Isuzu D-Max: Back to basics
Roger St. Pierre puts on his work boots and tests the tough Isuzu D-Max
Builders and farmers step forward – here’s one for you! Tough, rugged, dependable and frill free, the award-winning Isuzu D-Max Utility range has just two seats, which hardly makes it suitable for the school run.
There’s no central locking system and the mirrors lack power adjustment. On the other hand it does have a hugely capacious and durable class-leading load bed that will meet the day’s work needs for its target market – and, if you really do need to transport the kids, extended and twin-cab derivatives are available.
The new extended cab variant, one of the ‘utility’ models, was designed from the ground up as an ‘open-cab’ pick-up. To create this space-making design, Isuzu’s engineers developed a second-row, rear-hinged door, also known as the side-access panel, on each side of the vehicle. To ensure maximum strength, and safety in the event of a collision, the engineers incorporated a one-piece B-pillar into the leading edge of the side access panels.
As a result, users have uninterrupted access to the side of the cabin, ideal when loading large items behind the front seats. The side access panels can be opened from both inside and outside the vehicle.
Power comes from a punchy re-engineered and super efficient if clattering 2.5-litre twin-turbo common-rail diesel, linked to a six-speed manual or five-speed auto gearbox.
An extensive range of accessories is available to facilitate individual customisation.
Amazingly for such a slab-fronted lump, 38 mpg is easily attainable in the combined fuel consumption cycle and low insurance ratings are another cost benefit.
Don’t go looking for speed potential – acceleration is decidedly sluggish and handling can be a little wayward at times – but for sheer lugging power the Isuzu D-Max is hard to beat while prices ranging from £14,499 to £21,999 and a five-year or 125,000-mile warranty will keep the company accountant sweet.