Johannesburg to Cape Town on one tank

Isuzu proves economy of 1.9 Ddi models with record setting journey

Reuben Van Niekerk
Isuzu D-Max
Fuel Economy
Fuel Consumption

With fuel prices remaining high in South Africa and a large contributor to the steep increases in the overall cost of living, Isuzu set out to prove the exceptional fuel economy and budget friendly capabilities of its D-Max bakkie range and the especially frugal 1.9 Ddi models.

Throughout its lifespan the Isuzu D-Max has earned a reputation for outstanding fuel consumption, low running costs and solid performance as well as dependable reliability and durability amongst commercial, fleet operators and private owners alike. These attributes were retained and reinforced when the seventh generation D-Max, which is built in Gqeberha, was launched in 2022.

The new model received extensive upgrades especially to the proven, range-topping 3.0 Ddi to aid performance and fuel economy. Enhancing the line-up for budget conscious consumers was the introduction of a 1.9-litre four-cylinder intercooled turbodiesel engine that utilises the latest technology to take a significant leap forward in terms of fuel efficiency. The engine relies on a 200 MPa common rail direct injection system along with a high-efficiency variable geometry turbocharger and electronically controlled actuator resulting in a very responsive engine that delivers 110kW at 3600rpm and 350Nm from 1 800rpm.

Fuel consumption is optimised by utilising a unique combustion chamber design, precise fuel injection control with Diamond Like Carbon coated fuel injector needles, a low friction alternator and improved exhaust system with exhaust gas recirculation cooler.

To prove the exceptional fuel-sipping habits of the latest 1.9 Ddi engine, Isuzu recently undertook a fuel economy test drive from Johannesburg to Cape Town. Driving a D-Max 1.9 Ddi Double Cab 4x2 manual, Grant McCleery, the renowned racing driver, completed the 1 431km journey at an average speed of 100km/h on a single tank and in the process recorded a realistic real-world fuel consumption of 5.1 litres per 100km by using just 73.82 litres over the entire distance.

The 1.9 Ddi is available with both manual and automatic transmissions. The six-speed manual transmission has been optimised with a revised pivot point allowing a more upright and level shift stroke movement and is fed directly into the transmission without the need for cables, contributing to a positive feel and easy gear selection. An updated six-speed transmission is also available on selected models.

Isuzu offers an extensive line-up of 24 D-Max models in South Africa, 16 of which are powered by the economical 1.9 Ddi engine. There are five single cabs, four extended cabs and five double cabs available in the 1.9 Ddi range.