The Isuzu D-MAX was today announced winner of the 2013 Australian 4WD Action Magazine’s Ute of the Year, along with two international awards.

Widely respected as one of Australia’s toughest 4×4 ute tests, the D-MAX triumphed over most of its main competitors in Australia’s one-tonne ute segment (why no Mitsubishi Triton?) which included the Toyota HiLux, Mazda BT-50, Ford Ranger, Nissan Navara, Holden Colorado and Volkswagen Amorok.

“Judging criteria for the 4WDer’s Ute of the Year was simple – we wanted to test the vehicles in a way that mimics how they’d be used in real life,” said Australian 4WD Action’s editor, Brendan Seymour.

“This meant loading them almost to their GVM (Gross Vehicle Mass), and then putting them through their paces in every off-road terrain imaginable, from mud to steep hills, sand and long stretches at higher speeds. Finally, we enlisted the help of seven real 4WDers to test the vehicles like only a true 4WDer can – and the D-MAX came out on top,” he added.

Not only did the Isuzu D-MAX pick up the overall award, but it also proved the most fuel efficient of the seven utes tested.

Giving further insight to the comprehensive assessment regime, tester Steven Collins explained; “We broke the off-road performance portion of the judging down into five categories and scored each ute based on how they performed off-road. We then compared and scored fuel economy (as tested), purchase price, running costs per year (comprehensive insurance and servicing) and payload to determine the final outcome.”

Today’s accolade comes hot on the heels of two recent international gongs for the Euro-spec Isuzu D-MAX –  ’4×4 Vehicle of the Year’ as voted by readers of Auto Bild Magazine in Germany and the ’2013 Vans A2Z Pick-Up of the Year Award’ in the UK.

The Auto Bild award is Europe’s version of Australia’s ‘Car of the Year’ awards and is organized by the continent’s most widely read automotive magazine. Based on a poll of more than 100,000 readers, the new Isuzu D-MAX took the honours in the imported pick-up category.

In winning the 2013 Vans A2Z ‘Pick-up of the Year’ award in London, the Vans A2Z team noted: “Unlike the latest generation pick-ups from Ford and Volkswagen, it retains the external dimensions of the traditional one-tonne truck and is all the better for it … it feels more nimble and less bulky to drive, while retaining an impressive work ethic.” Couldn’t have said it better ourselves. TJ

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