The Isuzu D-Max is a practical workhorse, but doesn't really work in a busy city
The latest Isuzu D-Max is a handsome and competent pick-up truck, but its size means it can be a bit of a handful on narrow city streets
The new Isuzu D-Max is more of a light refresh than a total overhaul. The headline change for the 2017 model year pick-up is the new 1.9-litre four-cylinder diesel engine that replaces the old 2.5-litre lump.
Past this, the D-Max is largely as it was. There haven’t been any drastic changes to the pick-up’s exterior – which is no bad thing as the D-Max is a rather attractive truck – although there is a greater focus on creature comforts in the cabin.
Looks and image
As far as looks are concerned, the D-Max hasn’t really changed a great deal. There’s a new front bumper, bonnet and grille, but you’d have to look pretty hard to really notice the difference between this new model and the older D-Max.
Inside, the D-Max offers a relatively plush interior considering the workhorse nature of vehicles such as this. Our Utah-specification test vehicle was equipped with leather-upholstered seats, and while there were still a wide range of scratchy-looking plastics throughout the D-Max’s cabin, on the whole it was a perfectly pleasant place to spend time.
While the Isuzu may not command quite the same levels of badge prestige as some of its rivals – such as the Volkswagen Amarok – there is still plenty to like about the D-Max. It certainly has a commanding presence on the road, and while it doesn’t look drastically different to its predecessor, it’s still a handsome-looking brute.
Space and practicality
Our double cab test vehicle provided no shortage of interior space. Up front, the driver and passenger have plenty of head- and shoulder room, while those in the back won’t be short of headspace or legroom. There’s also a decent amount of storage solutions throughout the interior, which is always a welcome feature.
However, where pick-up’s really have to step their game up is in the load-lugging department. The D-Max’s load bed can carry a payload that weighs more than one tonne, while it can tow up to three and a half tonnes. These figures are practically identical to those managed by the popular Nissan Navara.
Behind the wheel
Considering the D-Max is longer than five metres and close to two metres wide, you’d be forgiven for thinking that it’s a difficult and ungainly thing to drive. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Provided you have the space, the D-Max is a very easy vehicle to operate. The torquey engine makes setting off easy, the clutch isn’t too heavy and while there is some weight to the steering, it’s by no means exhausting.
The only time we really had an issue with the D-Max’s size was on the narrow, crowded streets around home. With cars parked on either side of the road, we were constantly having to navigate our way past oncoming vehicles, and parking was sometimes a bit tricky. Even with parking sensors and a rear-view camera equipped, you’re constantly conscious of how big the D-Max is.
For the most part, though, this isn’t the sort of vehicle you should buy if it will primarily be used in busy urban environments. However, those in the countryside will find it fits into their life incredibly easily.
Value for money
Prices for a base-specification double cab start at £23,341, with our Utah-specification truck costing from £28,921. Utah models sit below the top-specification Blade trucks, and come equipped with a generous level of standard equipment, including keyless entry, satellite navigation, a reversing camera, DAB radio, Apple CarPlay and Andriod Auto.
Who would buy one?
The Isuzu D-Max certainly isn’t a vehicle that will appeal to those families living in crowed urban areas – it’s simply too big to live with in such environments. The D-Max is targeted at those who need a capable workhorse of a vehicle, and regularly find themselves towing heavy equipment or transporting large, heavy items. Its four-wheel drive capabilities will also appeal to those who have to head off road regularly, such as farmers.
FACTS AT A GLANCE
Model: Isuzu D-Max Utah
Engine tested: 1.9-litre four-cylinder diesel
Max speed: 112mph
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