A go in Giga

In Isuzu, Features, October 20225 MinutesBy Gavin MyersNovember 16, 2022

Isuzu Trucks New Zealand revealed the updated Giga in April. Recently, we got behind the wheel for a preview drive alongside the brand’s baby NPR350.

It’s been too long since we were last able to catch up with an industry OEM and get behind the wheel of some of their latest models. With the announced demise of the Pukekohe raceway in 2023, General Motors and Isuzu Trucks New Zealand took the opportunity to line up a selection of vehicles for the media to sample. For some of us, it would probably be the last time we would be able to take to the fabled racetrack, so the fact that GMSV also had its new C8 Corvette and heavy-duty Silverado 2500 Z71 at hand was the cherry on the cake.

But it was the pair of Isuzu trucks we were most interested in. First up was the new Giga, a CYJ530 8×4 chassis cab. Sure, a bare chassis cab is never ideal for evaluating a truck. But we were here to see the design in the metal and learn about the new suite of safety features that distinguish the model from the outgoing VC36 Giga – which has been on sale in New Zealand since 2015.

The new model is instantly recognisable as an Isuzu, with the bold dark-chrome grille now matching the style of the smaller N and F Series, a double-plane item with diagonal uprights. The new bumper has more meat to it, and conversely, less grille, and there are new all-LED adaptive headlights (known as ‘adaptive driving beam’).

These form part of the impressive suite of standard safety systems, most of which are encompassed in the advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) package. ADAS consists of electronic vehicle stability control (EVSC), advanced emergency brake system (AEBS), distance warning system (DWS), autonomous cruise control, lane-departure warning system (LDWS), as well as hill-start assist on some models. The ADAS system in the Giga differs from that fitted to the N Series (New Zealand Trucking, February 2022) in that its dash-mounted dual optical sensor camera combines with a radar mounted in the grille for long-distance ‘vision’.

We were able to experience some of these features around Pukekohe, with the merits of DWS and autonomous cruise control plain to see. But the features built into ADAS typically shine on busy streets, and we’ll be keen to see how they enhance the driving experience during a day’s work.

The new Giga is available in standard and new high-roof (on 530 models) cab variants, and like the exterior, the cab’s interior has received a refresh for improved driver ergonomics. The driver perches in a comfortable new ISRI seat, which offers heating and cooling. There’s a new gauge cluster with a new multi-information display. Finding a comfortable driving position is incredibly easy, and the Giga hinted at having some well-sorted suspension as we took it around Puke.

The 6WG1 engine remains in service, with the 395kW (530hp) still topping the range and the 298kW (400hp) version receiving a power bump to 313kW (420hp). Buyers can choose from Isuzu’s 16-speed AMT with a new shift programme or an 18-speed Roadranger that now features a clutch brake instead of a counter-shaft brake.

Isuzu Trucks offers 29 models in the new Giga CYJ and EXY series, all of which feature a new additional warranty cover that takes the total warranty period to five years or 500,000km.

We have a full cover feature of the new Giga lined up for a forthcoming issue, wherein we’ll really get to grips with the new model, so keep an eye out for that.