The Isuzu D-MAX is Australia's Best Value 4x4 UTE
27 November 2023
The Isuzu D-MAX has been crowned Australia’s ‘Best Value 4x4 Ute’, with the 1.9-litre and 3.0-litre turbo-diesel powered variants of the popular D-MAX SX Crew Cab 4x4 Ute placing 1st and 2nd, respectively, in Wheels’ inaugural Best Value 4x4 Ute awards.
Coinciding with the relaunch of Australia’s longest-standing automotive publication, Wheels has evolved their iconic magazine and online channels to incorporate a consumer-centric path in 2023—maintaining its 70-year reputation for world-class automotive storytelling while expanding its detailed consumer advice to its legion of readers. As part of Wheels' multifaceted feature articles of the ‘Best’ vehicles on sale in Australia, the inaugural ‘Best 4x4 Ute Awards’ evaluated a dozen 4x4 utes against a set of market-relevant criteria to aid consumers in making informed purchasing decisions.
With the cost of living at an all-time high and many relying on their ute as a tool of trade or the family hauler, getting the most out of their four-wheel investment remains of paramount importance for many motorists.
Looking beyond the sticker price, Wheels analysed twelve 4x4 utes to determine what genuinely presents good value over a three-year ownership experience. The purchase price, insurance premiums, servicing costs, fuel bills and resale were all taken into account—giving readers a holistic indication of how much each ute will actually cost to own and operate on a daily basis.
After crunching the numbers to simulate real-world costs to own and operate each ute over three-years, both the 1.9-litre and 3.0-litre turbo-diesel powered variants of the popular D-MAX SX Crew Cab 4x4 Ute were declared the two best-value 4x4 utes in Australia.
With the D-MAX SX Crew Cab 4x4 Ute 1.9-litre in top spot, Wheels commended the utility for its low cost of ownership, stating that “excellent resale, frugal fuel bills, and the lowest insurance premiums of all our contenders are the secret to the D-MAX's inherent value, with these low ownership costs helping to offset a higher-than-average purchase price.”
“For maximum bang for your buck, it’s the entry-level SX crew cab 1.9L that’s kindest to your hip pocket, but opting for the more powerful 3.0L turbo-diesel doesn’t actually bring a huge financial penalty,” commented Alex Inwood, Digital Editor of Wheels.
Reviewing the tabled results of all twelve 4x4 utes on test, revealed that the D-MAX SX Crew Cab 4x4 Ute 3.0-litre ranked just behind the 1.9-litre variant, in second position, with Mr. Inwood’s appraisal citing that “the SX 3.0-litre will cost you only $430 more to run over three years (higher fuel bills account for most of that), which further underscores the D-MAX's inherent value.”
“As you can see… the 3.0L D-MAX actually slots into second place overall,” commended Inwood.
Reflective of the D-MAX winning the Best Value 4x4 Ute award, Isuzu UTE Australia Managing Director, Junta Matsui, said "localised evaluation with our Isuzu Design and Engineering Team has proved instrumental in ensuring that the ongoing-development of the D-MAX suits the terrain, conditions and customer usage seen locally—this accolade is testament that this vehicle is fit for purpose."
"This award is really important for us and our customers; it’s a comprehensive evaluation of Australia’s most-popular segment—analysing beyond the brochure specifications, to assess the contenders in real-world scenarios that customers will actually experience."
While the D-MAX SX had the lowest vehicle depreciation and insurance premiums of all vehicles on test, aftersales support such as servicing costs were also among the lowest. With over 165 Isuzu UTE Dealership sites around Australia, aftersales support is quite literally around the corner for most Australians. Couple that with the fact that every Isuzu D-MAX ute is backed by a comprehensive aftersales program, Service Plus 6-7-7, comprising of a 6-Year/150,000km warranty, 7-Years roadside assistance, and 7-Years of Capped-Price Servicing.
As Isuzu UTE Australia approaches the end of the year, the two-vehicle marque is currently positioned as Australia’s 10th best-selling automotive brand to date, with 24,677 D-MAX utes and 11,824 MU-X SUVs sold and delivered between January and October 2023. Since its local debut in 2008, an accumulated total of 218,620 D-MAX utes have been sold and delivered locally.
To read more about the Best Value 4x4 Ute award and see how the other ten 4x4 utes fared in comparison to the D-MAX SX Crew Cab 4x4 Ute 1.9-litre and D-MAX SX Crew Cab 4x4 Ute 3.0-litre, which placed 1st and 2nd respectively, visit Wheels' website.
For more information on our award-winning ute, discover the Isuzu D-MAX here.