Mark Slack – Road Test

Photocredit Isuzu

Isuzu D-Max V-Cross – smart, trendy and even cool

Most pick-up trucks now look rather trendy, smart and even cool, competing with SUVs as an urban trendsetter vehicles. Most, it has to be said, don’t look like they’ve spent much time in the local building supplies yard or farm. However with new, more adventurous colour schemes, extensive equipment lists and accessories they can, and do, cut a dash in the style stakes with the best SUVs.

Manufacturers realised that they were missing a trick that a pick-up with good levels of standard equipment and a variety of optional hard tops and accessories appeals 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 and compete well with the ubiquitous Toyota Hilux.

It’s noticeable that you seem to see equal numbers of Isuzu to Hilux, maybe even more. The D-Max has a standout style, in a good way, especially with paint finishes such as Biarritz blue, Valencia orange and Spinel red. Sadly my V-Cross test model was in grey!

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 utility and business line-up then the V-Cross and ultimate Arctic models along with single, extended and double cab options. Prices start at €35,385/£29,923 and peak at €77,948/£65,916.

Power comes from a 4-cylicinder 1.9-ltre turbo diesel that propels the Isuzu well for such a large vehicle, it’s an easy drive and can be piloted through bends with much more aplomb than might be expected. 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 looking for something a bit different on the rugged transport front then the D-Max can be a surprisingly sensible and stylish choice.

Facts at a Glance

Model: Isuzu V-Cross DMax Double Cab

Engine: 4-cylinder 1.9-ltre turbo diesel

Gears: 6-speed automatic transmission with full all-wheel-drive

Price: €52,413/£44,323 inc UK VAT

Performance: 0 – 100kph/62mph 12.2 seconds Max speed 180kph/112mph

Economy: 9.2 l per 100km/30.7mpg combined

Emissions: 241 g/km co2

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.

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