- Five stars from Euro NCAP for safety
- Lots of equipment
- Practical and high quality
- Just one engine choice
- Less than impressive fuel economy
- Not as powerful as some rivals
The latest version of the Isuzu D-Max was launched in early 2021 and it is a huge leap forward compared with the pickup it replaces. For one thing, it’s a better looking and better-equipped vehicle, it’s also a lot safer and more capable. Growing numbers of potential pickup drivers will be looking at the D-Max because it has an excellent reputation, and some rivals are no longer available to buy in the UK. Whether you need a pickup as a load-lugger, or as a lifestyle choice, the Isuzu D-Max will meet most of your needs.
Let’s face it, the Isuzu D-Max has always been a sound choice for those wanting a rugged pickup to meet a range of needs. The latest offering is still a reliable workhorse, and it adds improved driving dynamics and a more refined interior. There’s no doubt too that the levels of safety equipment are class-leading. The 2021 model is a big step up from the version it replaces and can still tow 3,500kg and has a payload of 1,000kg. Opt for the luxurious versions, and you’ll have a vehicle for business during the week and family life or adventures at weekends.
The all-new Isuzu D-Max combines smart new styling and impressive safety technology with improved off-road performance. Not only does it deliver the strength and durability you’d expect from an Isuzu pick-up truck, this capable workhorse adds superior levels of comfort and refinement.
Benefitting from an assertive new exterior design, the D-Max boasts a more distinguishable and powerful appearance. The elevated front-end design and sharp contours generate an imposing presence which is complemented by distinctive 18-inch alloy wheels and new Bi-LED lights on higher-end models.
The interior has been transformed with a sophisticated layered dashboard design and new infotainment systems which provide a more spacious and contemporary feel. This is accompanied by soft-touch panelling and elegant detailing that contributes to a premium interior which remains fuss-free and practical to operate.
The new front and rear suspension delivers greater refinement without compromising the D-Max’s admirable load-carrying capabilities, and this is complemented by improved road and noise soundproofing and a new speed-sensitive electronic power steering which improves manoeuvrability and accuracy.
Each model comes with 125,00-mile/5 Year warranty and 5 years’ UK and European roadside assistance.
Reasons to buy
For those in the market for a quality pickup, the Isuzu D-Max makes perfect sense. The top-end versions, the V-Cross feature a large infotainment display and electric leather seats to challenge the plushest of rivals. The entry-level model is still an impressive and rugged offering that has rear-wheel drive, while double and extended cabs get four-wheel-drive. There’s a lot of car for the money and it has been designed to be punished.
If you like the Isuzu D-Max, then consider the Toyota Hilux or the Ford Ranger.
While the Isuzu D-Max is a stylish and solid pickup, it’s not the cheapest of vehicles to run. Under the bonnet there’s just the one choice of a 1.9-litre turbocharged diesel engine producing 164hp, it’s the same unit that was in the previous D-Max. Fuel economy is around 35 mpg – and 30 mpg in the six-speed automatic transmission guise. Emissions for the D-Max are up to 241g/km and drivers will need to be careful to get the best fuel consumption. There’s stop-start as standard to help boost economy.
However, the 125,000-mile or five-years’ warranty really does help it stand out from the crowd. The service intervals for the D-Max are 12,500 miles or one year, whichever is sooner.
The Isuzu D-Max is able to carry a one-tonne payload and the suspension is a boon over rough roads or building sites. The load length for the D-Max is 1,495 mm and the load width is a maximum of 1,530 mm.
Models include 4×2 or 4×4 versions and three different cab types – extended, single and double cab – and four new trims.
Technology & Safety
The one area where the Isuzu D-Max really does excel in the segment is for the technology and level of safety equipment.
The interior has been well-designed, and the driving position is comfortable with a good view of the road ahead. Standard kit for the D-Max includes a seven-inch infotainment display with the top-spec V-Cross getting an improved nine-inch version.
The infotainment system is smartphone compatible, and drivers also get DAB radio, a front USB port, electric windows, manual air-conditioning and remote locking.
The DL20 model features 18-inch alloy wheels, a rear differential lock, body-coloured bumpers, heated front seats and carpeting.
The DL 40 adds LED daytime running lights, leather upholstery, dual-zone climate control, keyless entry and start as well as six speakers.
The range-topper is the impressive V-Cross which includes automatic headlight levelling, an auto dimming rear view mirror, eight speakers and V-Cross mats.
Safety equipment includes rear parking sensors that are fitted as standard with a reversing camera. There’s also cruise control, forward collision warning, traffic sign recognition, autonomous emergency braking and multi-collision brake.
The double cab model adds emergency lane keeping, blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert.
This is a diesel-powered pickup, so the Isuzu D-Max is not going to put in a blistering pace from a standing start. Progress is smooth and the 0 to 62 mph time is around 12 seconds, but this is a refined offering. The automatic transmission boosts that comfort, and the manual six-speed manual box is effective.
For those who want a pickup with off-road capabilities, then its abilities have been improved. Most of that is down to a stiffer chassis but there’s also a new rear suspension and most models feature a lockable rear differential.
Off-road assistance is also boosted with hill start assist and hill descent control fitted as standard – though they don’t operate when the rear differential has been activated.