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Used Isuzu D-Max review: 2008-2012

Graham Smith reviews the used Isuzu D-Max 2008-2012, its fine points, its flaws and what to watch for when you are buying it.

When GM split with Isuzu it lost access to the Isuzu-built Rodeo ute that had won such an enviable reputation for toughness and reliability with Australian ute buyers. The Japanese truck maker, the biggest selling truck brand in Australia, saw an opportunity and launched its ute as the D-Max, hoping to take advantage of the popularity of the Rodeo and Isuzu trucks.


Isuzu offered the D-Max in ute and cab-chassis forms, with dual-cab and single car, rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive, with a broad range of models to cater for most buyers needs.

Its looks were workmanlike rather than flashy, but that's what the D-Max was all about. It was designed to handle the tough going, be that in the bush, the farm or the jobsite in town. At the same time it had a range of features that would meet the needs of most townies or grey nomads on the road with their caravan in tow.

The top-of-the-range models boasted things like air-conditioning, cruise, wheel arch flares, alloy wheels, leather steering wheel and shift knob, trip computer and front fog lights. One of the appeals of the D-Max was its three-tonne towing capacity, which was at the cutting edge at the time.

On the road it was comfortable and competent in all environments, whether weekday townie or weekend bush master

There was just one engine offered, an Isuzu 3.0-litre four-cylinder common-rail turbo-diesel that delivered 120 kW and 360 Nm over a wide rev range for smooth, easy driving. Backing up the turbo-diesel was a choice of five-speed manual or 4-speed auto, and there was a choice of rear-wheel drive and dual-range four-wheel drive.

On the road it was comfortable and competent in all environments, whether weekday townie or weekend bush master. With its dual-range four-wheel drive system it was capable of tackling the most challenging offroad tracks, its gutsy turbo-diesel happy to slug it out on steep climbs and rough tracks.


Most D-Max owners love their utes, few complain about them, and those who do usually complain about fairly minor things, like the power windows needing attention. One issue that does come to light occasionally is a high-pitched whistling noise, which is caused by the grease used on the oil seals on the front hubs by the factory drying out. Isuzu issued a service alert on it to address the problem.

Most owners acknowledge that there is nothing fancy about the D-Max; that the reason they bought it was its reputation for reliability and capability to get the job done. While the build quality from the Thailand plant is generally satisfactory, the complaints that owners do make would appear to be largely due to lapses in production.

The power windows are reported as one problem area, they regularly need attention for sticking or dropping.

One owner complained about the paint fading on the upper surfaces. This is a common problem with the paint used on most of today's cars, and regular cleaning, waxing and polishing is the way to combat it.

Regular servicing is also the way to ensure long life from your engine. Changing oil and filters regularly will help extend the life of the Isuzu diesel.

Some owners report problems with the DPF filter not automatically regenerating. It's usually because the vehicle is not being driven in a way that allows the filter to go through its regular automatic regeneration routine. When the light comes on the way to fix it is to drive the vehicle at 80 km/h or more for an extended period. The alternative is to have the dealer do the regeneration, but that can be a costly exercise.


Year Price From Price To
2012 $7,100 $26,730
2011 $6,500 $23,430
2010 $6,100 $22,440
2009 $5,600 $19,250
2008 $5,200 $16,280

View all Isuzu D-Max pricing and specifications

Pricing guides

Based on third party pricing data
Lowest Price
Highest Price

Range and Specs

EX (4X4) 3.0L, Diesel, 5 SP MAN $7,200 – 11,110 2008 Isuzu D-Max 2008 EX (4X4) Pricing and Specs
LS (4X2) 3.0L, Diesel, 4 SP AUTO $8,000 – 12,430 2008 Isuzu D-Max 2008 LS (4X2) Pricing and Specs
LS-M (4X4) 3.0L, Diesel, 5 SP MAN $9,900 – 14,960 2008 Isuzu D-Max 2008 LS-M (4X4) Pricing and Specs
LS-U (4X4) 3.0L, Diesel, 5 SP MAN $10,600 – 15,510 2008 Isuzu D-Max 2008 LS-U (4X4) Pricing and Specs
Graham Smith
Contributing Journalist


Disclaimer: The pricing information shown in the editorial content (Review Prices) is to be used as a guide only and is based on information provided to Carsguide Autotrader Media Solutions Pty Ltd (Carsguide) both by third party sources and the car manufacturer at the time of publication. The Review Prices were correct at the time of publication.  Carsguide does not warrant or represent that the information is accurate, reliable, complete, current or suitable for any particular purpose. You should not use or rely upon this information without conducting an independent assessment and valuation of the vehicle.