Isuzu built its reputation and customer base in Australia around quality, workhorse reliability and competitive prices. They provide vehicles for tradesmen and recreational hobbyists, dividing their range among light and heavy trucks, and utility vehicles. The D-Max has topped sales charts not only in the ute segment, but is also one of Australia’s favourite cars. It’s virtually indestructible. Particularly the 3-litre diesel engine. The engine design has gone unchanged for decades, that’s how dependable it is.
Robust, rugged and reliable. You’ll see D-Max’s with over 300 thousand kms on the odo and no mechanical issues whatsoever. There could be a few minor dents or scratches in the bodywork, but that’s expected from a vehicle that’s seen so much thrown at it. With the new D-Max just seen in showrooms, it’s time to start scribbling down your options list. And to keep the bodywork as crisp as the engine, look for Isuzu D-Max bull bars first. They’re the first line of defence against anything you come by in the bush, or the heavy traffic going to and from work.
Bull Bars for D-Max protection
If you’re lining up for the new D-Max, try to haggle some accessories from the dealer. The new car is sharper in every aspect than the outgoing D-Max, including the styling. A factory-fitted polished or satin-black bar get makes everything better. You do have to count the pennies though. Anything from the factory comes at a cost – you’re looking at well over $3000 for the black bar. And some more for the sparkling satin finish. If you’re not willing to part with that much cash, and you’ve got your old D-Max still beside you, a better and more reasonable option is to look for aftermarket parts. An aftermarket Isuzu D-max bull bar is just as sassy, well-dressed, tough and most importantly comes in at half the price. You’re not losing anything here in terms of durability, build or finish. In fact, most aftermarket Isuzu bars are locally made and comply with all ADR standards.
Bull Bar Types
Cheaper bars come in a single hoop design that extends just over the radiator grille. These keep your car protected from any sort of collision, either with other vehicles, obstacles and animals on the road, or minor slips when parking. You do however miss out on shielding the lights, but a couple of headlight protectors do a good job for smaller things that fly your way.
If you’re constantly hitting dirt trails, then look for full triple hoops, that cover more of the front, including the lights, and benefit from more mounting points for things like antennas, light bars or fog lights, and if you’re a tradie – an H-rack. The bigger the covered area the less likely you’ll endure any damage. Parking sensors and integrated lights come in both types. As are rated recovery tow points, and hi-lift jack points when you get stuck. Nice features all around.
Other design features to look out for are winches. Bull bars with integrated winch cradles are a nice touch for anyone with serious off-roading intent. They’re slightly heavier than the non-winch variants and a little dearer, but you won’t run up the headaches when you’ll want to install a winch, and at some point, you’ll definitely will. And it’s not just off-roading that winches come in handy.
Materials in Bull Bars
You can go for steel or alloy bull bars. Steel is the preferred material in heavy off-roading as it has better overall strength, and won’t budge in a collision. It’s also the material that most customers go with. Most are sold with powder coating that gives better protection against rust and up the looks. Alloy bars are lighter, and generally cheaper, though they won’t last as long as steel in anything more demanding. Alloys are also shrugged by anyone wanting to use a winch. They do however have quality anodised finishes, meaning a bit more shine.
Installing an Isuzu D-Max bull bar is not a task you can do on your own. The stock bumper is first removed then comes the bull bar. The thing is heavy, cumbersome and you’ll want some help from a mate. Though most are designed to fit the car as is, some bull bars may need drilling into the rail bars, and you’ll need to route the wiring for the lights. You can spare the hassle and get it fitted, either an aftermarket bull bar at your local shop, or an OEM bar at the dealership, just be prepared for the labour costs. Get a quote before any work is done to avoid surprises.
Completing the Look
You can fit your bull bar with a range of accessories, some of which I’ve mentioned above. To get an all-around rugged look, you can add side brush bars that add some side protection from trees and shrubs when in the bush. These are fitted in supplied mounts in triple hoops and are often paired with side steps. For rear protection, add a rear protection bar, which also has built-in recovery points and mounts for a hi-lift jack. Materials are the same sturdy steel tubing. Some bars come with integrated tow bars, so hooking up a trailer is quick and easy. A D-Max fitted out this way is ready for any terrain and anything else that comes its way.