SAY HELLO to Big Max, the pick-up with attitude. The Isuzu D-Max pick-up has wowed critics and customers alike over
SAY HELLO to Big Max, the pick-up with attitude. The Isuzu D-Max pick-up has wowed critics and customers alike over the past year since its launch, so this week I thought I would see what all the fuss was about.
Big Max was full of flavour and did not disappoint: it may be a rudimentary vehicle destined for more success in the commercial and fleet market, yet my time with it was a great pick-me-up.
Along the way I found the D-Max came in useful for those domestic jobs such as taking garden waste to the tip. As with most cars that click with customers it is hard to determine at first exactly what the attraction is in the D-Max. But I am sure that part of its charm is that it is simply designed and comes without frills and complications. I found it rather nice and easy to drive.
So many cars and especially SUVs (sports utility vehicles) are wallowing now in a world of techno overload: crammed with gadgets and gizmos and those baffling symbols that choke up the dashboard and you spend an age trying to decipher.
The D-Max’s simple modus operandi I imagine is to get on with the job at hand with least amount of fuss possible. Not long after it was seen on British roads, the D-Max claimed its third accolade in as many months after being awarded best pick-up at the Van Fleet World Honours at the RAC Club in London’s Pall Mall. It was also ‘Editor’s Choice’ in Trade Van Driver magazine’s annual awards. And Big Max won the VansA2Z pick-up of the year award.
That’s all very well I hear you say: so the trade loves the D-Max but what’s in it for the private customer? This is a good point because it is not everyone’s desire to run around in a pick-up.
However, in recent years these pick-ups have eschewed the “utility-only” look and aimed at creating more creature comforts on board for the private motorist. They are also more economical to buy and run than you might think. Isuzu says its D-Max is one of the “most cost-effective pick-ups on the market today”, with ultra-low insurance groups (8A to 10A), class-leading residual values (when you come to sell it on) and fuel economy, backed up by a long warranty.
“Warranty cover for five years or 120,000 miles gives buyers of the new Isuzu D-Max peace of mind for longer than any other pick-up in the UK,” said William Brown, general manager for Isuzu UK. Big Max has proved popular with buyers, after the Japanese marque announced record sales here during the first quarter of 2013. Isuzu further extended the appeal of the D-Max pick-up with a new range of utility- and style-enhancing accessories at the 2013 Commercial Vehicle Show in April.
The entry-level D-Max has good standard equipment, including air conditioning, daytime running lights, electric windows and front, side and curtain airbags.
Power comes in the form of a fuel-efficient, 2.5-litre twin-turbo common rail diesel engine, available with new six-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmissions. The towing capacity of the new D-Max has been increased by 500kg. All 4x4 models of the D-Max are able to tow a load of 3.5 tonnes. This makes the D-Max the most capable pick-up in its sales segment.
Now it may be that the last vehicle you wish to be seen in would be a pick-up. Or for those that care enough about their ego, they may not like the idea of a pick-up on the drive to impress the neighbours.
However, I liked the D-Max- and recommend a test drive.
l Isuzu D-Max’s five-year/120,000-mile warranty comprises a standard 36-month/60,000-mile manufacturer’s warranty and an extended warranty provided by the importer, Isuzu UK, for up to a total of 60 months or 120,000 miles, whichever comes sooner.
l The Isuzu D-Max range includes single, extended (with rear-hinged side access panels) and double cab body configurations. Double cab models are available in four specifications: Isuzu D-Max, Eiger, Yukon and Utah.
l Prices start at £14,499 (on the road) for the entry-level Isuzu D-Max 4x2 single cab and rise to £21,999 for the top-of-the-range Isuzu D-Max Utah 4x4 double cab automatic.