December 17, 2020 By Kevin C. Limjoco Photos by Andréas N. Delos Reyes

2020 Isuzu D-Max Boondock 4×4 MT

Enhanced Workhorse

Isuzu’s very strong reputation in the Philippines for durability and appeal to the working man is enviable. To extend their commercial reach to new audiences as well as hardcore fans of the brand, Isuzu released a special limited-edition variant of their long-running D-Max LS-A 4×4 pick-up truck appropriately named the Boondock. The phrase “the boondocks” is derived from the Tagalog word bundók which means mountain. According to military historian Paul A. Kramer, the term originally had “connotations of bewilderment and confusion”, due to the guerrilla warfare in which the soldiers were engaged in the Philippine–American War (1899-1902), the term has since been used in general parlance.

Our manual transmission Boondock test unit came in Cosmic Black (also available with a 6-speed automatic in Red Spinel, Titanium Silver, and Silky Pearl White) with the variant specific graphics stuck on its flanks. Aside from the aesthetic nuances that include unique steel honeycomb sidesteps with the Boondock logo cut into the metal, the more profound upgrades that justify the additional P95,000.00 over its source LS-A that separate this variant from its stablemates are the new set of black 17-inch alloys (instead of the standard dual-color 18-inch alloys wrapped with more road-biased 255/60R18 tires) with taller 265/70R17 113T all-terrain Yokohama Geolandar A/T G015 tires combined with monotube nitrogen-charged performance shock absorbers on all corners (which raises the ground clearance by 12 mm to 247 mm) that altogether raises the ground clearance by about half-an-inch.

The rest of the equipment are carried over from the standard LS-A which includes the healthy 3.0-liter turbodiesel engine, Bi-LED projector headlights, signature DRL, halogen front fog lamps and LED rear light assemblies, 4×4 Terrain Command control, smart key, push-button ignition, automatic climate control, gearshift indicator, 8-inch infotainment system with 6 speakers and rear parking camera, perforated black leather seating, and comprehensive safety suite.

On-road ride comfort and sound insulation improved significantly with this unique setup compared to the standard LS-A model; however, the extra height also increased aerodynamic drag. So, despite having better road-noise separation with the better shocks there is more wind turbulence at highway speeds and pitches corners with more roll. On the other hand, off-road ability and varying terrain agility certainly improved which is the essence of the suspension upgrades. The long-throw 6-speed manual transmission was very easy to modulate and makes the driving experience nice and easy. The extra suspension travel also makes overall handling with rear bed load more forgiving.

Specifications

Engine

Engine Inline-4
Displacement 2999 cc
Cylinder Head dohc 16V
Fuel Injector Direct Injection Intercooled VGS Turbodiesel
Max Power (bhp @ rpm) 174 bhp @ 3600 rpm
Max Torque (lb/ft @ rpm) 280 lb-ft @ 1800-2800 rpm
Transmission 6-MT

Performance

Top Speed 178 km/h (111 mph)
0-100 km/h | 0-62 mph 10.9 sec.

Fuel consumption and CO2 emissions

Fuel Milage (km/l) 13.6 km/l Overall

Ratings

Price as Tested (PHP) PhP 1,725,000.00
What's Great Purposeful, most comfortable ride in the family range, quietest in the family too, full-featured, enhanced off-road ability.
What's Not So Penalty of the extra comfort and off-road ability is about 3% loss of overall dynamic on-road performance, no mechanical LSD.
C! Editors Rating 9/10
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