Isuzu D-Max pick-up review

Our Rating:
3.8


For:Rugged and tough, strong engine, long warranty

Power: 163bhp
Weight GVW: 3,050kg




Payload: 1,101kg 1,282kg
Loading height approx, unladen: 440mm 830mm



Against:Not very refined, feels dated next to rivals
Image 1 of 17
Image 1 of 17
2017
Isuzus D-Max has been falling behind its rivals lately. But this update represents a return to form for the Japanese pickup
The Isuzu D-Max is actually the only vehicle the brand sells here in the UK, and following the launches of several brand-new trucks over the past few years it has finally updated its own model to keep up.
The Nissan Navara, Mitsubishi L200, Ford Ranger and the Toyota Hilux are the established choices in the class, with the Renault Alaskan and even a Mercedes-Benz pick-up on the way. All offer a similar ethos: a workhorse truck thats also easy to live with day-to-day.
The Isuzu forges a slightly different path, however, focusing instead on being rugged, tough and a reliable workhorse - at the cost of refinement and interior quality. The 2017 model isnt really an all-new model but rather a facelift, adding a new engine and some visual and equipment tweaks.
The best big panel vans
The D-Max is available in single, extended and double cab bodystyles, with five main specifications to choose from: the basic utility model, Eiger, Yukon, Utah and Blade. Single cab vehicles are Utility only, while extended cab is available as Utility and Yukon versions. Double cab gives you the full choice of trim levels.
The extended cab model gets a side-access panel on both sides to make it easier to get at the extra space inside the cab, while the double cab has the normal four-door layout with a rear bench seat.
Dont be put off by the 1.9-litre engine: the D-Max is a good choice for towing, as the 4x4 models can tow up to 3,500kg or can carry a 1,091 - 1,196kg payload. Its available with either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic gearbox, both with revised gearing for better performance, especially while towing.

6 Apr, 2017

2.7


Not surprisingly, the Utility specification models are very basic inside the cab, with easy-clean trim and plenty of hard plastics to stand up to work use. However, even the most basic models have Bluetooth connectivity, air-conditioning, LED daytime running lights and electric windows.
Opt for the Eiger trim, the lowest of the premium double-cab models, and you get a reversing camera, alloy wheels, body coloured bumpers and a CD player. Move up to Yukon spec and you add 18-inch alloys, a seven-inch touchscreen display, a leather steering wheel and cruise control.

Image 11 of 17
Image 11 of 17

The Utah model also comes with keyless go, sat-nav, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, DAB radio, leather heated seats, roof bars and automatic air-con.
Top-spec Blade models get an upgraded 9-inch screen which looks pretty good and works well, though the physical menu buttons look and feel very cheap. Theyre too small to press with gloves on, too. You also get upgraded leather seats and the option of a load bay canopy.
Sadly the interior of the D-Max isnt anywhere near as good as the Navara or L200, its main rivals. The plastics are clearly built to be hard-wearing, but thats the same in the rival trucks and those feel much closer to a modern SUV. The D-Max is improved, but interior refinement and quality is still its worst point.
Van dimensions



