After its grand introduction to the Philippine market last August, the latest and most stylish modern iteration of the Isuzu D-MAX pick-up, the LS-A, demonstrated its power, capability, and efficiency to members of the country’s motoring media during a fun-filled two-day road trip around ruggedly beautiful Camiguin Island on October 10 and 11.
Dubbed the “New Isuzu D-MAX LS-A Media Test Drive“, the event gathered 20 motoring scribes, along with Isuzu Philippines Corporation executives and officers and representatives from the Isuzu Cagayan de Oro dealership, for a lifestyle tour to the island’s well-known and most picturesque spots on board the New D-MAX LS-A pickups.
Camiguin, the country’s second smallest island province (next only to Batanes), is nevertheless mountainous in its general terrain--ideal for a diesel utility workhorse such as the D-MAX LS-A to showcase its “tough-enough-for-anything” functionality. Camiguin also offers a rich mix of natural attractions and cultural treasures, which perfectly complements the pick-up’s unique combination of modern design, timeless heritage, and world-class engineering.
Day One of the New D-MAX LS-A media test drive saw the participants take a 30-minute drive from the provincial capital Mambajao to Taguines Lagoon, followed by a sumptuous seafood lunch at the nearby J&A Fishpen Resort and Restaurant. From there, a 40-minute drive to the island’s interior brought the group to the Tres Marias Hill, a trio of domes dotting the island’s most prominent geological feature, the towering and still active stratovolcano Mount Hibok-Hibok. A 10-minute drive on unpaved roads then led to the cold yet refreshing Tuasan Falls.
Merienda time for the group was well spent, gorging on the province’s most popular fruit at the Lanzones Farm 25 minutes from the falls, and a mere 2 minutes from the next stop in the itinerary, the Sunken Cemetery, where the remnants of a graveyard and a town destroyed and sunk into the sea by the explosive birth of nearby Mt. Vulcan in the 1870s provided the solemn foreground to a magnificent sunset.
Day Two of the trip saw the group spend the morning on the powder white Sand Bar, a mere 15-minute speedboat ride on the clear blue Bohol Sea.
IPC President Hajime Koso, in his welcome remarks on the night of Day One at the Paras Beach Resort, proudly introduced the New Isuzu D-MAX LS-A, “The Isuzu D-MAX LS-A with Blue Power Diesel engine is our answer to the clamor of our customers for reliable, hardworking but fuel-efficient vehicles. This represents nearly a century of Isuzu’s experience and innovation in the design, engineering, and workmanship of diesel-powered utility vehicles. The D-MAX LS-A is infused, as well, with features that address the demands of a market that value both hard work and play, business with leisure.”
Robert Carlos, IPC Product Planning Department Head, then enumerated the highlights of the D-MAX LS-A.
Participants to the media test drive of the D-MAX LS-A doubled their enjoyment of the tour around Camiguin, as the pickup provided the power, comfort, and confidence to take on the island province’s various road conditions. The D-MAX LS-A is powered by the powerful and fuel-efficient 4JJ1-TCX 3.0-liter 4-cylinder In-line Blue Power Diesel engine with VGS turbo intercooler that generates 177 PS @ 3,600rpm and maximum torque of 380 Nm @ 1,800-2,800rpm. Available in the 4x2 and 4x4 MT and AT variants, the D-MAX LS-A drivetrain consists of either the 6-speed automatic transmission with sequential shift or the 6-speed manual transmission with gear shift indicator.
Comfortable, stable and confident handling is achieved with the rack-and-pinion power assist and tilt adjust steering, independent double wishbone with coil spring and stabilizer for the front suspension, and semi-elliptical leaf spring for the rear.
For its exterior, the D-MAX LS-A is distinctive with the aggressive-looking very dark gray radiator grille with engine hood garnish, front bumper guard and one step type black rear bumper, power folding side view mirrors in dark gray finish with LED integrated turn signal, and LED rear combination lamp. The under-rail bedliner, cargo extender, roof rail, fender lip-type over fender, and side molding all come standard.
The stylish and functional character of the D-MAX LS-A continues in the interior’s electroluminescent-type instrument meters with Multi-Information Display (MID), 8-inch full-touch monitor/ CD/DVD/Tuner/Bluetooth and iPod connectivity/Aux-in/USB/MP3 Compatible/AV-in/TPMS ready/USB-link/WiFi display, navigation system, and three-spoke leather-wrapped steering wheel with hands-free function and audio controls. The bucket seats with adjustable headrest, back pockets and convenience hook (1st row) and the 60/40 split cushion 2nd row seats with two adjustable headrests and center arm rest are all wrapped in leather.
The D-MAX LS-A is equipped with numerous safety features: Dual SRS airbags, child seat tethers for the 2nd row, side door impact beams, Anti-lock Brake System (ABS), Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA), Brake Override System (BOS), Hill Start Assist (HSA), Hill Descent Control (HDC), Child-proof rear door locks and reverse camera.
For occupant comfort and convenience, the D-MAX LS-A is equipped with the auto-climate control air conditioning system, passive entry/push start-stop system, 12V accessory socket, three USB charging ports, 15 storage compartments and 10 cup holders, and tow hooks for the front-driver and passenger side and one at the rear (for the LS-A 4x4 variants).
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