Isuzu D-MAX and MU-X Awarded Car of the Year Accolades in 2022 OzRoamer Magazine Awards

14 April 2022

Both the Isuzu D-MAX and MU-X have been awarded top-honours in the annual OzRoamer 4WD and SUV Car of the Year Awards, with the D-MAX winning the '2022 4WD Dual Cab Ute under $65,000 Award' and the MU-X winning the 'OzRoamer 2022 4WD $45,000 – $65,000 COTY Award'.

Widely regarded as one of the most comprehensive and market relevant automotive award programs in Australia, the OzRoamer Car of the Year Awards has always taken a consumer-centric approach when analysing and reviewing each contender—focusing on a set of criteria that would aid consumers to make an informed purchasing decision. 

Now in its tenth year of running, the 2022 OzRoamer Car of the Year Awards tested a total of eighty 4WD and SUV contenders, with the top-three from each of the twelve award categories progressing to the final round of testing. 
During the final round of testing, the judging panel led by OzRoamer Editor in Chief, Rob Fraser, objectively evaluated each of the top-three finalists against a judging criterion reflective of consumer ownership, real-world scenarios and fit for purpose standards.

“By breaking down the categories into those that best represent consumers’ buying decisions and parameters, the awards enable consumers to see what is best in class in their chosen segment," explained Rob Fraser.

“All the vehicles nominated in these awards are strong contenders and hold individual merit, however the winners highlight class-leading attributes and those that offer the coveted combination of outstanding design, functionality, performance and value for money." 
2022 Isuzu D-MAX: OzRoamer 2022 4WD Dual Cab Ute under $65,000 COTY Award Winner
Fresh off the back of consecutive annual category wins at the Drive Car of the Year awards, the new-generation Isuzu D-MAX has further cemented its acclamation with the Australian media with its first OzRoamer Car of the Year Award win, beating the other top-three finalists, the Mazda BT-50 and Nissan Navara.

"The award goes to the whole D-MAX 4WD Dual Cab Ute range. The main reason is that the class leading safety features from Isuzu’s Intelligent Driver Assistance System (IDAS), are across the whole range."

"With class leading safety features across the range, D-MAX stands apart," deliberated Rob Fraser.

In late-2020, the new-generation Isuzu D-MAX launched to reset the benchmark for utes in Australia through the standardisation of safety and connectivity technology across all models—a suite of equipment still unmatched by another ute manufacturer to this very day. 

In summary, Fraser proclaimed that the "D-MAX is currently the best 4WD Ute on the market." 

The OzRoamer judging panel scored the D-MAX a total of 92 points, out of a possible 100, with perfect-tens awarded to the D-MAX across the 'Towing/4WD Capability' and 'Value for Money' categories.

D-MAX Final Scores
Behind the Wheel: 9
Comfort: 9
Equipment: 9
Performance: 9
Ride and Handling: 9
Practicality: 9
Fit for Purpose: 9
Towing/4WD Capability: 10
Technology / Connectivity: 9
Value for Money: 10
Overall Rating 92/100


2022 Isuzu MU-X: OzRoamer 2022 4WD $45,000 – $65,000 COTY Award Winner
For the fifth time in its nine years of sale in Australia, the Isuzu MU-X has won an OzRoamer Car of the Year Award, with the large 4WD SUV awarded the prestigious prize in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, and again in 2022.

An award specific to family-friendly, dual range 4WDs, the 'OzRoamer 2022 4WD $45,000 – $65,000 COTY Award' nominee list is as diverse as they come, with 4WD ute-based SUVs, 4WD family wagons, and 4WD SUVs all competing for the top honour.
Of the seven category nominees, the final three final contenders were the Jeep Compass Trailhawk, Toyota Fortuner Crusade, and Isuzu MU-X LS-T, each capable 4WDs category finalists.

Based on the D-MAX-platform, the new-generation Isuzu MU-X launched in Australia in late-2021, quickly forging its position towards the pointy end of the segment amongst families and travellers, as recognised by the OzRoamer panel of judges. 

"If you are looking for a 4WD for that around Australia trip or even family holiday the MU-X is ideal," praised Rob Fraser.

"It’s amongst the best riding Ute-based 4WDs on the market. Combine that with its 4WD capability and towing ability, it’s easy to see why the MU-X is so popular." 
Fundamental to the OzRoamer awards criteria, the MU-X scored highly in all touring and travelling related areas, as well as earning full marks across 'Value for Money' and 'Towing and 4WD Capabilitiy' criterions. 

MU-X Final Scores
Behind the Wheel: 9
Comfort: 9
Equipment: 9
Performance: 9
Ride and Handling: 9
Practicality: 9
Fit for Purpose: 9
Towing / 4WD Ability: 10 (Towing 5/5 & 4WD 5/5)
Technology / Connectivity: 9
Value for Money: 10
Overall Rating: 92/100

Reflective of the entire Isuzu UTE range earning accolades in this year's awards, Isuzu UTE Australia Managing Director, Hiroyasu Sato, said "4WD capability, practicality and towing have always been core to the design of all Isuzu vehicles, and winning two categories is testament to the engineering and design instilled in the new-generation Isuzu D-MAX and MU-X."

"It's an absolute honour to have both the D-MAX and MU-X recognised as worthy category winners. It's a comprehensive testing regime that goes beyond the brochure specs and assess the contenders in real-world scenarios that customers will actually experience." 

Celebrating its tenth anniversary of operation, the annual OzRoamer Car of the Year Awards is revered as one of Australia's most independent and comprehensive 4WD and SUV awards programs in Australia. 

Find out more about the D-MAX winning the OzRoamer 2022 4WD Dual Cab Ute under $65,000 Award here and the MU-X winning the OzRoamer 2022 4WD $45,000 – $65,000 COTY Award here

Find out more information on the Isuzu D-MAX range here, and the Isuzu MU-X range here