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2004 Isuzu KB

2004-06-28 12:12

New Isuzu KB

John Oxley

Wheels24 flew to Walvis Bay in Namibia and then out into the desert near Swakopmunt to drive the new vehicles, and we can tell you they feel firmer and definitely more spacious.

However, proper driving impressions will have to wait until we get the vehicles for road test as the "launch" was oriented more towards dealers than motoring journalists, with commensurate restrictions on the amount and type of driving involved.

A short 4x4 course and "gymkhana" activities, though fun, leave you with little impression of what the vehicles are like to drive in normal conditions.

And, in fact, we spent more time in previous-generation models than in the new ones...

Space cab

The current line-up includes both single cab and double cab models, in 4x2 and 4x4, and although no "Space Cab" (as Isuzu calls it) "in between" versions are available at the moment, these may be added later if there is sufficient demand.

The latest, fifth generation, KB range is longer, wider, and higher.

It has a longer wheelbase and wider track than the vehicle it replaces, and this provides a strong presence on the road, and more interior space and comfort.

The all-new cab design provides a much enlarged interior with more headroom, more legroom (also at the rear for double cab models), and more shoulder room.

A big feature of the new KB range is that metal thickness has been increased, resulting in much more torsional stiffness than before, as well as better dent resistance.

The chassis has also been strengthened, although chief engineer John Sadler stresses this is as much a factor of the larger body size as anything else.

Other plus factors on the new vehicles include push-button "on the fly" 4x4 selection on top models, and the inclusion of a factory-fitted spare wheel lock (operated via the ignition key) across the range.

The vehicles in detail

General Motors SA wants to become no. 1 in South Africa in the LCV market, led by the new KB series and by a new Opel Corsa pickup to be launched in August this year, and as a result it has re-aligned the KB range to place more emphasis on the petrol market than before.

Isuzu already leads in the diesel pickup sector.

Thus we see very keen pricing in the petrol line-up, coupled with more features for the money and more powerful engines across the range. GM also retains the vehicle's competitiveness in the diesel sector, where its engines are among the most powerful.

Petrol engine power is boosted from 80 kW to 88 kW in the 2-litre model, from 85 to 94 kW in the 2.4-litre version, and the new 3.5-litre V6 engine, which replaces the previous 3.2-litre model, gives a massive 147 kW, up from 132 kW.

The diesel range starts with a new 2.5-litre altitude compensated low-pressure turbo-charged diesel engine which boosts power on the entry-level diesel from 52 kW to 58 kW, although for high altitude users this is effectively an extra 19% power.

The 3-litre turbo-diesel now pushes out more torque lower down.

Its output of 96 kW is unchanged, but the manual version now makes 280 Nm of torque at 2 000 r/min, (up from 265 Nm) while on the automatic gearbox version torque is boosted further to 294 Nm at 2 000 r/min to improve driveability and negate losses associated with the auto gearbox torque converter.

A big running cost factor is that all diesels now have 10 000 km oil change service intervals and 20 000 km normal service intervals, reducing running costs and more importantly, expensive downtime.

GM hopes to bolster its sales this year in the one-ton sector from last year's 1 000 a month to 1 200 a month by end of 2005, although currently it is running much higher than that thanks to a keen runout strategy for the old KB and advance orders for the new pickup to the end of the year.

Diesel range

This range of 10 models starts off with the 2.5Dc Base model powered by Isuzu's 2.5-litre compensated direct injection engine that delivers 58 kW at 3 800 r/min and 170 Nm of torque at 1 800 r/min. As mentioned, the beauty of this engine is that it does not suffer power loss at altitude.

Transmission is five-speed manual. An electro-pneumatic differential lock is available as an on cost factory option.

Standard features include:

  • Height adjustable three point seat belts for the two outer seats with a two-point lap belt for the middle seat.
  • Load sensing brake proportioning valve.
  • Adjustable head restraints.
  • Door mounted side impact beams.
  • Aspherical side mirror (driver's side).
  • Transponder key immobiliser system.
  • Spare wheel lock - matched to vehicle ignition key.
  • Anti-theft door bracket.
  • Coil spring front suspension.
  • 5.5JX14 steel wheels fitted with 195R14 tyres.
  • Vinyl seat covering.
  • Power steering.
  • Illuminated and lockable glove box.
  • Day/night rear view mirror.
  • Auxiliary power point in dash.
  • Coolant level warning buzzer.
  • Digital clock.
  • Remote fuel flap release.
  • Cab protector.
  • Mud flaps front and rear.
  • Double skinned load box with tie-down hooks.
  • Tubular full width rear step bumper ready for tow ball fitment.
  • Radio antenna pre-fitted.
  • Pre-wired for cell phone kit.
  • SA Insurance Association 'A' rating.

