The Isuzu D-MAX is one of the most sought-after 4×4 vehicles in Australia, and for all the right reasons. It performs amazingly well on and off the road, and there is a myriad of 4×4 off road accessories from aftermarket exhausts to bullbars to further improve its offroad performance. Its stock form is good enough to conquer almost any rugged terrain, but for the sake of protection, aftermarket DMAX accessories are always a great idea. But before I talk about accessories, let’s discuss what the stock Isuzu D-MAX has to offer that makes it such a popular 4×4.
The D-MAX offers comfort levels second to none. The seats are great, and they offer outstanding support, bolstering and adjustment. This can be a huge deal for people who have back problems and struggle driving for more than a few hours.
This is especially important when riding over bumpy terrain. I personally had no problem driving almost 1000km just last week, and I arrived at my destination without feeling fatigued. The same level of comfort applies to the whole interior of the D-MAX.
Modern Interior and Features
The D-MAX sports a contemporary interior. The newest models include thick, well-made vinyl flooring that you can wipe down and have it looking brand new. While this may seem insignificant, I personally think that carpets should be avoided in 4x4s, at least when they’re used for their intended purpose.
Furthermore, it comes with a range of features that play an important role in comfort and performance, such as air-conditioning, cruise, a trip computer, leather steering wheel, fog lights, alloy wheels, and an outstanding 3-tonne towing capacity.
The best part about all of this is that you won’t have to break your bank to own one. Plus, you have the option to modify your ride however you want with DMAX accessories and further improve its driveability, performance, fuel economy and comfort.
4×4 Off Road Accessories for the D-MAX
As tough as your D-MAX may be, you should consider adding a bull bar for extra front-end protection. Bull bars are 4×4 off road accessories that are a must-have on any vehicle looking to venture off the beaten trails. This is due to the fact that the Australian outback is filled with curious ‘roos who don’t really care if they get run over or not.
And ‘roos are hundreds of kilogrammes of muscle, and they’re bound to completely wreck your vehicle. Furthermore, you’ll have an easier time dealing with fallen branches and other items that you come across.
On top of adding protection, bull bars can serve as a mounting point for extra accessories, including auxiliary lights and winches -- two popular accessories that most off-roaders don’t leave the road without.
Quality aftermarket bull bars are either made of aluminium or steel. Aluminium bull bars are more expensive, but they’re lighter and add to the overall aesthetic of your D-MAX. Steel, on the other hand, is stronger and can be coated to provide outstanding rust and corrosion resistance.
Something every experienced adventurer understands is the importance of having enough cargo space to bring along everything they need for the forthcoming trip. This is especially important if the trip lasts for a couple of days. While 4x4s are spacious, having a party of 5 people travel long distances can significantly limit your cargo space.
Roof racks are a great solution for two simple reasons -- they’re quite affordable and easy to install. This is especially true if your D-MAX already has roof rails that you can install the roof rack onto. But even if you don’t, buying roof rails won’t break your bank either, and you can simply drill them onto your roof.
Just like bull bars, roof racks can be made of aluminium or steel. Aluminium roof racks are lighter, whereas steel versions are stronger. Having a lightweight roof rack is very important, simply because you want to reduce the amount of overall weight your put on your roof, as roofs have a limited load capacity that shouldn’t be surpassed.
Going off-roading without recovery equipment is the same as going diving without diving gear -- you can do it, but you won’t last long. Having the ability to recover your D-MAX in the event you get bogged or stuck is essential. Fortunately, there’s a wide range of recovery equipment suitable for all situations and budgets. The most popular pieces are recovery tracks, winches and hi-lift jacks.
Recovery tracks are the most budget-friendly option, but they require some manual effort to pull you out of a sticky situation. Some recovery tracks can be used as shovels to dig around your tyres before placing them under. All recovery tracks feature a frictive surface that will help your D-MAX gain momentum.
Winches, on the other hand, are completely automated recovery tools, and all you have to do is attach the winch rope to a steady object like a tree or another 4×4 to pull yourself out. Winches are typically mounted on the bull bar, which is why it’s important for the bull bar you choose to have a reliable winch mount.
Without a winch mount on the bull bar, you risk doing more harm than good. The only downside to winches is that you’ll have to pay a few hundred dollars more than you would for recovery tracks and a high-lift jack.
High-lift jacks are mechanical pieces of recovery equipment. They’re relatively heavy, and you need to be extra careful when recovering with them. For that reason, make sure you have reliable hi-lift points on the chassis of your vehicle. Furthermore, you need to make sure the jack is placed on even ground for stability. If the ground where you’re stuck is uneven, you’ll need to get a base plate as an extra accessory.
The aforementioned accessories are what I would consider essential. They improve your safety, increase your cargo space and help you get unstuck. However, there’s a wide range of other accessories that can come in very handy depending on the type of off-roading you intend to do.
For instance, if your journey involves passing creeks, rivers or any other watery surface, then a snorkel can prove to be invaluable. On the flip side, if you intend on going rock crawling, you’ll want to get undercarriage protection in the form of skid plates, as well as rock sliders.