Isuzu KB Range Enhanced and Expanded for 2015 Models
-New engine 2.5L DTEQ – 100kW / 320Nm.
-Three new models – KB250 Fleetside Extended Cab, KB250 Fleetside Double Cab, KB300 LX Double Cab 4×4 Automatic.
-New infotainment and Navigation system on KB 300 LX Double Cabs.
-Enhanced safety across the range.
Isuzu has revealed its enhanced and expanded 2015 KB range which includes three new models and an upgraded 250 DTEQ engine.
Now, with an expanded and re-aligned 18 model range (up from 15 derivatives), the Isuzu KB builds on its key characteristics with upgrades to the brand’s renowned diesel engine offerings and revving up the level of technology and features in flagship models. With three body types – single, extended, and double cab – there’s a KB for every purpose. Leading the pack is the flagship 4×4 automatic double cab (a combination not previously offered in the 6th generation Isuzu KB) the other additions to the range coming in the form of two new Fleetside models – one an Extended Cab and the other a Double Cab.
It’s a popular boast in the bakkie market to describe a vehicle as ‘car-like’ and indeed, light commercials and particularly double-cabs have become more like conventional passenger vehicles in certain ways.
“At Isuzu we believe that the attributes inherent to our KB range gives that claim a much more authentic ring. Isuzu KB’s ride quality in particular has stood well above the standards typically associated with bakkies,” says Isuzu Brand Manager at General Motors South Africa (GMSA), Mlungisi Nonkonyana.
The locally built Isuzu KB has built a reputation for itself as a tough, reliable and comfortable pick-up. Isuzu vehicles are engineered and fine-tuned for local conditions through a vigorous durability testing and validation programme which is carried out for each model year. As a result each model year of the Isuzu moves the bar higher as engineers incorporate customer feedback and new features designed to keep the Isuzu KB a step ahead of the competition.
According to Nonkonyana, keeping an ear to the ground is an essential part of success, especially in the light commercial vehicle market. He says sector continues to evolve and expectations are extremely high – especially in the double cab market – as consumers see these 4×4 pick-ups as a valid substitute for luxury sedans, and to an extent, traditional SUVs. “They expect the same refinement and comfort to which they’ve become accustomed,” explained Nonkonyana.
On the other hand, commercial users demand uncompromised dependability and low running costs and instant aftermarket support – a day off the road is money lost.
“It is a tough assignment to satisfy these diverse needs, but thanks to our close ties to Isuzu and our local the engineering expertise and experience of our technical centre in Port Elizabeth, we are able to react in a swift and meaningful way to changes called for from the marketplace,” says Nonkonyana.
“We made minor revisions a year ago, but this time round the changes are more substantial. We’ve filled a number of gaps in the range and also now offer an upgraded engine. Isuzu’s long-standing reputation as a manufacturer of diesel power plants of all shapes and sizes gives us a major advantage, and we’ve tapped into their expertise to configure an engine which is a major step forward in key areas.”
Once again, a rigorous testing and validation process was undertaken, a fleet of KBs being driven on some of South Africa’s toughest roads in the most remote regions. Over a period of 18 months, some 700 000 kilometres were covered by the test vehicles, taking in extreme temperatures and altitude levels.
New: KB300 LX 4×4 Double Cab Automatic
Updated: all other LX models
At the very top of the line-up is the new KB300 LX 4×4 Double Cab Automatic, boasting the inherent refinement that comes with the best aerodynamics of any locally-available double cab. Slick yet purposeful styling that leaves passing airflow untroubled, helps to reduce wind noise and fuel economy. The KB’s refined and efficient 3.0-litre turbodiesel and five-speed automatic combination make driving a breeze.
The transmission features gradient logic to ensure the best and safest ratio is used on slopes, while manual gear control via a sequential gate allows the driver to take charge if so desired. The engine to which the five speed automatic transmission is mated is the proven 3.0-litre DTEQ turbocharged diesel with impressive headline numbers of 130kW and 380Nm from the common rail direct injection turbodiesel. Combined Cycle fuel consumption is 7.9 litres per 100 km for 4×4 double cab and extended cab models, dropping to 7.7 l/100 km for the rear-drive versions. The single cab 4×2 also returns a figure of 7.7/100 km, with the 4×4 version scoring an eight.
Reinforcing the effortless nature of the KB are significant new comfort and convenience features for all double and extended cab LX derivatives the highlight of which is a class-leading touch screen infotainment system with satellite navigation, internet, WiFi, and smartphone integration. The screen – a 1080p high-definition TFT unit with a generous 6.5-inch dimension – also acts as the display when browsing, or using the DVD player.
