The first generation of the D-Max spent ten years on the market and convinced the customers about its rugged, sturdy chassis and excellent fuel efficiency. It was refreshed once, but its wedged-shaped body showed the car's age. Then, the second generation came on the market with an important upgrade in all areas and one missing feature: the rear locking differential.
With its swept-back, angled headlights, the D-Max tried to look less rugged than before, even though it was. Its grille was slightly tilted backward, was black for the base trim levels, and chromed for the full-option version. Isuzu offered the D-Max in a few body versions, including a double-cab. All of them sported raked windshields and, depending on the trim level, roof rails, and side steps. The standard version sported steel wheels, with an option for light alloys.
Inside, the hard plastic on the dashboard was its main downside, but the design was elegant and useful. There were two storage compartments in front of the passenger, one on top of the center stack and a fourth one in the center armrest. Isuzu enlightened the dark interior colors with a few shiny trims on the center stack and on the door panels. The carmaker offered good interior room for up to five passengers and, for the top trim level, it offered a choice for leather upholstery.
Under the hood, Isuzu installed a choice of two engines: a 2.5-liter and a 3.0-liter, both turbo-diesel. It paired them with either a six-speed manual or a five-speed automatic. The 4x4 system employed a transfer case with high and low gears.