Isuzu D-Max LS-U Dual Cab 4WD Trayback Ute 2023 Review

Is the Isuzu D-Max any good as a work Ute

Isuzu D-Max LS-U Dual Cab 4WD Trayback Ute – Regular listeners will know that I’ve been renovating my garden and using some Isuzu D-Max Utes to help with that process.

Isuzu D-Max LS-U Dual Cab Trayback 4WD Ute in garden front quarter 2

Last week I had the D-Max LS-U Dual cab tray back Ute, this combines the benefits of a relatively large tray with the ability to carry a family as well as 4WD capability.

The advantage of the tray back style is that it still has a payload of some 1100 plus kilograms and a practical load area. The disadvantage of the dual cab style is that almost all that load is behind the rear axle.

I loaded yet more pavers, a full 900kg worth, onto the Ute to see how it would cope.

First up, the rear axle handled the weight with ease. There was a touch of rear dip but nothing spectacular. You could feel the weight when driving obviously.

Isuzu has a handy payload calculator on their website. Many people overload their car, van or Ute without realising it.

Secondly the 4-cylinder, 3.0L turbo diesel engine took it all in its stride. This Isuzu engine is one of the best on the market. Proven over many years in their Utes and small truck range. It is over engineered, robust, reliable, and economical.

Again the 6 speed sports automatic transmission is well matched to the engine and robust enough to handle the stresses.

This is a Motoring Minute

I’m Rob Fraser

Isuzu D-Max LS-U Dual Cab Trayback 4WD Ute interior central screen

Readers can find more Isuzu D-Max articles HERE 

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Some thoughts about the LS-U Dual Cab as a daily drive

  • Inside the LS-U is comfortable with fabric seats.
  • Being a dual cab means I have enough seat travel to stretch my long legs while driving
  • There are a few little clever items like
    • pull out cup holder in the dash,
    • bag hooks on the back of the front seats,
    • rear A/C vents
    • fold up rear seat squab
    • grab handles all around
    • Wireless Apple CarPlay is handy but you still need to plug in for charging.
    • Auto wipers are appreciated
    • As are auto headlights and highbeam
    • The lights provide particularly good spread and penetration for standard lights.
    • The tyre pressure monitoring system came in handy
    • As did the fog lights
  • The LS-U model has all the safety features you need.
  • Large external rear view mirrors provide excellent visibility
  • I like the fact that driver can select to have the adaptive radar function on the cruise control operating or not
  • Cruise control works well even with a load on the back
  • It misses out on a few comfort features but still has additional electronic lumbar support for the driver
  • The dual cab trayback combination is immensely practical.

Isuzu D-Max LS-U Dual Cab Trayback 4WD Ute reverse camera

Yet more thoughts

  • Central screen size is good, but the clarity can washout badly in sunlight at times
  • Reverse Camera has a wide view, but no guidelines, which can be a touch disconcerting as it takes a while to feel where the end of the tray is.
  • Another little annoyance that has always plagued Isuzu, is the haphazard and inconsistent DTE gauge. It will fluctuate by up to 100km up and down over the course of 25km on the freeway. I always fill the Isuzu when it gets a touch over a quarter full.
  • Isuzu manages to balance the unladen and laden ride in the LS-U. Its not uncomfortable when empty but handles a tonne plus as a load.
  • I’m not a fan of the windscreen washers being in the wipers,. It doesn’t give the coverage that a normal spray does. A few manufacturers are heading this way and its a shame
  • This comment isn’t aimed specifically at the Isuzu, but at all trayback Utes. When the technicians that install them, PLEASE MAKE SURE THERE IS ENOUGH FALL ON THE FULEE ILLER PIPE. There is NOTHING  more frustrating than sitting at a pump with the fuel nozzle clicking off all the time because of back fill in the pipe.
  • A little tip for the frustrated, pull the nozzle out a touch and turn it sideways. But we shouldn’t have to do that
  • All D-Max Utes come with a standard tow coupling. But again could the fitters place the wiring harness coupling above the little metal shelf. Better for off road conditions. Again directed to almost everyone that fits towing wiring.

What is good?

  • 4WD and towing ability
  • Ride and handling
  • Class leading safety features

What is not so good?

  • Missed heated front seats on cold mornings
  • Windscreen washers in wiper blades
  • Would love 150kW/500Nm

Isuzu D-Max LS-U Dual Cab Trayback 4WD Ute rear seats

Final thoughts Isuzu D-Max LS-U Dual Cab Trayback

The Isuzu D-Max LS-U is a robust, reliable and practical 4WD Ute.

