Isuzu D-Max cuts through

the rough

HEREwe are in November and the end of the Really Windy season gives way to the brrrr you all gonna freeze to death months.

According to some people who know nothing this is going to be the worst winter sincewinters began in about 2007.

One day soon we will awake to snow drifts a million feet deep and people will be forced to burn books from the British library to stay warm.

Children who have never known anything but balmy moderacy will be sent to school swaddled in animal skins and oily gangs of penguins will stalk the fish aisle at Tesco.

The end is nigh.

This is what you get for warming up the globe.

The Day After has become the night before and we won't even be allowed to huddle together for warmth this now being deemed a sex crime.

As the man with the largest supply of split logs in the parish, next summer my profits will holiday in the Cayman Islands.

This is the year those with proper 4x4 vehicles will laugh in the face of both adversity and people who pointed at them in disgust.

The thing is what makes a proper 4x4?

Well unless you shell out a fortune for a Range Rover the defining detail is probably a compromised ride.

Size and pulling power may come into it but as a for instance the tiny Suzuki Jimmy is one of the most able off roaders you will find but around town it could make a corpse sick.

So, if I mention the Isuzu D-Max Blade pickup you must understand I do so with the caveat that this is fully muscled up and while okay in a straight line not something for the twists and turns of life.

Pick-up trucks may be a sexy new way to show your credentials for adventure but first and foremost they are built for work not as an accessory to country and western music.

Get over the rough and ready nature of a truck and there are family fortunes to be made.

If you can negotiate one as your company car then tax liability is low and because they are light goods vehicles the VAT can be claimed back by your boss.

The thing is you have to convince the rest of the family that while there is room for five in this double cab there is not a lot else in terms of dashboard excitement.

On the other hand if you love the outdoors life and do any proper towing you won't get stuck.

The D-Max has been revised this year - out goes the old 2.5-litre engine and instead there is a much more efficient four-cylinder 1.9 diesel.

That said it is still a heavy handed lump when it comes to noise and clearly this is not a purchase made with performance in mind from its turbocharged 163bhp.

Economy, on the other hand, is boasted to be around 36mpg combined with CO2 at 205gm/km so expect a visit from the fun police.

Right, so what are life's prospects with this six-speed automatic's statement of thunderous intent?

Well it's got a lot of style and road presence and the Blade is well trimmed, in fact the leather seats are stunning and it has pleasing touches like puddle lights which spell the car's name out on the ground just in case you became confused and bewildered thought you were driving a city car.

Which you are not but one could almost fit in the load area, the point being this is not the most urban-friendly vehicle to handle and park with slow, heavy steering and an unsettled feel on the move.

In its proper environment, however, all terrains are takeable with transfer selection via a centrally located dial.

There is a nine-inch touch screen with Apple and Android compatibility and a sat-nav which is easy to read and navigate.

The leather seats are heated, there is keyless entry and starting, parking aids include a rear camera and a five-year warranty is standard which is better than its competitors.

Everything falls easily to hand for the driver including climate control and Bluetooth.

This little lot will set you back £33,541 for rugged 3,500kg towing ability and off-roading to suit even the most rough and ready pastime.

We have had rain here and I took the Blade on a shoot where the happiest birds were ducks.

It coped with the slop, a couple of ditches and some greasy inclines as you may cope with a night in bed.

On top of that come January and no matter what the doom merchant's predict you will be utterly polar bear proof.

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