Isuzu Ute Australia now offers a smaller and more efficient 1.9-litre turbo-diesel engine in both the D-Max ute and MU-X SUV locally, but it won’t be available across the entire local range anytime soon.

    The company’s 1.9-litre RZ4E-TC four-cylinder turbo-diesel is currently offered on the entry-level Isuzu D-Max SX, as well as the MU-X LS-M and LS-U. Both are offered in 4×2 and 4×4 configurations.

    The rest of the Isuzu D-Max and MU-X range is exclusively powered by the larger tried-and-tested 3.0-litre 4JJ3 four-cylinder turbo-diesel which produces 140kW and 450Nm.

    Isuzu Ute Australia managing direction Junta Matsui told CarExpert the company is open to introducing the 1.9-litre turbo-diesel engine to higher-end D-Max and MU-X models, but the local market still prefers these to be powered by the 3.0-litre turbo-diesel.

    “The current situation [is] we’re not saying we’re not open to having this 1.9-litre to the higher-end models, but at this moment we see no market,” said Junta-san.

    In certain markets however, including the United Kingdom, a Euro 6-compliant version of the 1.9-litre turbo-diesel is the only engine offered.

    For context, all powertrains currently in Australia are Euro 5-compliant. There are tougher Euro 6d emissions standards coming into force locally on all new cars (including SUVs and light commercial vehicles) sold from December 2025.

    One key difference about the Australian-specification 1.9-litre turbo-diesel compared to the 3.0-litre turbo-diesel apart from its size difference and power and torque output differences, is it’s claimed to be more fuel efficient.

    D-Max models with the 1.9-litre are claimed to be around 14 per cent more efficient on average than ones equipped with the 3.0-litre, while MU-X are between 5 and 12 per cent more efficient depending on the configuration.

    All D-Max and MU-X models with the 1.9-litre turbo-diesel also have a reduced braked towing capacity compared to ones with the 3.0-litre turbo-diesel. The former has a braked towing capacity of 2800kg with a manual transmission and 3000kg with an automatic transmission, while the latter is 3500kg regardless of the transmission.

    It’s worth noting D-Max and MU-X variants with the 1.9-litre turbo-diesel are $2000 cheaper than ones with the 3.0-litre turbo-diesel.

    Isuzu Ute Australia hasn’t been shy about the fact the 1.9-litre turbo-diesel engine has been introduced locally to appeal to fleet companies that are trying to reduce CO2 emissions.

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    MORE: Everything Isuzu MU-X

    Jack Quick

    Jack Quick is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne. Jack studied journalism and photography at Deakin University in Burwood, and previously represented the university in dance nationally. In his spare time, he loves to pump Charli XCX and play a bit of Grand Theft Auto. He’s also the proud owner of a blue, manual 2020 Suzuki Jimny.

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