Isuzu D-Max Utah long-term test

Date: Friday, November 2, 2018   |   Author: Steve Banner



D -max Key -autobox

5th Report

I’m not sure about the use of increasingly fashionable keyless ignition technology.

If the D-Max is locked then all you do is wave the key fob close to the driver’s door and it will unlock itself, and to start the truck you just need to have the key fob handy and the engine will fire up when you press a button on the dashboard.

Which, on the face of it that sounds laudable. However, I’m becoming increasingly concerned about the growing number of reports of keyless ignition systems being overcome by thieves, although to be fair I’ve not heard of this happening to D-Max pick-ups.

Furthermore, I’m finding that because I don’t have to physically take keys out of an ignition, I’m tending to leave the fob in the cab – not a great idea so far as security is concerned.

To be honest, I’d like to see the motor industry reverse this trend and go back to the good old-fashioned ignition key; just because technology allows you to do something doesn’t make it sensible.

Other than being made to feel like a social pariah by the politically correct, one of the more irritating aspects of owning a modern diesel light commercial is having to top it up with AdBlue every so often.

Fortunately, some manufacturers employ engineers clever enough to design vehicles in such a way that pouring a mixture of urea and distilled water into an onboard reservoir to ensure the exhaust emission regulations are complied with is not necessary.

Isuzu is one of them, which means that D-Max is an AdBlue-free zone, and they should be applauded for it.

It means that owners enjoy both weight and cost savings – modest ones admittedly, but helping to enable a useful payload of 1,091kg is an advantage worth having – as well as less inconvenience.

Meanwhile, the DAB radio and satnav have both decided to work properly again. Maybe my decision to start sticking my portable Garmin to the windscreen and plug it into the 12V power point concealed inside a lidded bin on the fascia embarrassed the built-in satnav so much that it decided to stop being so contrary.

The recent blazing-hot weather has necessitated the full-time use of the D-Max’s highly effective onboard aircon, set at the lowest-possible temperature with the fan turned up to its maximum setting. But running the aircon constantly is having little discernible impact on fuel consumption, which still resolutely hovers at around 33.0mpg.

Fuel economy would probably be better if I hadn’t got into the habit of flooring the accelerator pedal at every (safe) opportunity and making full use of the automatic gearbox’s kick-down facility to get past slower-moving traffic. As well as being great fun it means I get to my destination a bit quicker – cue all the road-safety analysts who will tell me that, in reality, I won’t – but I’m conscious that by doing so I’m burning more diesel given the D-Max’s weight.

Maybe I should try being more feather-footed – but I’ve a funny feeling that’s not going to happen any time soon.

Report Card:  Load area = 4/5

Easy to access, decent payload, and the roll-top cover is proving invaluable.

Isuzu D-Max Utah Double Cab automatic 4x4 pick-up

Mileage     2,856
Official combined consumption    36.2mpg
Our average consumption    33.0mpg*
Price range (ex VAT)    £16,499-£28,999
Price (ex VAT)    £26,149
Warranty     5yrs/125,000mls
Service intervals     2yrs/12,000mls
Load length    1,485mm
Load  width (min/max) 1,080/1,530mm
Gross payload    1,091kg
Engine size/power    1,898cc/164hp
Gearbox    6-speed auto
CO2     205g/km
* approximately

Click below to see previous report


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