Body style
Height
Width
Length


Single Cab 4x2
1,685mm
1,775mm
5,315mm


Single Cab 4x4
1,780mm
1,820mm
5,315mm


Extended Cab 4x4
1,780mm
1,820mm
5,295mm


Double Cab 4x4
1,785-1,795mm
1,820mm
5,295mm


Overall width is without mirrors. Width including mirrors: 1,860mm



Load area dimensions



Body style
Height
Width
Length
Volume


Single Cab 4x2
440mm
1,570mm
2,305mm
1.59m3


Single Cab 4x4
440mm
1,570mm
2,305mm
1.59m3


Extended Cab 4x4
465mm
1,530mm
1,795mm
1.27m3


Double Cab 4x4
465mm
1,530mm
1,485mm
1.05m3


Width is at widest point. Width between wheel arches: 1,115mm





3.8


The Isuzu D-Max only has one engine, a 163bhp 1.9-litre diesel, but even with 40Nm less torque than the previous 2.5 engine its a strong performer. With new manual and automatic gearboxes that feature shorter ratios, performance feels pretty much the same as before.
However that very short first gear means you need to really rev the engine hard to get going before you change to second, especially when towing. That fills the cabin with a rattly diesel grumble, which is quieter than the previous D-Max engine but quite a bit louder than the units in its relatively refined rivals.
At speed, the engine settles down into the background, but any time you have to change down to build up speed youre reminded of how noisy the engine is. The automatic box is a bit slow-witted when changing up and is a bit too keen to change down, so the manual is probably a better choice for most.

Image 3 of 17
Image 3 of 17

A high driving position gives you a good view of the road, and while the steering is slow its no worse than rivals such as the VW Amarok. Where its rivals tend to be fairly bouncy on UK roads, the D-Max feels more juddery, with a firmer edge to the suspension when not loaded up.
That means it does feel fairly composed through bends, but the modern suspension set-up on the Navara means its much more car-like to drive than the D-Max. Still, despite its size, the D-Max is nice and easy to drive, and doesnt feel oversized even on tighter routes.

4


All D-Max models come with ABS brakes, electronic stability control ESC and traction control as standard, which is par for the course in the pick-up market. The front bumper and bonnet have been re-designed for better crash protection, too.
Theres no word on the reliability of the new 1.9-litre engine yet, but Isuzu offers a five-year/125,000-mile warranty on all models, which gives you some idea of how confident the brand is about the D-Max.
In fact, an unmodified D-Max competing in the BCCC was the only competitor for two years running to never have a mechanical failure. It feels rugged and robust, and owners swear by their reliability.

Image 9 of 17
Image 9 of 17

In the cab, even the basic Utility trim models have dual front, side and curtain airbags, and height-adjustable seatbelts for maximum occupant protection. Four-wheel-drive models have the benefit of 4x4 selection on the move for added security in slippery conditions, and hill start assist and descent control is standard on all cars as well.
The Aeroklas load bay canopy now gets heated glass, but it also features remote locking and a wider-opening tailgate as well. Remote locking extends to the lower tailgate on high-spec Blade models.

4.4


While other manufacturers are focusing one double cabs, Isuzu offers every possible bodystyle combination with the D-Max, from single cab to extended and double cab models. Its also available with 4x2 and 4x4 drivetrains, plus a low-range gearbox thats useful for off-roading.
Its no bigger than before, but the D-Max now has a lighter engine so the payload capacity has increased throughout the range.
The load bay in the single cab model measures at 2,305mm by 1,570mm, with a payload capacity of 1,282kg or 1,196kg on the 4x4 model. Head up to an extended cab for dimensions of 1,795mm by 1,530mm and a payload capacity of 1,141kg.

Image 5 of 17
Image 5 of 17

The double cab gets a load bay of 1,552mm by 1,530mm, but the payload capacity varies based on the model you choose - with the maximum being 1,126kg. The towing weight for 4x4 models is 3,500kg, dropping to 2,500kg on the RWD model.
The D-Max has a larger load bay in equivalent bodystyles to the Navara and the Mitsubishi L200, as well as a slightly higher payload capacity. Theres not much in it, but the Isuzu is still a top pick for all-out carrying capacity.
Best pick-up trucks
Isuzu also offers a wide range of load covers and hardtop backs for the D-Max range, for both extended-cab and double-cab models. A tow bar receiver hitch with electrics is available, plus roof bars and frames and cargo rails to hold loads in place in the bed.
Theres even a bed extender available that fits in the rear of the load bed to allow longer loads to be carried. By offering a full range of cab options, Isuzu has covered every sector of the pick-up market, from single-cab workhorse to luxury dual-purpose double cab.

