Isuzu D-Max Blade review
What is it?
ORIGINALLY just a limited edition version of the popular D-Max, the success of the model last summer, has prompted Isuzu to announce the Blade trim as the permanent flagship for this popular pick-up range.
- Compared to pick-up rivals, the standard D-Max looks modern but doesn’t really stand out. Add the choice of Cosmic black or Pearlescent white colours, a ‘shadow’ grey front grille, door mirror caps, door handles and tailgate handles finished in Cosmic black and it’s a different story. But Isuzu hasn’t stopped there, as the Blade is also fitted with sharp-looking 18-inch, six-spoke ‘Shadow’ alloys and a neat set of side-sill scuff plates.
- Blade spec isn’t just about the look; to help the D-Max Blade’s practicality, there’s also the choice of either an Aeroklas leisure canopy, or a Black Mountain Top roller cover, both at no extra cost, to cover the competitive 1,485mm load bed.
- The Blade’s leather-trimmed heated front seats, a ‘Shadow’ grey headlining, unique ‘Blade’ mats, plus an eight-speaker Pioneer 6.1 inch touchscreen sat-nav system certainly liven up the standard, well-made, if workman-like feel to the standard D-Max’s interior.
- Leg, head and elbow-room is pretty good for a five-door pick-up.
- The D-Max Blade is more than just a high-spec pick up; there’s the safety kit you expect in the form of stability control, emergency brake assist and six airbags.
- The D-Max Blade is powered by a 2.5-litre twin-turbo diesel engine producing 160bhp. The low-down torque means the D-Max feels quite swift from lowdown.
- Capable off-road too, twist the switch next to the gearlever in the D-Max Blade and two-mode four-wheel drive can be engaged at up to 60mph.
- The D-Max will carry a tonne in weight and can tow a further 3.5 tonnes.
- Isuzu obviously build the D-Max pick-up tough, because it comes with a five-year 125,000 mile warranty.
- If you want to choose the Isuzu D-Max Blade as a company car, then you will pay benefit in kind company car tax at the ‘van’ rate – £600 for a 20% tax payer and £1200 for a 40% tax payer.
- The D-Max might have double-wishbone suspension, but the heavy-duty springs mean the ride is unsettled and bouncy.
- There’s a fair amount of body roll in corners and the D-Max driving experience isn’t helped by the lifeless steering and a clunky six-speed gearbox.
- The Blade is sturdily made, but all the extra standard kit in the interior can’t hide the fact that the Isuzu’s interior is fairly drab and the plastics on the dashboard and doors feel disappointingly low-rent.
- The 2.5-litre twin-turbo diesel engine is keen from low-down the rev range, but disappointingly it seems to run out of puff after that. This engine is really noisy at idle too.
- The D-Max is capable of 38.7mpg on the Combined Cycle, with CO2 emissions of 192g/km. Both of these figures are credible, but rivals such as the latest Mitsubishi L200 are better performers.
- The standard Pioneer touch screen audio/nav system is fiddly to use, with too many small, poorly marked buttons.
Verdict on the Isuzu D-Max 2.5 Blade
The Isuzu D-Max is a welcome addition to the range. The smart styling and interior additions add another level of attraction to what was already a sturdy and spacious pick-up.
However, the competitive price, plus the entire Blade’s extra kit cannot hide the D-Max’s inherent faults, such as the rough ride, noisy engine and workman-like quality.
The Low Downon the Isuzu D-Max 2.5 Blade
|On the road price (ex VAT):||£25,995|
|Load length:||1,485 mm|
|Load width (max):||1,530mm|
|Load capacity:||1 Tonne|
|Towing capacity braked/unbraked:||3,500kg/750kg|
|Engine:||2.5-litre four-cylinder, common rail twin-turbo diesel|