The 2017 Isuzu D-Max and MU-X 4WDs are getting a refresh this year. Launching next week for Australia, refreshed models of the Thai-built utes and wagons will be available to buy in Australia over the coming weeks.

Isuzu had a solid 2016 with the current D-Max ute. It sold a total of 11,321 4X4s to Aussie punters, which was an almost-identical figure to the previous year. Considering it’s one of the older utes available amongst lots of refreshed competition, the sales figures are impressive.

2017 Isuzu D-Max

The 2017 Isuzu D-Max will be a facelift of the current model.

Now that Volkswagen’s Amarok Range has been renovated, the D-Max does stand out as one of the older designs amongst the dual-cab ute offerings. This hasn’t stopped it from selling quite well, with many 4WD punters enjoying the under-stressed 3.0 4JJI and solid reputation.

Similarly, Isuzu sold 7,018 MU-X wagons in 2016. This was a market-leading figure, growing 10% from 6,344 the previous year.

Read more: 2016 New Vehicle Sales: Winners and Losers

But there’s no doubt that the current D-Max and MU-X are starting to get left behind by the competition. The engine’s power and torque levels are a little humble, and the five-speed gearboxes are short a ratio or two. Additionally, the interior fitout is also starting to feel aged when compared with the competition.

There is going to be a new engine in the upcoming D-Max (and MU-X). Whether that is going to be an all-new design or an update of the 4JJ1 engine, will be revealed next week. Other markets around the world are getting a 1.9 litre turbodiesel engine, which makes a healthy 110kW/350Nm, but we understand that it won’t be available in Australia.

2017 Isuzu-D-Max

Information about Isuzu’s 1.9 litre turbodiesel engine are available, but details about Australia’s new engine are thin.

Other markets are due to get a new six-speed automatic and manual gearbox option as well. This hasn’t been confirmed officially for Australia, but we’d throw out a reasonable guess that something similar will make it to Australia.

Along with the 2017 Isuzu D-Max, the MU-X wagon will get updated.

Along with the 2017 Isuzu D-Max, the MU-X wagon will get updated.

Isuzu’s new relationship with Mazda will probably have a noticeable impact on the new development of the D-Max. No longer will there be obvious similarities with the new Holden Colorado and Trailblazer. Rather, the new BT-50 will be a close relative.

Along with the Trailblazer, the 2017 Isuzu MU-X will be taking up a new fight to the Toyota Fortuner and Mitsubishi Pajero Sport.