Road Test: Isuzu D-Max
Since the launch in June, Isuzu UK says that it has grabbed 14% of the UK pick-up market, but an even stronger 30% of the non-fleet retail sector. Isuzu has not forgotten its core buyer though, and is now introducing single cab and, for the first time in the UK, an extended cab model with a new utility specification.
The single cab model is available in both 4×2 and 4×4 layouts, while all extended cab and double-cab models are four-wheel drive only. The utility specification, which has been arrived at after consultation with customers, can be had on single, extended and double-cab models, while the double-cab can also be had in the increasingly well specified Eiger, Yukon and Utah trims.
The utility line comes with steel wheels and black plastic bumpers, door mirror housings and door handles. You also get tough cloth trim and an easy to clean vinyl floor covering. You do still get front, side and curtain airbags, manual air-conditioning and three-point rear seat belts in both extended and double-cab models.
As with a number of extended cabs on the market these days, the rear doors of the D-Max are hinged at the back edge, providing a wide opening to place tools and luggage behind the driver and passenger seats.
On the road it is hard to tell the single cab and extended cab 4×4 models from the established double-cab, apart from the lower level of trim in the cab. All models use the same 163hp, 400Nm twin-turbo 2.5-litre engine.
Even the single cab model provides enough storage behind the seats for coats and small bags, but the extended cab offers a really usable space, including hidden storage below the rear seat pads.
Of course the big benefit of the single and extended cab format is longer load beds, offering increased carrying capacity. The single cab models have a load bed that is 2,305mm long, while the extended cab manages 1,795mm, compared to the double-cab’s 1,552mm.
The 4×2 single cab model has a payload capacity of 1,128kg and can pull a 2.5 tonne trailer. Opt for the 4×4 single cab and the payload rises to 1,136kg and towing capacity goes up to 3.0 tonnes. The extended cab model has a payload of 1,085kg and can also pull a 3.0 tonne trailer.
The one option that was missing at the double-cab launch – some form of integrated sat-nav – has now been made available in a Vision Pack. This includes an upgraded Pioneer stereo incorporating satellite navigation, a reversing camera feed, iPod connectivity and Bluetooth connection. It is available on both the Yukon and Utah 4×4 models and will set you back £900 plus the VAT.
There will be further specification additions in future too, with Isuzu looking to develop trade-specific trim options, such as the Huntsman model aimed at gamekeepers and anyone interested in hunting and shooting.
The Huntsman specification includes load bed drawers, a winch and ramp on the loadbed, a Truckman Grand hard top with ventilation, all-terrain tyres, a tow bar, the Vision Pack, black bonnet trim and black alloy wheels.
Isuzu UK hopes to sell around 2,800 pick-ups this year – 400 more than in 2011. With the additional models the target for next year will be 3,500 pick-ups.
The 4×2 and 4×4 single cabs and an extended cab 4×4 provides Isuzu with one of the widest ranges in the pick-up market. The utility specification also broadens its ”workhorse” appeal.