It also integrates with another standout feature fitted to Model Year 15 KB Double Cabs: the Rear Park Assist reversing camera, which is not only very convenient when backing up – especially when hitching a trailer – but is also a valuable safety feature.
Passive entry and start system (PESS) is a keyless entry with Start/Stop ignition button is standard on all LX-grade models with the four-door body style. Leather is available as an option on these Double Cab derivatives.
In the last three years the bold, streamlined styling of the sixth-generation KB has become a familiar sight, but the new flagship and other 3.0-litre double cabs gets even more outstanding visual cues: these include LED daytime running lights (replacing the fog lamps), and LED technology incorporated in the rear clusters.
A tough and rugged bakkie with car-like opulence and sophistication? Consider that box ticked by the KB300 double cabs and the only decisions the customer has to make is whether to go manual or auto, and 4×2 or 4×4.
New: KB 250 Fleetside Extended Cab, KB250 Fleetside Double Cab
Upgraded: All 2.5 DTEQ engines
As the name suggests, Fleetside models are aimed at business users who, whether they be large or small enterprises, will value the KB’s workhorse credentials coupled to low and predictable operating costs. While frills are secondary to these buyers, they do get useful features such as a radio/CD with Bluetooth linking, and ride on generous 245/70/16 rubber.
The pair is powered by an upgraded, high output version of the 2.5-litre DTEQ common-rail direct injection turbodiesel, which is now rated at 100kW and 320Nm. Indeed, this gutsy newcomer goes straight to the top of the class in terms of fuel consumption and emissions.
The increases are a function of a new variable geometry turbocharger as per what is already in use on the 3.0 DTEQ engine, which allows for fine management of boost pressure. With a 20 percent increase in torque at 1 200 rpm and a much wider power band compared to its predecessor, all Isuzu models powered by this unit (and there are seven of them) will enjoy vastly improved driveability. Sprinting to 100 km/h requires 2.4 seconds less than before but more importantly, accelerating between 40 and 120 km/h is now 6.3 seconds faster.
The additional output has been achieved with unchanged fuel consumption and emissions, and will ultimately translate into fewer gear changes and therefore reduced wear on components like the clutch and gearbox. The improved torque characteristics also enabled the payload of the single cab Fleetside model to be increased to a class-leading 1 221 kilograms – this bakkie is much more than a one-tonner.
Upgraded: safety features added to 90 percent of the range
Market research continues to show safety features moving up the priority list of light commercial vehicle buyers, and Isuzu believes that the best accident is no accident. Overall safety credentials are impressive and once again, ‘car-like’ does inevitably spring to mind as a ready label.
All LE, LX models and the two new Fleetside models boast an electronic stability control (ESC) and by year-end – when the safety feature is added to the single cab high-output Fleetside as a running change – all but a pair of base specification single cabs will be equipped with ESC.
ESC uses a network of sensors to determine the yaw angle of the vehicle – in other words, whether it is over steering or understeering, and commands the braking hardware and engine management to intervene individually or in tandem. Because of the extensive local suspension tuning undertaken by General Motors engineers, the entire development process required close collaboration with Isuzu in Japan – who oversaw final verification and sign-off.
The KB range has a full-house of the safety features not so long ago associated with luxury performance cars. As well as the new stability/traction control pairing, the triumvirate of ABS, EBD and EBA is carried over from the current model year and covers all models with the exception of 2.5 LEED (Low pressure turbo) models.
Upgraded: More comfort, convenience and visual appeal
Comfort and convenience often has a positive side-effect: safer driving thanks to reduced fatigue. With this in mind the two base models get a height-adjustable steering column, and LE specification vehicles represent even better value with the addition of cruise control. LX single and Extended Cabs, and all LE models, are more sumptuous in both look and feel thanks to upgraded fabric.
Isuzu is exclusively a manufacturer of trucks and light commercial vehicles, which is why the claim to be the bakkie specialists rings true. Like every KB range which has gone before, the re-aligned and updated sixth generation model is purpose built with a very specific role in mind, whether it’s a basic single cab workhorse or a luxurious 4×4.
Complete Care equals complete peace of mind
Isuzu has a complete customer care programme aimed at giving customers piece of mind by covering all aftersales related worries under one programme. Isuzu Complete Care covers:
- All routine maintenance, regular servicing and roadside emergencies
- New Vehicle Warranty – Standard 5 Year or 120 000km
- Roadside Assistance for 5 Years or 120 000km
- 5-year/ unlimited mileage anti-corrosion warranty and,
- 5-year/ 90 000 km service plan. Service intervals are 15 000 km or twelve months for all derivatives.