Professional Builder reviews the latest D-Max from Isuzu.
It would be fair to say that the pick-up market has become rather crowded of late, with almost every manufacturer of commercial vehicles launching a variation on the theme – and, it has to be said, with equally varying degrees of success. Whilst some of the new entrants at the premium end have chosen to court an unashamedly lifestyle and family-orientated audience, construction professionals will always need that combination of workhorse and show pony that is the unique appeal of the double cab in particular.
There is, however, one company that could be considered the experts in the field – simply because it’s all they make. Isuzu has actually been building commercial vehicles since 1916, and it is a pedigree which is evident in the D-Max vital statistics. If you’re towing plant, for instance, then you have the maximum allowable 3.5 tonne at your disposal, but there are also brains at work as well as brawn. A new trailer sway control system, for example, uses sensors to detect trailer sway, reducing vehicle speed if required.
A load liner protected rear will accommodate up 1,136kg of payload, with cargo bay dimensions on the double cab Yukon of 1,485 x 1,570mm. That same model is also available in an extended cab format, with revised figures of 1,795 x 1,570mm in the rear and additional storage space behind the front seats. On the road, the high driving position which is characteristic of this class of vehicle is complemented by a good level of visibility over the bonnet, whilst all models from Yukon up benefit from a reversing camera. Ride quality is enhanced with a 3-piece leaf spring suspension, hill start assist and hill ascent control will help you with those inevitable ups and downs in life and, for such a large vehicle designed to carry heavy loads, it handles well in corners,
Our Isuzu Yukon test vehicle is equipped with the same 1.9ltr diesel engine that features across the range, and delivers 164PS and 360Nm of torque. Nobody would choose a pick up on the basis on fuel economy, but that powertrain will deliver a respectable 40.4mpg combined, with the added convenience for the end user of achieving Euro 6 emissions standards without the need for AdBlue. Where the D-Max will leave many of its rivals trailing in its rear view mirror is with its warranty, offering a generous 5 years/125,00 mile package.
Inside the cab, the Yukon offers a 7in. touchscreen and Bluetooth connectivity and front & rear USB port. There’s steering wheel mounted buttons for the RDS radio, and cruise control, whilst a leather steering wheel elevates the interior from the purely functional.
The double cab pick-up has always been a vehicle with a split personality – eminently family friendly when off duty, but utilitarian in the working week. For the owner, of course, it still holds that that second row of seats – combined with a payload in excess of 1 tonne – means you are sitting pretty with the VAT man, in that you can claim back that particular tax from the purchase price.