South Africa’s foremost bakkie specialist – Isuzu – has broadened the appeal of the iconic KB by adding three carefully-configured derivatives to the range, bringing the tally of models to 18. Newcomers include a two-pedal 4×4 flagship model with features like a class-leading infotainment system and keyless entry and start/stop.
At the same time, a number of other changes have been implemented on the sixth-generation of the popular bakkie. When it comes to mechanical upgrades, the most significant is the wholesale change to a significantly uprated version of the 2.5-litre DTEQ turbodiesel for Fleetside and LE models.
With representation in 100 countries and regular best-selling performances in Thailand – the world’s biggest one-tonne pick-up market – Isuzu’s bakkie is a force to be reckoned with thanks to the company’s focus exclusively on commercial vehicles and robust processes for continually analysing and implementing feedback from the global marketplace.
Each Isuzu KB is purpose-built for a clearly defined role in our uniquely demanding market and tested to cope effortlessly with its particular application. The KB nomenclature is unique to Southern Africa and has been in use since 1981, the Chevrolet LUV moniker used for the first-generation version, introduced in 1972.
In the new flagship, Isuzu KB300 LX 4×4 Double Cab Automatic, the addition of a five-speed automatic transmission option adds refinement and ease of use for those seeking an SUV with a ‘bak’
Standout exterior features include LED daytime running lights and LED technology in the rear lamps for improved visibility while this model has class-leading payload and towing capacity and class-leading emissions and fuel consumption from a tried and tested 3.0-litre turbodiesel.
The upmarket interior with keyless stop/start ignition as well as a Touch-screen infotainment centre with integrated DVD, reverse camera and satellite navigation are segment firsts.
The new workhorse models in Extended Cab and Double Cab Fleetside 4×2 configuration now boast a 100kW/320Nm high-output 2.5-litre common-rail/direct-injection turbodiesel with variable geometry turbocharger that offers class-leading consumption and emission characteristics.
The interior gets a Bluetooth-enabled sound system for easy phone integration while rugged, black plastic bumper/valance designed in Isuzu’s school of hard knocks and 16-inch wheels with 245/70 dual-purpose tyres give the vehicle a purposeful look.
In the interest of safety stability control is added to all the models with the exception of the entry-level single cabs and the high output 100kW/320Nm powerplant replaces the low-output version across the range.
Other specification upgrades include a height-adjustable steering added to Base models, Cruise Control operated from new, leather-clad steering wheel for LE-grade double cabs and new cloth trim for LE and LX models.
All Isuzu KB models are sold with a fully-comprehensive 5-year/ 120 000 km warranty and roadside assistance programme, a 5-year/ unlimited mileage anti-corrosion warranty and a 5-year/ 90 000 km service plan. Service intervals are 15 000 km or twelve months for all derivatives. Isuzu KBs are available from the GMSA dealer network.