The LS-U Trayback Dual Cab 4WD Ute is perhaps the best mix between recreational and work Ute.

It’s comfortable and spacious inside, but has more than 1000kg payload.

I laded the trayback up to full capacity and it handled it with ease.

Ideal for worksites and family holidays.

The D-Max will tow 3500kg with ease, go anywhere you will sensibly want to go off road and do it in comfort. All D-Max vehicles come with the tow assembly installed. All you have to do is add the hitch tongue you want.

Isuzu D-Max is a favourite Ute of mine.

Isuzu D-Max LS-U Dual Cab Trayback 4WD Ute at farm engine

Isuzu D-Max

Model

D-MAX LS-U Trayback 

Model Price$59,500 MLP*
Engine3.0L 4 Cyl Turbo Diesel Euro 5
Drivetrain6 Sp Sports AT Dual range 4WD
Power140kW @ 3,600rpm
Torque450Nm @ 1600-2600rpm
SafetyFive-star ANCAP (tested Sept 2022)
0-100kmh / Top SpeedTBA
CO2 Emissions207 g/km
Economy ADR8.0L/100km / 76L capacity
Economy on test9.0L/100k
Max Range1101km
Servicing12Mth / 15,000km 7 Yrs. Capped Price
Warranty6yr/ 150,000 km
Roadside Assist7Yr. conditional roadside assist

*MLP Includes GST and LCT but excludes statutory charges, dealer costs and dealer delivery. See your dealer for RDAP. Does not include price of options. Some features mentioned in the article are options.

RDAP means Recommended Drive Away Price (without options but including all other charges)

Isuzu D-Max LS-U Dual Cab Trayback 4WD Ute interior front seats

Overall Rating LS-U 

85/100

Behind the Wheel8
Comfort8
Equipment8
Performance8
Ride and Handling8
Practicality8
Fit for Purpose8
AWD/Towing Capability*10 (4WD 5/5 Towing 5/5)
Technology/connectivity9
Value for Money10

*Towing and AWD capability is measured against similar vehicles in the same class.

Isuzu D-Max LS-U crew Cab Trayback 4WD Ute loaded with pavers 3

Dimensions

 Isuzu D-Max LS-U Trayback

Overall Length5285mm
Wheelbase3125mm
Width1870mm
Height1800mm
Wheels17×7.0 Steel
Tyres255/65 R17
Max ground clearanceUp to 235mm
Wading Depth800mm
Approach30.0 degrees
Rampover23.9 degrees
Departure angle27 degrees
Turning Circle KTK12.5m
Tub/Tray Length1820mm
Tub/ Tray width / arches1780mm
Tub/Tray Depth255mm
Kerb Weight1970kg
Payload (kg)1130kg
GVM (kg)3100kg
GCM6000kg
Towing Capacity3500kg
Tow Ball rating350kg

Isuzu D-Max LS-U Dual Cab Trayback 4WD Ute tow hitch

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  • 8.5/10
    Overall Rating - 8.5/10
8.5/10

Summary

The Isuzu D-Max LS-U is a robust, reliable and practical 4WD Ute.

The LS-U Trayback Dual Cab 4WD Ute is perhaps the best mix between recreational and work Ute.

It’s comfortable and spacious inside, but has more than 1000kg payload.

I loaded the trayback up to full capacity and it handled it with ease. 

The D-Max will tow 3500kg with ease, go anywhere you will sensibly want to go off road and do it in comfort. All D-Max vehicles come with the tow assembly installed. All you have to do is add the hitch tongue you want.

About Rob Fraser 2469 Articles
Rob Fraser – General dogsbody & Director Rob is the founder of the business. He constantly mutters something about way too many red wines one evening being to blame. Often known for taking the 4WD in the driveway over the sports car, he has travelled pretty much everywhere in Australia and when he is bored goes for a drive. He first learned to drive on the farm in a left hand drive WW11 Jeep when he was 11, and was hooked on 4WDriving way back then. In addition to 4WD he is an avid motoring enthusiast and has maintained a strong interest in the industry ever since his teens. He has owned way too many cars in his time as well. Having previously lived at the top of corporate life he retired in 2000 and hasn’t put a suit and tie on since. Cars are his passion so why not have a business doing what you love he figures. He has towed either a caravan or camper trailer to most parts of Australia, has run guided tours for camper trailers’ and instructed drivers in off road towing.