3.8


Helpful?
Isuzu D-Max pick-up review
Stats Overview
5.0 (1 Rate)
5
100%
rates
4
0%
rates
3
0%
rates
2
0%
rates
1
0%
rates
Add Your Rate:
Reviews (1):
Isuzu D-Max pick-up review
3 years ago

http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/isuzu/d-max/99112/pick-up Our Rating:
3.8


For:Rugged and tough, strong engine, long warranty

Power: 163bhp
Weight GVW: 3,050kg




Payload: 1,101kg 1,282kg
Loading height approx, unladen: 440mm 830mm



Against:Not very refined, feels dated next to rivals
Image 1 of 17
Image 1 of 17
2017
Isuzus D-Max has been falling behind its rivals lately. But this update represents a return to form for the Japanese pickup
The Isuzu D-Max is actually the only vehicle the brand sells here in the UK, and following the launches of several brand-new trucks over the past few years it has finally updated its own model to keep up.
The Nissan Navara, Mitsubishi L200, Ford Ranger and the Toyota Hilux are the established choices in the class, with the Renault Alaskan and even a Mercedes-Benz pick-up on the way. All offer a similar ethos: a workhorse truck thats also easy to live with day-to-day.
The Isuzu forges a slightly different path, however, focusing instead on being rugged, tough and a reliable workhorse - at the cost of refinement and interior quality. The 2017 model isnt really an all-new model but rather a facelift, adding a new engine and some visual and equipment tweaks.
The best big panel vans
The D-Max is available in single, extended and double cab bodystyles, with five main specifications to choose from: the basic utility model, Eiger, Yukon, Utah and Blade. Single cab vehicles are Utility only, while extended cab is available as Utility and Yukon versions. Double cab gives you the full choice of trim levels.
The extended cab model gets a side-access panel on both sides to make it easier to get at the extra space inside the cab, while the double cab has the normal four-door layout with a rear bench seat.
Dont be put off by the 1.9-litre engine: the D-Max is a good choice for towing, as the 4x4 models can tow up to 3,500kg or can carry a 1,091 - 1,196kg payload. Its available with either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic gearbox, both with revised gearing for better performance, especially while towing.

6 Apr, 2017

2.7


Not surprisingly, the Utility specification models are very basic inside the cab, with easy-clean trim and plenty of hard plastics to stand up to work use. However, even the most basic models have Bluetooth connectivity, air-conditioning, LED daytime running lights and electric windows.
Opt for the Eiger trim, the lowest of the premium double-cab models, and you get a reversing camera, alloy wheels, body coloured bumpers and a CD player. Move up to Yukon spec and you add 18-inch alloys, a seven-inch touchscreen display, a leather steering wheel and cruise control.

Image 11 of 17
Image 11 of 17

The Utah model also comes with keyless go, sat-nav, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, DAB radio, leather heated seats, roof bars and automatic air-con.
Top-spec Blade models get an upgraded 9-inch screen which looks pretty good and works well, though the physical menu buttons look and feel very cheap. Theyre too small to press with gloves on, too. You also get upgraded leather seats and the option of a load bay canopy.
Sadly the interior of the D-Max isnt anywhere near as good as the Navara or L200, its main rivals. The plastics are clearly built to be hard-wearing, but thats the same in the rival trucks and those feel much closer to a modern SUV. The D-Max is improved, but interior refinement and quality is still its worst point.
Van dimensions



