Isuzu D-Max – rugged workhorse and urban trend setter.

Isuzu D-Max – rugged workhorse and urban trend setter.

At a point not that long ago you would only have ever associated pick-up trucks with builders, tradesmen and farmers. They would have been of a specification and look that made utilitarian seem sumptuous.

How things have changed! Most now look rather smart, don’t look like they’ve spent much time in the local building supplies yard or farm and can cut it on the style stakes with the best SUVs.

Manufacturers realised that they were missing a trick and a pick-up with good levels of standard equipment and a variety of optional hard tops and accessories can appeal to a whole new range of potential buyers. Add in the possibility of all-wheel-drive and the chance to carry 5 people, as well as a decent load bay and towing ability, and the appeal is obvious.

Isuzu have long been a ‘go to’ manufacturer for those wanting a comfortable, rugged and stylish pick-up. Good standard equipment with excellent accessory packs and options means the Isuzu D-Max range can cover every scenario from building site to trendy wine bar. The range is essentially split into two halves, the business line-up and the V-Cross and Artic models and there are single, extended and double cab options. Prices start at €25,690/£23,149 and peak at €56,058/£47,999.

Power comes from a 4-cylicinder 1.9-ltre turbo diesel that propels the Isuzu well for such a large vehicle. With an empty load bay the D-Max does bounce around on rougher surfaces but things are better with a weight in the rear. For such a large vehicle the D-Max is an easy drive and can be piloted through bends with much more aplomb than might be expected. Bouncy unladen weight ride apart the other issue with the D-Max is noise. Pick-ups are never the most refined but the D-Max does get rather vocal under acceleration, not helped one suspects by the modest engine size.

The build quality and equipment in the D-Max is excellent, and betters some cars, with an interior that lacks the ‘bolt-on iPad’ style touchscreen in favour of a neat built-in screen. Soft-touch materials are also evident and although some of the touchscreen functions look a little dated they all work very smoothly. If you’re into your pick-up trucks the Isuzu looks the part too. If you’re looking for something a bit different on the rugged transport front then the D-Max can be a surprisingly sensible choice.

– Ends –

Facts at a Glance

Model: Isuzu D-Max V-Cross

Engine: 1.9-litre 4-cylinder turbo-diesel Euro 6D developing 164PS

Gears: 6-Speed manual, all-wheel-drive

Price: €45,247/£33,499 + VAT at 20% in UK

Performance: 0-100 kmh (62 mph) 12.7 seconds/Maximum Speed 180 kmh (112 mph)

Economy: 9.2l/100km / 33.6 mpg Combined driving (WLTP)

Emissions: 220 g/km (WLTP)

Model tested was UK-specification and equipment levels and prices may vary in other markets.

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Written by

Mark Slack

If you're a petrol head you're in good hands with Mark Slack, whose expert take on the latest car releases will help you make your next purchase.