    Staying with the 2.5Dc engine the next specification level offered in the Isuzu KB range is the LE derivative. Three models are offered with this specification level, a Single Cab 4X2, a Double Cab 4X2, and a Single Cab 4X4. Both 4X2 models are "high Ride" specification.

    In addition to the features of the base model this specification level adds the following items:

  • Robust 4X4 specification High Ride chassis with wider track and torsion bar front suspension.
  • Door trim panels with armrest, side pocket and cup holder.
  • Full cloth seat covering.
  • Carpets with driver's side heel pad.
  • Steering column tilt.
  • Tinted side glass.
  • Sliding rear window.
  • Centre floor console with two cup holders.
  • Roll bar.
  • Tubular full-width rear step bumper with tow pack.
  • Grey body side mouldings.
  • Grey wheel arch protectors.
  • Radio/CD combination (front loading CD).
  • Push button select for 4X4 on Single Cab 4X4 model.
  • 7JX15 styled steel wheels fitted with 215R15 tyres.

    In addition the 2.5Dc Double Cab LE variant has the following as standard equipment:

  • Height adjustable three-point inertia reel seat belts for the rear outer seats.
  • Three-point inertia reel seat belt for centre rear seat.
  • Height adjustable rear head restraints.
  • Height adjustable driver's seat.
  • Remote central locking with selective unlock.
  • Audible alarm system.
  • Automatic door lock when speed reaches 30 km/h.
  • 15 inch alloy wheels fitted with 245/75R15 tyres.
  • Bucket front seats with rear pocket.
  • Power windows front and rear.
  • Air conditioner with pollen filter.
  • Centre storage console.
  • Dome lamp with fade feature.
  • Door mounted speakers front and rear.
  • Body colour wheel arch protectors.
  • Body colour side mouldings.
  • High level full-width rear bumper with tow pack.

    Moving up an engine size to the 3.0TDi turbo-charged and inter-cooled direct injection diesel engine the Isuzu KB Fleetside is the base model. The 3.0 TDi engine develops 96 kW at 3 800 r/min and maximum torque of 280 Nm at 2 000 r/min. This model shares the base model 2.5Dc specification but has the following additional features:

  • Robust 4X4 specification High Ride chassis with wider track and torsion bar front suspension.
  • Styled 7JX15 steel wheels fitted with 215/R15 tyres.

    A Single Cab LE specification variant is available with the 3.0TDi engine and 4X4 transmission. The specification of this model is as for the 2.5Dc model with the following additions:

  • Tyres are 245/75R15.
  • Front nudge bar.

    The top of the range specification models in the range carry the Isuzu KB LX designation. The diesel engine range includes four LX derivatives, all powered by the Isuzu 3.0TDi engine.

    These four models are Single Cab LX 4X2; Double Cab LX 4X2; Double Cab LX 4X2 Automatic (this derivative has an additional 14 Nm of torque available with maximum torque of 294 Nm at 2000 r/min); and Double Cab LX 4X4. Features added at the LX specification level include:

  • Three-channel ABS anti-lock braking system with EBD.
  • Variable intermittent windscreen wipers.
  • Leather covered steering wheel.
  • Front fog lamps.
  • Body colour side mouldings.
  • Body colour wheel arch protectors.
  • Chrome external rear view mirrors with power adjustment.
  • Tweeter speakers in front door panels to augment audio system.
  • 16 inch alloy wheels fitted with 245/70R16 tyres.

    The three LX specification Double Cab models in the diesel range have the following added:

  • Three point front seat belts with inertia-reel and pre-tensioners.
  • Front airbags for driver and passenger.

    All diesel derivatives have a 12 month/20 000 km service interval with a 10 000 km oil change interval. As with all vehicles in this new model range they are covered by a 3 year/100 000 km warranty and a 3 year anti-corrosion warranty. Free Roadside Assistance is included in the warranty package.

    Petrol range

    The petrol range offers a choice of six model derivatives with three engine sizes - all featuring multi point fuel injection - a choice of Single Cab or Double Cab and Base, LE, or LX specification level. As with the diesel range, all models are long wheelbase configuration.

    The petrol ranges starts with an entry level 2-litre model (for introduction in November 2004) with maximum power of 88 kW at 5 400 r/min and peak torque of 174 Nm at 3 200 r/min. This model has essentially the same features package as the base model diesel derivative. These features include:

  • Height adjustable three point seat belts for the two outer seats with a two-point lap belt for the middle seat.
  • Load sensing brake proportioning valve.
  • Adjustable head restraints.
  • Door mounted side impact beams.
  • Aspherical side mirror (driver's side).
  • Transponder key immobiliser system.
  • Spare wheel lock - matched to vehicle ignition key.
  • Anti-theft door bracket.
  • Coil spring front suspension.
  • 5.5JX14 steel wheels fitted with 195R14 tyres.
  • Vinyl seat covering.
  • Power steering.
  • Illuminated and lockable glove box.
  • Day/night rear view mirror.
  • Auxiliary power point in dash.
  • Coolant level warning buzzer.
  • Digital clock.
  • Remote fuel flap release.
  • Cab protector.
  • Mud flaps front and rear.
  • Double skinned load box with tie-down hooks.
  • Tubular full width rear step bumper ready for tow ball fitment.
  • Radio antenna pre-fitted.
  • Pre-wired for cell phone kit.
  • SA Insurance Association 'A' rating.

