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Isuzu D-Max

The independent definitive Isuzu D-Max pick-up video review
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    MAX POWER (some text hidden)

    By Jonathan Crouch

    Isuzu continues its upwards trajectory in the pick up market with the D-Max. Jonathan Crouch reports on the revised version.

    Ten Second Reviewword count: 83

    With this improved D-Max, Isuzu has become a more competitive contender in the growing UK pick-up sector. It gets revised suspension, a slightly higher payload, an improved interior and standard Trailer Sway Control. As before, there's an efficient 1.9-litre turbo diesel engine that can haul and tow hefty loads through the wildest terrain you're likely to come across. Plus as ever, there are three bodystyles to suit a wide range of buyers. Smart, tough and affordable, it looks set to do very well.

    Backgroundword count: 202

    Within the confines of the kind of vehicle a tough pick-up can be, Isuzu's D-Max represented a huge dynamic step forward for its brand when it was first launched back in 2012. The vehicle's only major achilles heel back then was its engine, a relatively inefficient old-tech 2.5-litre diesel unit. So the Japanese brand moved to improve things, replacing this powerplant in 2017 with a new 1.9-litre diesel that though less torquey, was much cleaner and more frugal. It's since built upon that update with a more advanced 3-piece leaf-sprung suspension system and a useful package of detail updates. Rival pick-up models can match this D-Max model's running cost figures, but too often, they're tucked away in the corner of a sales showroom really dedicated to selling passenger cars. Will such a place really support a dedicated pick-up person when they really need it? And will the vehicle in question really be as capable in the Serengeti as it is in Surbiton? With this D-Max, you know you've little to worry about on either score. With Isuzu, it was always that way. It's just that with this model, there's a little more polish with the product on offer. Let's check it out..

    Driving Experienceword count: 280

    The major change made here is the way that the Double cab variant's suspension has changed from a 5 piece to a 3-piece leaf spring suspension for improved ride comfort and reduced noise levels. Otherwise, it's much as you were. Pulling power is the first thing you notice about this D-Max once out on the road. Though the single diesel engine on offer is relatively small for such a beefy pick-up (1.9-litres in size), the power output (164PS) is quite sufficient and there's a willing 360Nm torque output. That kind of grunt makes low speed urban work easy and tough muddy inclines straightforward. It's also a major reason why this vehicle can tow a braked trailer of up to 3.5-tonnes - usefully more than an equivalent Fiat Fullback or Mitsubishi L200. Trailer Sway Control is now standard. For wet or icy tarmac or light off piste work, you can take the opportunity, at up to 60mph, to twist the centre console dial and select high range all-wheel drive. It takes a second or so for the front wheels to engage but when they do, the D-Max feels notably more sure-footed on the slippery stuff. Of course, once in a while, you'll need to do more, occasions on which you'll be further twisting this dial to engage the full low-range four wheel drive mode, something that can only happen when the vehicle's stopped. In this mode, you really do get an incredibly accomplished off roader, aided by a well chosen first gear ratio that's an ideal 'crawler gear' over rough terrain on which you'll appreciate ground clearance that at 235mm is much higher than you get with most other rival pick-ups.

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    Category: Pick-Ups

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