The entire Japanese pickup truck ensemble is going through a refresh at the moment, this time it's the turn of the Nissan Navara, Mitsubishi Triton and Isuzu D-Max. Let's see the comparison together.
Apart from Toyota, which had already unveiled the new Hilux at the very cusp of last year, all of the other Japanese pickup truck players are rushing to release their new utes just in time to catch the last few months of the SST tax exemption period - which by the way ends on June 30, 2021.
Nissan already unveiled their new top-spec facelift Navara, the PRO-4X, ahead of its official launch on April 16, Mitsubishi has just made public the Triton Athlete, which will replace the Triton Adventure X as the flagship of the Triton pickup range, and Isuzu is just a week away from unveiling the 2021 D-Max.
With that being said, we're pretty sure some of you will look into buying one of these new pickups, so let's take a look at some of the key features from the new Nissan Navara PRO-4X, Mitsubishi Triton Athlete and Isuzu D-Max X-Terrain.
The Mitsubishi Triton Athlete and Nissan Navara PRO-4X ride on the same platform from the current generation, but the Navara PRO-4X has received some suspension tweaking at the rear, which now allows it to carry a payload of up to 1.1 tonnes.
On the other hand, the 2021 Isuzu D-Max X-Terrain is built on Isuzu's new Dynamic Drive Platform, which is stiffer and lighter compared to the outgoing model. Isuzu has also changed the standard body mount to a shear mount, which has helped reduce noise and vibration while at the same time increasing driving stability.
The story of recycling parts continues for the Navara and Triton as they are equipped with the tried and tested powerplants from the current generation.
The Triton Athlete is equipped with the award-winning (4N15) 2.4-litre Mivec common-rail turbodiesel engine, which produces 181 PS and 430 Nm of torque. Power is sent to a 6-speed automatic gearbox.
The Navara PRO-4X soldiers on the use of the YD25 2.5-litre DOHC intercooler turbodiesel engine, which has 190 PS and 450 Nm of torque. The engine is mated to the existing 7-speed automatic transmission with manual mode.
The new top-spec Isuzu D-Max X-Terrain will get the reengineered 4JJ3-TCX 3.0-litre engine which has learned a thing or two from the efficient RZ4E-TC 1.9-litre engine. It now makes 190 PS and 450 Nm of torque an increase of 13 PS and 70 Nm over the 4JJ1-TCX engine it was based on. The Isuzu truck has also received an upgrade in the transmission department and will sport a 6-speed automatic gearbox.
While the Mitsubishi Triton Athlete's exterior looks are not completely new, it has received some stylistic treatment and now features a gloss black front under garnish, whereas the 'Dynamic Shield' front design concept now incorporates a glossy black radiator grille and sporty 'Athlete' graphic design side stripe stickers. The side mirrors, door handles, aero-type window deflectors, side steps and 18-inch gloss black rims also get the new blacked-out beautification.
The Navara PRO-4X is a facelift after all and now features a more pronounced front end, including a taller hood, large black front grille, a la the Nissan Titan (Nissan calls it the Interlock grille), and headlights with four projector LED cubes in the housing surrounded by C shaped daytime running lights. Non-reflective orange accents at the bottom of the new front bumper and wheel arches are also new.
It also receives the same facelift beautification at the rear, continuing the C-shaped theme with taillights that have a C light guide design, a beefier bumper, and a redesigned tailgate. The new bumper receives a welcome integrated step ladder type feature which helps provide easier access to the truck bed.
The theme of the D-Max X-Terrain having the newest upgrades continues here and is headlined by that really aggressive grille that stretches out proudly at the front end. Flanked by slimmer headlights that house bi-LED illumination equipment, as well as U-shaped LED daytime running lights, we can safely say this is the most aggressive-looking front end featured on any D-Max.
The side profile now has more of a wedge-type shape to it which helps give the car better aerodynamics. At the rear, the bumper is now integrated into the bed giving the D-Max a more streamlined look. The 18-inch alloy wheels on the top-spec is new too. The taillights have some similarities with the outgoing model, but it does come with LED edge lighting.
While the Triton's interior is largely the same, the Athlete is spiced up with orange-stitching leather-wrapped steering, gear knobs and LED illuminated scuff plates. The Triton Athlete also comes with a first-in-class rear air circulator.
The Navara on the other hand comes with a newly designed Nissan steering wheel and improved styling of the instrument panel which highlights the 7-inch higher-resolution TFT screen. Passengers can enjoy new rear seats with upgraded seat cushions and back shapes.
For added convenience, passengers in the back can now also utilize the new rear armrest with built-in cup holders to store beverages or smartphones. 4 USB ports (two at the front and one in the rear) have also been added in the new Navara. An acoustic windshield and front windows complete the Navara's comfort features
The old D-Max never had the best of interior ergonomics and comfort, but the new one seems like it has changed this. It now includes telescopic and tilt steering wheel adjustment, MDI polyurethane cushions which help reduce fatigue on long journeys. The rear seats have also been re-engineered to improve ride comfort.
Safety and Infotainment
Safety-wise, the Triton Athlete comes standard with 7-airbags, Forward Collision Mitigation (FCM), Blind Spot Warning with Lane Change Assist (BSW with LCA), Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), Ultrasonic Misacceleration Mitigation System (UMS), and Auto High Beam (AHB). An All-Round Monitor (ARM), Driving Video Recorder (DVR) and 7-Inch Touchscreen Audio with Apple Carplay and Android Auto comes as standard.
The Navara PRO-4X has an impressive host of safety features, including 6-airbags, an intelligent forward collision system, intelligent emergency braking, intelligent around-view monitor (360 camera angle), and an offroad monitoring system that can help check and detect obstacles. The off-road monitoring system automatically comes alive through the Pro-4X's 8-inch touchscreen display when the 4WD system is engaged, which helps confirm surrounding obstacles when off-roading.
Other noticeable parts of the safety gear include intelligent driver alertness, lane departure warning, intelligent lane intervention and blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert, intelligent moving object detection, and high beam assist. An 8-inch infotainment screen that is Android Auto ready accompanies the 4 USB ports (two at the front and one in the rear) in the car.
As we have mentioned in a previous article, the D-Max X-Terrain will get many advanced driver assistance features - most notably Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking, which has given the incoming D-Max a Euro NCAP 5-star rating.
There is also adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and multi-collision braking. Seven airbags, ABS with EBD, brake assist, traction and stability control, hill start and descent assist systems, all-round parking sensors, and a reverse camera should also come as standard in the top variant.
All of the trucks mentioned above are top-spec variants and which one you should get is totally down to your own preferences. Obviously, the D-Max X-terrain will be the newest out of them all, but the rest of this trio has also been updated which makes them all current.
To say one is better than the other would be unfair as they are all good trucks, but as far as road tax is concerned we know the Triton probably makes the most sense. if you want a bit of Americana, go for the Navara as that Titan grille really does shine!
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