Isuzu DMax 2017 review front IMG 4966
Work or play, the new Isuzu D-Max
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What is it?

ISUZU needed to catch up as the pick-up market exploded and this all-new model the Isuzu D-Max 1.9 Utility 4×4 Double Cab is the result, with a new engine, plus some visual and equipment updates.

It’s facing up to new versions of the Nissan Navara, Mitsubishi L200, Ford Ranger, Toyota Hilux and Volkswagen Amarok.

Available in Utility, Elger, Yukon and Utah trims, we’ve got the £23,341 entry-level and work-ready Utility Double Cab model to see how it compares to the opposition.

What’s hot

  • Previous D-Max trucks had a 2.5-litre diesel engine, but this time round Isuzu have downsized, so it’s now a 1.9-litre, although it still has the same 163bhp power, with torque 40Nm down at 360Nm. It is mated here with a six-speed manual transmission, with 40.4mpg and 183g/km CO2 emissions figures. Performance is fine, and whilst it doesn’t feel any more powerful than the old engine, it is definitely smoother.
  • Despite the smaller engine, the D-Max still boasts the same 3.5 tonne towing capacity and over 1 tonne payload, which is very useful.
Isuzu D-Max 1.9 Utility 4x4 Double Cab
Impressive room
  • Hire company Northgate has ordered £2.5m worth of them saying a key influencing factor was that the new truck does not need AdBlue to comply with the Euro 6 emissions regulations.
  • Outside, although looking similar, you’ll spot the new D-Max by its new, sleeker nose. This includes a new bumper, bonnet, grille and headlights with LED daytime running lights.
  • The new D-Max is available in single, extended and double cab versions. We’ve got the double cab version here and let’s start with this Isuzu’s interior. The driving position is tall and there’s an impressive level of front and rear leg, head and elbow room.
  • It might be the entry-level Utility version, but standard equipment still includes LED daytime running lights, Hill Start Assist, Hill Descent Control Bluetooth connectivity, electric windows and air-conditioning.
  • Safety hasn’t been scrimped on either, with driver, passenger and side airbags, ABS and EBD all fitted as standard.
  • Capable off-road, all you need to do is twist the switch next to the gearlever in the D-Max and four-wheel drive can be engaged at up to 60mph.
  • The D-Max in Utility Double Cab version is an affordable option at £23,341. It also boasts a five-year/125,000-mile warranty, long 12,000-mile service intervals and it doesn’t need to filled up with Adblue to run.
  • If you want to choose the Isuzu D-Max Utility as a company car, then you will pay benefit in kind company car tax at the ‘van’ rate – £646 for a 20% tax payer and £1292 for a 40% tax payer, and not a lot more if you have ‘free’ fuel. Check it out here

What’s not

  • The D-Max might have double-wishbone suspension, but the heavy-duty springs mean the ride feels as unsettled and bouncy as it always has.
  • The slow steering and clunky gear change mean the D-Max isn’t that much fun to drive either.
  • Even the no-thrills Utility model that we have here feels sturdily made, but the design is a bit dated and the quality of plastics is disappointing.
  • The new 1.9-litre diesel engine is smoother than the old 2.5-litre, but doesn’t feel any faster and is as noisy too.

The Verdict

 The new engine and design changes are welcome on the new Isuzu D-Max. However, we wish Isuzu had paid more attention to D-Max’s inherent faults, such as the rough ride, refinement, plus the dated and workman-like feel to the interior.

However, the D-Max is still worth a look if you’re in the market for an affordable, tough and capable pick-up.

Lowdown on the Isuzu D-Max 1.9 Utility 4×4 Double Cab:

On the road price excluding VAT:£23,341
Load length:1,485mm
Load width (max):1,530mm
Load height:465mm
Load capacity:1t
Towing Capacity braked/unbraked:3,500kg/750kg
Engine:1.9-litre, four-cylinder, turbo-diesel
Economy (claimed combined):40.4mpg
CO2 emissions:183g/km
Isuzu D-Max 1.9 Utility 4x4 Double Cab
D-Max Utility for £23,341 excluding VAT



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