    Moving up to the 2.4 litre petrol engine derivatives the first model in the range is the KB 2.4 Fleetside. Maximum power is 94 kW at 4 800 r/min and torque is 207 Nm at 3 200 r/min. Added features over and above the base specification are:

  • Robust 4X4 specification High Ride chassis with wider track and torsion bar front suspension.
  • Tyres are 245/75R15.

    Three LE specification variants are offered, all powered by the 2.4 litre engine. These are a Single Cab LE 4X2, a Single Cab LE 4X2, and a Double Cab 4X2. The specification added at this level includes:

  • Robust 4X4 specification High Ride chassis with wider track and torsion bar front suspension.
  • Door trim panels with armrest, side pocket and cup holder.
  • Full cloth seat covering.
  • Carpets with driver's side heel pad.
  • Steering column tilt.
  • Tinted side glass.
  • Sliding rear window.
  • Centre floor console with two cup holders.
  • Roll bar.
  • Tubular full-width rear step bumper with tow pack.
  • Grey body side mouldings.
  • Grey wheel arch protectors.
  • Radio/CD combination (front loading CD).
  • Push button select for 4X4 on Single Cab 4X4 model.
  • 7JX15 styled steel wheels fitted with 215R15 tyres.

    In addition the 2.4 Double Cab LE variant has the following as standard equipment:

  • Height adjustable three-point inertia reel seat belts for the rear outer seats.
  • Three-point inertia reel seat belt for centre rear seat.
  • Height adjustable rear head restraints.
  • Height adjustable driver's seat.
  • Remote central locking with selective unlock.
  • Audible alarm system.
  • Automatic door lock when speed reaches 30 km/h.
  • 15 inch alloy wheels fitted with 245/75R15 tyres.
  • Bucket front seats with rear pocket.
  • Power windows front and rear.
  • Air conditioner with pollen filter.
  • Centre storage console.
  • Dome lamp with fade feature.
  • Door mounted speakers front and rear.
  • Body colour wheel arch protectors.
  • High level full width rear bumper with tow pack.

    The top of the range petrol derivative in the new Isuzu KB range is the 3.5-litre engine Double Cab LX. Maximum power delivered by this latest generation all aluminium V6 from Isuzu is 147 kW at 5 400 r/min with maximum torque of 280 Nm at 3 000 r/min. Features added at this level include:

  • Three-channel ABS anti-lock braking system with EBD.
  • Variable intermittent windscreen wipers.
  • Leather covered steering wheel.
  • Front fog lamps.
  • Body colour side mouldings.
  • Chrome external rear view mirrors with power adjustment.
  • Tweeter speakers in front door panels to augment audio system.
  • 16 inch alloy wheels fitted with 245/70R16 tyres.
  • Three point front seat belts with inertia-reel and pre-tensioners.
  • Front airbags for driver and passenger.
  • Front nudge bar.

    All petrol models have a 12 month/15 000 km service and oil change interval. As with all vehicles in this new model range they are covered by a 3 year/100 000 km warranty and a 3 year anti-corrosion warranty. Free Roadside Assistance is included in the warranty package.

    Prices

    Petrol

    KB 240i LWB Fleetside

    R147 949

    KB 240i LWB LE

    R158 916

    KB 240i LWB LE A/C

    R165 756

    KB 240i 4x4 LE

    R205 371

    KB 240i Double Cab LE

    R214 605

    KB 350i V6 Double Cab LX

    R249 329

    Diesel

    KB 250c LWB

    R152 577

    KB 250c LWB LE

    R169 073

    KB 250c LWB A/C

    R175 913

    KB 250c 4x4 LE

    R224 745

    KB 250c Double Cab LE

    R219 108

    KB 300 TDi LWB Fleetside

    R175 765

    KB 300 TDi LWB Fleetside A/C

    R182 605

    KB 300 TDi LWB LX

    R215 665

    KB 300 TDi 4x4 LE

    R240 631

    KB 300 TDi 4x4 LE A/C

    R247 471

    KB 300 TDi Double Cab LX

    R264 662

    KB 300 TDi Double Cab LX auto

    R272 460

    KB 300 TDi Double Cab 4x4 LX

    R323 133

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