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The D-Max ups its game in the face of more competition.


Isuzu describe this D-MAX as a ‘New Generation’ although it has undergone some exterior cosmetic surgery, the biggest changes are under the bonnet.

The D-MAX has always been seen as a true workhorse, with the Pick-Up of choice by many farmers, as it is a sturdy go-anywhere, rugged truck and the new one retains all of these features and now it has more to offer too.

There are now five trim levels in the line-up: entry-level Utility, Eiger, Yukon, Utah, and the top of the range Blade. The Utah and Blade are everything but utility, they are in fact very up-market and quite prestigious.

I’m not saying farmers and builders are getting a bit ‘nesh’, but Isuzu say they now want leather and heated seats, to keep them warm and cosy on cold winters mornings, what is the world coming to? – But if that’s what they want, then the manufacturer should be in a position to offer these nice goodies which is exactly what Isuzu have done.

We drove this new Pick-Up in North Yorkshire, which is just over an hour from where I live. Some of the scenery was quite spectacular, and some of the villages we drove through are so pretty and will be getting another visit from me soon. After the drive on a variety of roads we eventually arrived at an off-road course and after a cup of Yorkshire Tea, made with Yorkshire Water, we set off.

2017-Isuzu-D-Max-front.jpgIsuzu have been very brave in their engine choice and whilst some manufacturers in this highly competitive sector have opted to increase the size of their engines, Isuzu have downsized. The old 2.5-litre diesel has been discontinued and an all-new 1.9-diesel has replaced it. This new engine produces 164ps and has a top speed of 112mph. It is also Euro6 compliant, but does not need AdBlue, which is a benefit to owners and of course saves a bit of money and makes it more convenient   All trim levels have a 6-speed manual gearbox, but some are available with a 6-speed automatic.

Some traditional D-MAX owners won’t be happy with this reduction in cylinder-capacity, but fear not, it is fine. A 1.9 –litre diesel engine has been selected because development simulations showed the 1.9 to be the optimum size to blend efficiency and achieve the torque necessary for the D-MAX to retain its workhorse capabilities of a 3.5-tonne towing capacity and a 1-tonne payload.

We drove the D-MAX for around an hour over some of the roughest ground, up and down some steep inclines, through woods, in deep muddy ruts and through a fairly fast moving river, not from one side to the other, but actually drove up the middle of it for around half a mile, all exciting stuff. And this sort of test does give you the confidence that this vehicle really is a go anywhere vehicle.  

The model line-up includes the base Utility with a single cab and the choice of 2WD and 4WD. An extended cab is offered on the Utility and Yukon, the rest of the range have the ever-popular double cab, which will be most customers’ choice.   

Even though the engine size has been decreased, it doesn’t mean that its carrying and towing capacity has also been reduced, they remain the same. It will carry up to 1-Tonne, and it will tow up to a massive 3.5-Tonnes. This weight is equivalent to six-Suffolk sheep, two-male thoroughbred horses, 400-facing bricks and it will easily pull another –D-MAX on a trailer. Because the kerb weight is under the legal amount, then the D-MAX can be driven at the same speed as a passenger car, and not restricted to lower speed limits, as some pick-ups are subject to, although you can’t do 70mph on the motorway pulling a couple of big-horses.

2017-Isuzu-D-Max-rear.jpgFor 2017 all models across the D-MAX range come with a high level of specification, with some new equipment added on this new model, including hill-start assist and variable hill decent control, bluetooth, air-conditioning, power windows.

The range-topping Blade is packed with standard equipment including: keyless entry, front and rear parking sensors, 9-inch multi-function colour touchscreen with sat-nav, remote locking for tailgate, heated rear screen, new heated leather trim, soft-pad armrests, plus much more.

Prices start from £15,749.00 + VAT for the Utility single cab 2WD, and go up to £27,999.00 + VAT for the Blade 4x4 double cab automatic.

This Isuzu Pick-Up really does drive extremely well, is comfortable, well put together, has a high level of standard equipment and is good on-road, off-road, and in water.

Summary stats:

  • On the road price £18,739.80 to £33,438.80 (plus VAT)
  • Diesel: 1.9 164 PS
  • CO2 163 to 205 g/km
  • Combined MPG 36.2 to 45.6
  • Gearbox 6 Speed Manual

    New options and features:
  • 7” Colour Touch Screen  – Standard on Yukon and above (9” on Blade)
  • Apple Carplay/Android Auto – Standard on Utah & Blade
  • 8 speakers – Standard on Yukon and above
  • LED running lights  - Standard on all
  • Automatic air conditioning – Standard on Utah & Blade
  • Metallic - £400.00 option on all bar Blade where it is FOC
Martin Ward

A popular figure in the automotive industry, celebrated in the Business Car Power list Top 10. An unrivalled understanding of the entire automotive manufacturing process. Providing independent and tailored advice to help automotive and related businesses identify and achieve their goals. @MartinW_cap_hpi

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