The What Van? Road Test: Isuzu D-Max

Date: Thursday, October 12, 2017

Now with a new, downsized, 164hp 1.9-litre four-cylinder diesel engine, Isuzu’s D-Max is positioned at the unglamorous end of the pick-up market: you’re more likely to see it sitting next to a John Deere tractor in a muddy farmyard than parked next to a gleaming Chelsea tractor driven by a yummy mummy.

Isuzu’s promotional material stresses its workhorse credentials, measuring its payload in terms of the number of facing bricks it can carry (400 is the claim) and the number of sheep it can transport (six Suffolks, since you ask).

Hopefully, those sheep will be hauled about in a properly constructed agricultural trailer. Marketed in single-, extended- and double-cab guise, the D-Max can tow up to 3.5 tonnes and can be fitted with a tachograph.

None of this should be taken as suggesting that the D-Max is lacking in creature comforts – far from it, as even the entry-level Utility model comes with air-conditioning.

Thereafter you follow a specification walk that will be familiar to D-Max fans through Eiger, Yukon and Utah, and finishing up with the top-of-the-range Blade with a nine-inch touchscreen and both front and rear parking sensors.

You can order the Utility as either a 4x2 or a 4x4. Everything else comes with four-wheel drive as standard.

The new engine’s arrival is accompanied by some styling changes with a different front bumper, bonnet, grille and headlights altering the D-Max’s appearance. Aerodynamic  drag is down by 0.4% compared with the previous model, says Isuzu.

While the 164hp diesel is the only engine offered, you can order it married to either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic gearbox, both of which are new. We set off in a Utah Double Cab automatic. Keyless entry and ignition means you only have to press a button on the dashboard to fire up the engine if you’ve the key fob to hand.

Rear _3_4


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