Body style
Height
Width
Length


Single Cab 4x2
1,685mm
1,775mm
5,315mm


Single Cab 4x4
1,780mm
1,820mm
5,315mm


Extended Cab 4x4
1,780mm
1,820mm
5,295mm


Double Cab 4x4
1,785-1,795mm
1,820mm
5,295mm


Overall width is without mirrors. Width including mirrors: 1,860mm



Load area dimensions



Body style
Height
Width
Length
Volume


Single Cab 4x2
440mm
1,570mm
2,305mm
1.59m3


Single Cab 4x4
440mm
1,570mm
2,305mm
1.59m3


Extended Cab 4x4
465mm
1,530mm
1,795mm
1.27m3


Double Cab 4x4
465mm
1,530mm
1,485mm
1.05m3


Width is at widest point. Width between wheel arches: 1,115mm





3.8


The Isuzu D-Max only has one engine, a 163bhp 1.9-litre diesel, but even with 40Nm less torque than the previous 2.5 engine its a strong performer. With new manual and automatic gearboxes that feature shorter ratios, performance feels pretty much the same as before.
However that very short first gear means you need to really rev the engine hard to get going before you change to second, especially when towing. That fills the cabin with a rattly diesel grumble, which is quieter than the previous D-Max engine but quite a bit louder than the units in its relatively refined rivals.
At speed, the engine settles down into the background, but any time you have to change down to build up speed youre reminded of how noisy the engine is. The automatic box is a bit slow-witted when changing up and is a bit too keen to change down, so the manual is probably a better choice for most.

Image 3 of 17
Image 3 of 17

A high driving position gives you a good view of the road, and while the steering is slow its no worse than rivals such as the VW Amarok. Where its rivals tend to be fairly bouncy on UK roads, the D-Max feels more juddery, with a firmer edge to the suspension when not loaded up.
That means it does feel fairly composed through bends, but the modern suspension set-up on the Navara means its much more car-like to drive than the D-Max. Still, despite its size, the D-Max is nice and easy to drive, and doesnt feel oversized even on tighter routes.

4


All D-Max models come with ABS brakes, electronic stability control ESC and traction control as standard, which is par for the course in the pick-up market. The front bumper and bonnet have been re-designed for better crash protection, too.
Theres no word on the reliability of the new 1.9-litre engine yet, but Isuzu offers a five-year/125,000-mile warranty on all models, which gives you some idea of how confident the brand is about the D-Max.
In fact, an unmodified D-Max competing in the BCCC was the only competitor for two years running to never have a mechanical failure. It feels rugged and robust, and owners swear by their reliability.

Image 9 of 17
Image 9 of 17

In the cab, even the basic Utility trim models have dual front, side and curtain airbags, and height-adjustable seatbelts for maximum occupant protection. Four-wheel-drive models have the benefit of 4x4 selection on the move for added security in slippery conditions, and hill start assist and descent control is standard on all cars as well.
The Aeroklas load bay canopy now gets heated glass, but it also features remote locking and a wider-opening tailgate as well. Remote locking extends to the lower tailgate on high-spec Blade models.

4.4


While other manufacturers are focusing one double cabs, Isuzu offers every possible bodystyle combination with the D-Max, from single cab to extended and double cab models. Its also available with 4x2 and 4x4 drivetrains, plus a low-range gearbox thats useful for off-roading.
Its no bigger than before, but the D-Max now has a lighter engine so the payload capacity has increased throughout the range.
The load bay in the single cab model measures at 2,305mm by 1,570mm, with a payload capacity of 1,282kg or 1,196kg on the 4x4 model. Head up to an extended cab for dimensions of 1,795mm by 1,530mm and a payload capacity of 1,141kg.

Image 5 of 17
Image 5 of 17

The double cab gets a load bay of 1,552mm by 1,530mm, but the payload capacity varies based on the model you choose - with the maximum being 1,126kg. The towing weight for 4x4 models is 3,500kg, dropping to 2,500kg on the RWD model.
The D-Max has a larger load bay in equivalent bodystyles to the Navara and the Mitsubishi L200, as well as a slightly higher payload capacity. Theres not much in it, but the Isuzu is still a top pick for all-out carrying capacity.
Best pick-up trucks
Isuzu also offers a wide range of load covers and hardtop backs for the D-Max range, for both extended-cab and double-cab models. A tow bar receiver hitch with electrics is available, plus roof bars and frames and cargo rails to hold loads in place in the bed.
Theres even a bed extender available that fits in the rear of the load bed to allow longer loads to be carried. By offering a full range of cab options, Isuzu has covered every sector of the pick-up market, from single-cab workhorse to luxury dual-purpose double cab.

3.8


Reply‚óŹ
Helpful?
User Image