Look at that li'l guy with the scrunched-up face. Like a puppy trying to be fierce. You can almost hear its little pipsqueak growl. Aww, hey tough guy.
It's the third-generation Isuzu D-Max pickup truck. It's sold in the United Kingdom, Thailand, Cambodia, the Phillippines, and Australia, and not the United States. And that's a damn shame.
Previous generations of the D-Max shared a platform with the Chevy Colorado, but for the third-gen truck, Isuzu went independent. The result is the adorably angry truck you see here. The latest generation debuted in 2019, and it's roughly the size of today's Colorado.
The truck came to my attention today via a Facebook post that led me to this article from Australia's Car Advice. Did you know that the Isuzu sold 1765 examples of the D-Max in Australia in February?
And did you know there's a Mazda version that looks like this?
That's the Mazda BT-50, a structurally-identical sibling to the D-Max. As our pals at Car and Driver recently reported, this is the third generation of the BT-50, unveiled in Australia last summer. Where the D-Max is angular and angry looking, the BT-50 is sleek and stylish, with the same "Kodo" styling you'll find across Mazda's current lineup. The only engine available is a 3.0-liter turbodiesel inline-four making 188 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque, with either a six-speed manual or six-speed auto in two- or four-wheel drive. Towing capacity of 7716 pounds and max payload of 2348 pounds puts these twin pickups slightly ahead of the midsizers we can buy here in the U.S.: The Colorado, Ranger, and Tacoma.
According to Car Advice, if you count the Isuzu and Mazda as one model, it was the second-highest-selling vehicle in Australia in February, behind the Toyota HiLux and ahead of the Ford Ranger. One commenter on that site asks, rhetorically, why these have become the new soccer mom vehicle in Australia, which confirms my running theory that Australia is just upside-down America.
I love them both.
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