Isuzu UTE Australia and Surf Life Saving Australia have committed to a three-year partnership with a fleet of D-Max Utes and MU-X SUVs. SLSA will use the rugged vehicles for beach patrols, lifesaving and rescue, and road travel for training and education around the nation.
SLSA chose the Isuzu D-MAX Ute and MU-X SUV for their reputation for reliability and durability, as well as their off-road capability, towing prowess, and safety features. Both have five-star ANCAP safety ratings.
“Knowing that our lifesaving equipment needs to be durable to last the challenging beach conditions and dependable when called upon by our surf lifesavers, SLSA has turned to Isuzu UTE Australia, relying on the D-MAX Ute and MU-X SUV to serve as surf rescue patrol and support vehicles across the country,” says Surf Life Saving Australia President John Baker, a recipient of the Emergency Services Medal.
The D-Max Ute
The five-seat Isuzu D-Max has endured 4 million kilometres of testing in harsh environmental conditions. Its 3.0-litre, 140-kilowatt (188-horsepower) turbodiesel engine produces 450 newton-metres (332 pounds-foot) of torque, allowing the ute to tow loads of up to 3.5 tonnes (3.9 U.S. tons). It features a long-lasting steel timing chain and Isuzu’s unique split camshaft, designed to avoid deceleration backlash and related wear. A six-speed manual or automatic transmission puts the power to the road.
Four-wheel-drive versions of the D-Max come with a standard rear differential lock and knob-selectable four-high, four-low, and two-wheel-drive modes. Under the vehicle’s stable ladder-frame chassis are steel guards to protect the Ute’s underbody. Coilover shocks support the front suspension, while leaf springs manage the rear.
Eight airbags join a very long list of standard and optional safety and control features of the D-Max, such as the standard Intelligent Driver Assistance System (IDAS). These technologies include Autonomous Emergency Braking (including during turns), Forward Collision Warning, Post-Collision Braking, Misacceleration Mitigation, Driver Attention Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, Automatic Headlights and High Beams, Automatic Rain Sensing Wipers, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Departure Prevention, Emergency Lane Keeping, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Traffic Sign Recognition, Intelligent Speed Limiter, a Blind Spot Monitor, and others.
The MU-X SUV
Isuzu’s aerodynamic, seat-seat MU-X SUV shares many of the same standard and available features as the D-Max, albeit with a shorter list of advanced safety and control technologies. Its fuel-efficient, 3.0-L, common-rail engine uses a variable geometry turbo to supply 430 N-m (317 lbf-ft) of torque and 3 t (3.3 U.S. t) of braked towing capacity.
Like the D-Max, the MU-X’s six-speed automatic transmission offers a Rev-Tronic mode for sequential shifting. Available Grade Logic technology selects the proper gear for climbing or descending rough terrain. Hill Descent Control also aids in the latter situation, while Hill Start Assist prevents rollback when starting on a gradient. Other welcome features include Emergency Brake Assist, Electronic Brake force Distribution, and Trailer Sway Control.
Isuzu gives D-Max and MU-X buyers a six-year warranty, seven years of roadside assistance, and seven years of capped-price servicing.