Tuesday, 26 October 2021

Double cab pick-up’s built to go the distance

Double cab pick-up’s built to go the distance

THIS weeks drive, the all-new Isuzu D-Max pick-up, feels like it means business — and that is exactly its intention.

Indeed, Isuzu says that the Japanese company, founded in 1916, focuses on making its pick-ups “tough, strong and built to go the distance”.

Well, no one could argue with Isuzu on that front. Its first pick-up, the Isuzu TF, was introduced in the UK in 1988.

The D-Max came later to the game and was launched in 2012. It quickly became popular with tradespeople of all types and is renowned as a tough and reliable pick-up truck.

But latterly, of course, it is not just tradespeople who have benefited from owning a pick-up.

Personal use of what were once strictly utility vehicles has become very popular in the past few decades.

Now in 2021 comes this week’s drive, the all-new Isuzu D-Max DL20 4x4 Double Cab.

This new model is equipped with a turbo diesel engine with plenty of torque (i.e. pulling power that delivers 164PS and 360Nm of torque).

Such is Isuzu’s confidence in the new D-Max that each new model comes with 125,000 mile/five-year warranty and five years’ UK and European roadside assistance.

The D-Max is no slouch, either, when it comes to hitching up a load. It has a towing capability of 3.5 tonnes, a maximum payload of 1,120kg and a 4x4 drive.

For the private owner as well as tradespeople this kind of vehicle can prove to be extremely useful.

And these new 21st century
pick-ups now come with a variety of modern technical and safety aids that make owning one a good proposition. The D-Max has “refreshed” engine technology — that is, the new model has been downsized to a cleaner and more efficient 1.9l diesel engine, meeting the latest Euro 6 emission standards without the need for AdBlue.

The model range is structured into three segments: Business, All-Purpose and Adventure to suit customer requirements.

There are four new trim levels for the new D-Max: Utility, DL20, DL40 and V-Cross.

The All-Purpose range consists of the DL20 (the test car) and DL40. DL indicates that the rear diff-lock is a standard feature, with the “20” and “40” indicating the model hierarchy.

Rear diff-lock can be extremely useful: this forces both wheels to turn in unison, regardless of the traction (or lack of grip), thus ensuring the vehicle’s movement.

All-Purpose models are also available with an automatic transmission, which comes with the additional ADAS functionality of Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Keep Assist. And the aids featured on this model should appeal to drivers in general. The DL20 features heated front seats, rear parking sensors, front fog lights and a front centre armrest for increased comfort.

Meanwhile, body-coloured front and rear bumpers, silver door handles, a medium grey radiator grille and 18in alloy wheels are aimed at providing a more premium appearance.

The DL40 adds a variety of enhancements such as Bi-LED headlights, LED front fog lights, daytime running lights and rear lights, a chrome radiator grille, silver side steps and two-tone 18in alloy wheels.

DL40 models also include front and rear parking sensors and a reversing camera.

Keyless entry works on both the driver and passenger side and is accompanied by a push-button start system and welcome light.

The interior benefits from leather upholstery, a leather steering wheel and an eight-way electrically adjustable driver’s seat.

The 7in multifunction colour touchscreen is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and there’s also a dual-zone climate control system which allows the driver and passenger to set different temperatures.

Topping off the new model
line-up is the V-Cross, which sits within the Adventure range.

It features Gun Metal exterior styling on the radiator grille, side steps, door mirrors, door handles and 18in alloy wheels.

Entertainment is provided by a 9in multifunction colour touchscreen with a CD player and eight speakers, there is an auto-dimming rear-view mirror and automatic headlight levelling, and the smart leather interior is complemented with V-Cross branded carpet mats.

Pre-sales of the all-new D-Max have, says Isuzu, been so positive that demand is outstripping supply — so Isuzu expects to meet a target of 5,000 registrations in 2021.

Overall, I think the new D-Max has a lot going for it and would be well worth considering if you want to buy this type of vehicle.


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