The new DS3, customise every feature to suit your style
Big news around the braais this week will be the all-new KB that's just gone on sale in South Africa.
Forming part of a R1-billion, three-model investment on the part of GMSA, the new KB is being built in Port Elizabeth for local consumption and for export into sub-Saharan Africa.
It also inherits a rugged reputation and loyal following - consider that the previous model was selling over 1000 units a month right until the end of its nine-year life cycle.
Not only is the new KB bolder looking and bigger (it's 260mm longer, 60mm wider and 60mm taller), but it also moves Isuzu's game forward in terms of comfort, safety and engine power. Of course, all models have an increased load box size.
The initial line-up offers a choice between 23 models and within this is a selection of four engines, three body styles - single, extended and double cabs - and four trim levels. Pricing starts at R218 900 for the most basic petrol workhorse and moves all the way up to R464 400 for the fanciest double cab.
ENGINES FOR WORK AND PLAY
Top models boast an upgraded version of Isuzu's 3-litre D-TEQ turbodiesel, which pushes 130kW and 380Nm, up from 120kW and 360Nm. This engine gives the KB a towing capacity of 3500kg. For the middle of the diesel range, Isuzu has carried over its 85kW/280Nm 2.5-litre D-TEQ intercooled turbodiesel
Isuzu claims a best-in-class fuel consumption figure of 7.7 litres per 100km for the 2.5 and 3-litre engines and the use of 50ppm low-sulphur diesel is recommended for both.
However, this does not apply to the real rugged lugger of the range - the carried-over 2.5-litre low-pressure turbodiesel. Its outputs of 58kW and 170Nm might be downright stingy, but it's a low-stressed engine built with cost and durability in mind and Isuzu boasts that many of these engines have logged more than a million kilometres in normal commercial usage.
There's only one petrol option and it's an all-new 2.4-litre 16-valve unit that's credited with 112kW and 233Nm. For this one, Isuzu claims average consumption of 10.4 l/100km.
FOUR TRIM FLAVOURS
There's no frills or fuss in the Base KB, which comes with a split bench front seat covered in PVC seat trim.
Riding a little taller is the Fleetside, which has raised suspension, 16-inch steel wheels, air conditioner, floor tunnel console, seatbelt pretensioners and dual airbags. There's also a 'safety' pack that adds ABS brakes. Why this is not standard across the range is beyond us.
The real comfort factor creeps in with LE specification. Stretch the budget to this level and you get remote central locking, electric windows and mirrors, CD/MP3/USB/Aux sound system, Bluetooth connectivity, alarm, side steps, height-adjustable driver's seat and cloth-covered bucket front seats.
LE also adds full colour coding to the exterior and a nice set of 16-inch alloy wheels.
The top dogs in the range have an LX badge and this brings automatic climate control (on EC and DC), six-way electrically-adjustable driver's seat, leather-covered multifunction steering wheel, cruise control, multi-information system and, on double cabs, side and curtain airbags. On the outside it's been garnished with a chrome grille and side mirrors, 17-inch alloys and projector-type headlights.
All models come with a five-year/120 000km warranty, with roadside assistance for the full period, and a five-year/90 000km service plan. Beyond that, service intervals are set at 1-year/15 000km.
Isuzu points out that the new KB has survived a demanding testing and development protocol that's the equivalent of driving four million kilometres in a wide range of climates. Much of this testing was done on local soil so you can be sure that this Isuzu is well-prepared for local conditions.
Off-roading is also well catered for, with High Ride and 4x4 models boasting approach and departure angles of 30 degrees and 22.7 degrees respectively, while all LX, LE and 4x4 Fleetside derivatives have a push-button diff lock as standard.
As you'd expect, 4x4 KBs have a transfer case, with the different modes selectable via Isuzu's Terrain Command Dial.
For full driving impressions compliments of Denis Droppa, grab your motoring supplement in The Star, Pretoria News, Cape Times or The Mercury this Thursday.
Isuzu KB 240 Base - R218 900
Isuzu KB 240 Fleetside - R233 700
Isuzu KB 240 Fleetside 4x4 - R258 500
Isuzu KB 240 LE - R253 200
Isuzu KB 250 D Base - TBA
Isuzu KB 250 D Fleetside - TBA
Isuzu KB 250 D-Teq Base - R229 300
Isuzu KB 250 D-Teq Fleetside - R242 700
Isuzu KB 250 D-Teq Fleetside (Safety) - R244 900
Isuzu KB 250 D-Teq LE 4x4 - R315 700
Isuzu KB 250 D-Teq LE - R274 800
Isuzu KB 300 D-Teq LX - R311 700
Isuzu KB 300 D-Teq LX 4x4 - R362 300
Isuzu KB 250 D-Teq LE - R290 700
Isuzu KB 300 D-Teq LX - R359 400
Isuzu KB 300 D-Teq LX 4x4 - R412 300
Isuzu KB 240 LE - R309 100
Isuzu KB 240 LE 4x4 - R380 200
Isuzu KB 250 D-Teq LE - R363 200
Isuzu KB 250 D-Teq LE 4x4 - R384 100
Isuzu KB 300 D-Teq LX - R410 400
Isuzu KB 300 D-Teq LX AT - R423 400
Isuzu KB 300 D-Teq LX 4x4 - R464 400