Isuzu D-Max DL20

Double Cab 4x4

Isuzu D-Max DL20, 2022, front, off road
Isuzu D-Max DL20, 2022, front, action
Isuzu D-Max DL20, 2022, front
Isuzu D-Max DL20, 2022, rear
Isuzu D-Max DL20, 2022, engine
Isuzu D-Max DL20, 2022, loadbed
Isuzu D-Max DL20, 2022, interior

LAUNCHED in May 2012, the Isuzu D-Max replaced the famous Isuzu Rodeo pick-up, which had taken over from Isuzu TF that came to the UK in 1988.

This year the D-Max has a new guise and was voted best workhorse pick-up for an unprecedented consecutive tenth year by the specialist magazine Trade Van Driver.

It has been steadily refined over the last decade and today's 11-model D-Max range comprises single, double cab and extended bodies described as business, all-purpose and adventure in four trim levels and sharing a common 1.9 turbodiesel engine with 360Nm torque between 2,000 and 2,500rpm and 164ps maximum power delivered through six-speed manual or automatic gearboxes and 4x2 or 4x4 transmissions with high or low ranges.

Our mid-range DL20 model came with intelligent headlights, 18-inch alloys and full size spare, cloth upholstery, heated front seats, flat folding rear seats, Bluetooth, DAB radio and CD player with USB front and back, adjustable column, manual air conditioning and a suite of driver assist systems including cruise control, intelligent speed limiter and start and stop ignition to save fuel.

The D-Max is geared to take heavy loads over any surface and the ratios seem short for normal road use so you learn to take your time, not hurry changes under a moderately weighted long-travel clutch and revel when you can wind it up on a main road.

The brakes were well up to their task whether light or heavily laden and had good feedback with an effective parking brake as well, but I was disappointed by the big turning circle and low geared rack so you had to do a lot of arm twirling in town or between trees off-road.

Off-road it excels with its massive ground clearance of 23.5 cms and its precise gearchanges and really low range set to negotiate tricky slopes. You can lock it all down for ultimate grip and it has a good wading depth too.

On road the ride is distinctly firm and sometimes bumpy but it does not roll much or pitch and with familiarity you can confidently sweep along and make the most of the high riding position to look over hedges and obstacles to better anticipate overtaking opportunities.

Secondary controls are fairly well laid out although a bit scattered about the fascia and console and we struggled several times to make the infotainment system work as required. Manual air conditioning was surprisingly good and effective once it reached desired temperature and backed up by four electric windows.

Dials were simple infront of the driver, big and clear with a selectable section for trip, consumption and drive configuration among other things. Cruise control was straightforward and effective.

We liked the abundance off oddments space throughout with door bins, console trays and bin, twin gloveboxes and seat back pockets as well as under-seat stowage. Access to the loadbed was very good and it came with a protective liner and securing eyes and lashing points.

Getting into or out of the D-Max was a climbing task but once settled into the cloth-covered seats it was comfortable and surprisingly roomy place to be.

Visibility was very good to front and sides, more restricted when parking or reversing and even pulling into traffic down a sliproad, so you need care without any cameras and just sensors to alert you. Lights were bright and good range while wipers kept the big windscreen clear.

Noise levels in the cabin were our major annoyance with the tyres, wind and mechanical sounds combining and vying for supremacy but there's not a lot a driver can do to reduce them on a daily basis.

FAST FACTS

Isuzu D-Max DL20 Double Cab 4x4

Price:£27,749 CVOTR

Mechanical: 164ps, 4cyl, 1.9 litre turbo-diesel engine driving all four wheels via 6sp manual transmission

Max Speed:112mph

0-62mph:12.7 sec

Combined MPG:33.6

Insurance Group:50

C02 emissions:220g/km

Bik rating:37%

Warranty:5yrs/125,000 miles

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