 2008. 

For more information on the 2021 Drive Car of the Year Awards, visit: