The Isuzu D-Max is a machine we have grown to love here in the office. To many it’s just a simple workhorse with very little creature comforts but to those in the know it’s as good as any passenger car on the Irish market. Here in auditbg we have had a long-term crew cab D-Max since 2010. This 3.0 beast has hauled us and our merchandise to every trade fair the country has to offer for two years and we have clocked up a keen 70,000 kilometers. This year Isuzu have launched a completely new D-Max with a sleek body, bigger cab and a new refined 2.5 litre more efficient power plant. When we took delivery the differences in size were very noticeable with the new model standing several inches taller and longer. Our model is the LS which is pretty much fully loaded. Outside it has the chrome mirrors, door handles, side steps, daytime running lights and the cool colour coded SUV Plus rear canopy. Inside the cabin has had a complete makeover with an ergonomic dash layout that includes a multi-function steering wheel, 4-wheel drive twist shift and a sophisticated entertainment system including Bluetooth and USB connectivity. The seats in the LS are not only a tasteful chocolate leather colour but also electric and heated. It’s certainly a pleasant place to be and an easy place to get comfortable.
The first thing I notice when I started the new D-Max was how much quieter it was. The Euro 5 compliant twin turbo power plant packs 163hp and produces 400Nm of torque. The six-speed gearbox feels smooth and perfectly paired to the power output of the engine meaning you are not constantly working the box. Off road once 4-wheel drive is engaged I found the D-Max pretty competent also but don’t forget to switch off the Traction Control that I found a little intrusive in very soft ground. With the Traction turned on I found momentum was lost as the D-Max sensed wheel slippage and killed the power, which allows the vehicle to sink. When turned off with steady pace the same soft ground was navigated with ease. This new model is also fitted with Electronic Stability Control, which is comforting during these winter months. Although we only have the D-Max two weeks we have already put over 2000km on the beast and so far it has been effortless motoring with a huge saving over its predecessor. If you are careful with the right foot you can average up to 38 miles per gallon but we have been getting 34mpg in day to day driving and 28mpg when fully loaded with magazines and the like. Either way this is far more impressive than last years model. Right now the pick-up sector is pretty full. With Mitsubishi, Volkswagen, Nissan, Toyota and now Ssangyong re-entering the market you will have lots of choice but when it comes to value for money its hard to overlook the quality in the D-Max. With new styling, a luxurious interior and stunning performance the Isuzu could be the vehicle to beat!
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