- Excellent handling
- Wide choice of models
- Entry-level model is low spec
- Just one engine choice
Isuzu D-Max goes to the Max
The Isuzu D-Max may only have been around for a couple of years but it’s already won over a strong fan base and picked up a slew of top awards with its winning combination of economy, warranty and capabilities.
In addition, the D-Max is a great pick-up to drive being both comfortable and agile with lots of space in the cab. Opt for the double cab and passengers will be impressed with comfort levels also.
The pick-up may be up against some very strong competition but it has also got excellent build quality which has been underpinned by a five year warranty to help making a decent contender in the sector.
Reasons to buy
While the Isuzu D-Max has to face up to some strong competition, there’s no doubting its abilities and build quality but its biggest attraction is for the sheer range of choice in the line-up. This isn’t just a cracking pick-up it’s also a true workhorse with everything on offer from cherry pickers to a double cab truck.
Leaving aside the fact that there’s just the choice of a 2.5 litre twin turbo diesel engine, which is more than adequate for most needs, the Isuzu D-Max has excellent performance and it’s even a decent performer off-road too.
The five year warranty, or 125,000 miles, helps to reassure buyers that this pick-up is built to last and should take years of punishment.
Under the bonnet, the 2.5 litre diesel engine should return around 39mpg with CO2 emissions of 192g/km when coupled with the six speed manual gearbox. Opt for the automatic transmission and economy drops to 33mpg.
Isuzu says the D-Max will return 44mpg on the extra urban fuel cycle when coupled with a manual gearbox – an excellent figure which most drivers should be able to match.
The load space in the standard single cab Isuzu D-Max is a fairly competitive 2.3metres, obviously in some of the conversions, such as the extended double cab models, the load space isn’t as generous.
The main attraction is that all of the D-Max line-up can carry cargo of 1,136kg. The vehicle also has the towing capacity of 3,500kg.
There’s also a wide range of hard tops to cover the load space, including an aluminium version. After its launch Isuzu also introduced load bay tonneau covers to improve practicality in all weathers and security.
Technology & Safety
Safety features highly on the Isuzu D-Max with every model coming with traction control with ABS as well as electronic stability control. There’s also good range of airbags for the driver, passenger and side impact ones too.
Isuzu has also fitted security etched glass, height adjustable seatbelts and an immobiliser.
The Isuzu D-Max comes in either 4×4 or 4×2 drivelines, with the driver able to select 4×4 in four-wheel drive versions while on the move should conditions dictate. A very useful feature should it ever be needed.
The 2.5 litre engine provides 163bhp which means there’s plenty of power and torque – around 400Nm – for driving long distances; the Isuzu D-Max is a great performer around town with a full load with excellent grip and plenty of revs at low speed.
The D-Max has a top speed of 112mph and it’s also a great cruiser for long motorway journeys.
Indeed, the engine is a smooth performer and will accelerate quickly and comfortably, even with a full load it is a sprightly performer. Add on a 3.5 tonne trailer and the engine is still a responsive unit and pulls well.
Also, with it being a pick-up, the driver’s position is excellent and there’s great all-round visibility.
The only downside is when the D-Max is empty and the rear suspension does feel oversoft on rough surfaces so it can feel as it is bouncing but the double-wishbone suspension at the front is a great and sturdy performer.
The entry-level models of the Isuzu D-Max are fairly sparse inside although all models provide a comfortable driving experience which is improved by going up the spec and trim levels.
All models come with air con and front electric windows while other models come with Bluetooth connectivity, adjustable steering wheel and passenger and driver reading lights.
There’s also a good range of cup holders and an accessory powerpoint – ideal for a laptop, for instance.
The top of the range Yukon spec comes with electric door mirrors and rear windows, daytime running lights and 17-inch alloy wheels.
The Utah model also comes with parking sensors, leather seats which can be electrically adjusted, roof bars and a courtesy light delay.
Unlike some of its rivals, satnav is not a standard feature but is an option.
With it being a pick-up, the Isuzu D-Max comes with a wide range of hard tops and load covers in the single cab and double-cab models.
Options include a dealer fitted tow bar, roof rails, roof bars and frames. There’s even a load bed extender available to allow longer loads to be carried in the load space.
Dealers can also fit a reversing camera and screen kit and rear parking sensors.