Isuzu D-Max V-Cross

Isuzu D-Max V-Cross, 2024, front, off road
Isuzu D-Max V-Cross, 2024, nose
Isuzu D-Max V-Cross, 2024, side
Isuzu D-Max V-Cross, 2024, rear
Isuzu D-Max DL40 Double Cab Auto, cabin
Isuzu D-Max V-Cross, 2024, interior, front seats

ISUZU had its best ever year in the UK in 2023 with record-breaking sales and a 45 per cent hike over the previous year as well as a five per cent growth in market share.

The company only makes commercial vehicles and its D-Max pick-up truck is the only model it sells in the UK since it began operating here back in 2012.

It may have built its solid reputation on being a tough and reliable workhorse but in the last couple of years Isuzu has transformed the D-Max to make it a player in the lifestyle and adventure market.

The V-Cross model I have been sampling is the flagship of the range and it was the subject of updates and cosmetic changes last year to make it even more appealing to the private market.

The changes included a new front grille, smarter alloy wheels and more colour and trim options.

Isuzu resisted changing much more as the D-Max already offered all the features you need in a pick-up truck.

As well as the revised exterior styling, the V-Cross has leather upholstery, heated front seats, a nine-inch multifunction colour touchscreen, eight-way adjustable driver's seat, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a reversing camera and front and rear parking sensors.

Its 4x4 powertrain and rear differential lock means it is as good off-road as it is on it and the D-Max is a match for much more expensive competition.

Many other technical andcomfort features that you would expect to find in a family SUV are also standard.

Advanced Driver Assist Systems (ADAS) are now fitted on all models, including autonomous emergency braking and lane departure warning and prevention and rear cross traffic alert, blind spot monitor and emergency lane keeping are fitted on all double cabversions. As a result the pick-up even boasts a five-star Euro NCAP rating.

Thanks to other modifications the wheelbase is longer and this means that the cabin is even more spacious than before with larger rear doors making access easier.

Only one engine is available throughout the range, a tried andtested 1.9-litre turbodieselunit which delivers 162bhp and360Nm of torque. It completes the 0-62mph sprint in 13 seconds and can go onto a maximum of 112mph.

It is noisy on start-up but it soon settles down and in my car it was mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox. You can go for a six-speed manual and that will save you a fair amount of cash.

Like most pick-ups it is not light on fuel with an average 30.7mpg claimed for this double cab auto and emissions run at 241g/km.

It may be the lifestyle model of the strong range but theV-Cross still offers the usual workhorse features, with a one-tonne payload and up to 3.5 tonnes towing capacity. Sensors warn of towing swayand Hill Descent Control is standard on all variants. The D-Max has always been a great performer off-road and the addition of a rear diff-lock has made it even better.

The speed -sensitive steering makes the D-Max surprisingly easy to manoeuvre in town and out of town it stiffens up nicely to give you more feel and control.

It may not be the flashiest pick-up available but the Isuzu offers good value for money all through the large range of models and it is certainly worth a look.

£44,323 (£36,999 CVOTR)

162bhp, 1,898cc, four-cylinder turbo diesel engine driving all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox

112mph

13 seconds

30.7mpg miles

40

241g/km

37%

5yrs/125,000 miles

4

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