The new Isuzu D-Max recently went on sale in South Africa and right at the top sits the all-new V-Cross model.
This high-end bakkie sells for R814,700 – meaning it’s both cheaper and newer than Toyota’s current flagship, the Hilux Legend RS.
As such, the Toyota that closest aligns with the new Isuzu in terms of specifications is the R842,900 2.8GD-6 Legend Auto.
While not the priciest specification in the family, this derivative is still the fourth most-expensive Hilux you can currently buy.
Below, we compare these R800,000 bakkies head-to-head.
The D-Max V-Cross and Hilux Legend are on equal footing when it comes to utilitarian credentials, likely due to their similar drivetrains.
The Isuzu gets a 3.0-litre, turbo-diesel unit paired to a six-speed automatic transmission, the combination putting out 140kW and 450Nm.
At the other end, the Toyota makes do with a 2.8-litre, turbo-diesel motor with a six-speed auto-box, generating a higher 150kW and 500Nm.
With its smaller engine it also registers a combined fuel consumption of 8.0l/100km – compared to the Isuzu’s 8.1l/100km – while both can tow up to a maximum of 3,500kg.
They are also quite close in terms of external dimensions, with both wearing 18-inch alloy wheels and the D-Max only being 8mm longer, 20mm narrower, and 5mm lower than the Hilux.
However, for all their similarities, these rugged competitors also have their differences.
While both send drive to all four wheels via a part-time, shift-on-the-fly, all-wheel-drive system, the Isuzu gets front and rear differentials whereas the Hilux only sees a rear-mounted limited-slip diff.
Furthermore, the V-Cross supports a payload capacity of 970kg and offers an 800mm water wading depth – which beats the Legend’s 775kg and 700mm.
The Toyota does have a ground clearance of 286mm, though, which is far above the Isuzu’s 232mm.
These top-of-the-line bakkies are about as premium as vehicles that are meant to conquer the great outdoors can get.
As a result, they boast luxurious cabins comparable to that of passenger cars – providing leather seats, dual-zone climate control, multifunction steering wheels, rain-sensing wipers, automatic LED lights with headlight leveling, keyless entry and start, electric driver seats, adaptive cruise control, and touchscreen infotainment systems with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
A host of assistance systems are standard on either, too, comprising lane-keep assist, lane departure alert, hill-start assist, hill-descent assist, trailer sway control, all-round parking sensors, and ABS with brake assist.
Once again they are set apart by the finer details, though, and there is no clear winner.
The Isuzu offers a few features the Toyota does not, such as automatic high-beam adjustment, walk-away door locks, and in-cabin Wi-Fi.
Additionally, the newcomer is equipped with blind-spot monitoring, occupant detection sensors, 360-degree cameras, rear radar with cross-traffic alert, forward collision warnings, autonomous emergency braking, lane departure prevention, driver condition monitoring, pedal misapplication mitigation, and eight airbags.
The Toyota then comes back with a JBL stereo, support for Toyota Connect online services, an electric front passenger seat, a reverse camera, and seven airbags.
The new Isuzu D-Max 3.0TD Double Cab V-Cross 4×4 has a South African starting price of R814,700.
This includes a 5-year/120,000km warranty, a 5-year/90,000km service plan, and 5-year/120,000km roadside assistance.
The Toyota Hilux 2.8GD-6 Double Cab 4×4 Legend Auto has a South African starting price of R842,900.
Along with this, buyers get a 3-year/100,000km warranty and a 9-services/90,000km service plan.