Ambitious Isuzu sets out plans for growth
Isuzu is a brand with ambition. It might be a relatively small player in the UK with the D-Max pick-up its only model but it expects the latest version to catapult it into the big league.
Sales have bobbled around the 4,000 mark in recent years but the company is confident of notching 5,000 this year and 10,000 a year by 2025.
The reason? The brand remains true to its working credentials and according to an Isuzu spokesman it “has an unwavering focus on supplying a truck that can be driven to do any job”.
Unlike some fashionable rivals, it remains a tough customer. It can manage
towing up to 3.5 tonnes and it can carry a payload of over a tonne, but it is more than just a spartan workhorse.
It has more premium touches, better ride and handling and a quality design that stands comparison with expensive rivals.
Tested here is a double-cab version but it also comes as a single cab and extended cab. And while it was originally created for businesses many are now bought for all-purpose and “adventure” or leisure uses.
There are four trim levels – Utility with black plastics; DL20 with body-colour bumpers and mirrors; DL40 with chrome detailing; and V-Cross with gun metal finishes. Tested here is the DL40.
It comes with surprising features such as automatic wipers, speed-sensitive power steering, dual-zone climate control and leather upholstery.
All 4x4 models are equipped with trailer sway control that uses sensors to detect the onset of trailer swing and reduces vehicle speed if sway is identified. Hill Start Assist and Hill Descent Control are standard on all variants. This practical specification helps the driver negotiate hills smoothly and get the job done safely
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 more 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 sound-proofing and a new speed-sensitive electronic power steering which improves manoeuvrability and accuracy.
Isuzu is renowned for its 4x4 expertise and the D-Max is even more capable off-road with a faster engaging shift-on-the-fly four-wheel-drive system.
Back on the road, it’s even safer thanks to a comprehensive assistance systems that includes Autonomous Emergency Braking, Traffic Sign Recognition, Intelligent Speed Limiter and Lane Departure Warning & Prevention on every model.
The All-New Isuzu D-Max is the only pickup in the UK to have a rear radar fitted as standard on all double cab versions.
D-Max has taken a huge stride forward in terms of refinement, safety and comfort while retaining its core characteristics of strength, durability and capability.
Isuzu D-Max Double Cab DL40 XS-T
Price: £37,444. Range starts at £25,144.
Engine: A 1,898cc four cylinder diesel engine
Transmission: Six-speed automatic with a manual mode
Performance: Top speed 112mph
Economy: 30.7mpg combined
Insurance: Group 44D
Warranty: Five years’ 125,000 miles