Long Term Test: Isuzu D-max

Date: Thursday, July 25, 2013

The D-max Yukon is fighting for customers in an increasingly crowded sector. James Dallas investigates where it fits in the market

In terms of its price and trim level our D-max Yukon sits second top in Isuzu’s pick-up line-up behind the flagship Utah and above the standard double cab and Eiger versions.
Looking at the pick-up sector overall, however, and its sights are probably set a little lower. For example, the Ford Ranger Limited, which occupies a similar position to the Yukon in the Blue Oval’s range, has a price tag of £22,040, excluding VAT, which is dearer than the top-of- the-range Utah, let alone the Yukon, which comes in at £18,729.
Admittedly, when it comes to driving refinement and the sophistication of its interior fixtures and fittings the Yukon does concede quite a lot of ground compared with its more expensive rivals. It’s not the most nimble of vehicles and can seem to be predisposed to travelling in straight lines. Negotiating sharp corners requires several turns of the steering wheel to get the truck going in the right direction, and coaxing the desired response from the ‘touchscreen’ satnav/media facility sometimes calls for a less than delicate jab of the finger.
But the Yukon scores better when it comes to a pick-up truck’s more traditional virtues. The 163hp 2.5-litre engine delivers plenty of muscle and impressive torque of 400nm at 1400rpm, and off-road the Isuzu truck can also hold its own against the best 4x4 performers.
Our vehicle came with a maximum braked towing capacity of 3.0 tonnes, already putting it ahead of everything else in the sector apart from the Ranger’s 3350kg limit, which was increased to 3.5 tonnes in March. However, Isuzu UK has now matched the Ford model by gaining a new towing weight certification of 3.5 tonnes for all 4x4 D-max pick-ups registered after 1 July.
The Yukon’s payload capacity of 1072kg is fairly average for the sector, but its official combined- cycle fuel consumption of 38.2mpg is comfortably the best in class. This level of frugality has proved elusive to achieve under real-life conditions, but that problem is certainly not unique to the D-max. A CO2 emissions figure of 194g/km also mark out the Yukon and its stablemates as the greenest pick-ups in the bunch.
Isuzu broke new ground with the introduction of a five-year/ 125,000-mile warranty for the D-max range but this has now been matched by Mitsubishi on the L200 and beaten by Great Wall, which, like Isuzu, is imported to the UK by the IM Group, and now offers a six-year deal on its Steed.



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