Isuzu D-MAX

Built to Endure Tough Days

After 50 years of refinement and pioneering development, Isuzu Motors recently hosted a two day event at the Bab Al Shams Hotel in Dubai where they launched the latest model of their renowned pickup line, the D-Max. The event was attended by numerous VIPs and associates of the brand who also got a chance to drive the vehicle.

Building on more than forty years of success in the commercial vehicle segment of their business, the origins of the Isuzu D-Max is traced back to the Isuzu Wasp that was produced in 1963 under the initiative to build a car that appeared to be a passenger vehicle concept but functioned as a commercial Durable Truck.

The all new Isuzu D-Max is one of the most dependable pickup trucks from the brand as it has been crafted after nearly 50 years of refinement and pioneering development. Ushering in a new era in pickup trucks and with almost a century of truck manufacturing DNA, the all new Isuzu D-Max redefines the toughness and is an amalgamation of splendid design, excellent performance, durability, immense safety and resilience. A plethora of novel and improved features are visible in the Isuzu D-Max.

Powertrain
This new truck is very attractive. Since our arrival the first day and before the launch, we checked the legacy of all generations of Isuzu, and this latest one is the fifth generation where it is a whole transformation. Some of the notable new features the brand possesses include the new 2.5 L diesel engine with common-rail engine designed with superior know-how that has seen over 23 million Isuzu diesel engines sold worldwide. This innovative engine has accomplished class leading fuel efficiency, power, torque and environmental friendliness all at the same time.

Exterior
The fresh, tough chassis means even better balance and performance whether loaded or not, delivering superior stability and road holding in all conditions. With a larger and stronger rear cargo body and 4x4 electronic shift on-the-fly, there's not much it cannot handle. An aggressive form exterior design with a perfect proportion seen in the all new D-MAX does not only end in design, but also accomplishes outstanding aerodynamics. Isuzu designers conducted extensive wind tunnel testing around the world to ensure the aerodynamics to create a quieter and more economical pickup truck. With a longer, wider and taller body, all new ISUZU D-MAX realizes a spacious interior to maximize driver and passengers' comfort.

Interior
The new interior delivers more than just space and comfort. At your finger tips you will find all the technology and modern conveniences you have come to expect. Electroluminescent instruments with Multi Information Display, climate-control air conditioner and keyless entry are all available.

Driving Impressions
After looking it over, it was time to take it for a test drive. We drove around 30 minutes in the desert before arriving to the dynamic area. This area was very different from the one prepared in Abu Dhabi that had a skid pan. There was a large tarmac surface where a specific circuit had been prepared to test the brake force and handling in the different obstacles that this truck may challenge.

The good news about steering is that it's respectably direct and responsive. On a smooth road it steers obediently, predictably and body roll is reasonably restrained. With an empty tray it jitters about over smaller bumps, as you'd expect, but the ride quality isn't bad compared to a 4x4 car.

The D-Max runs closer to benchmarks off the tarmac, where you can shift from 2WD to 4WD on the move up to 100 kph, while low-range gearing and hill-descent/hill-start systems endow it with genuine off-road abilities.

What is noticeable is that the all new Isuzu D-MAX reaps the benefits of Isuzu's safety policy: "Safety is our priority". The extra assurance of Antilock Brake System (ABS) with Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA) made this test beneficial to know what the new D-Max is all about.

After testing the endurance on tarmac, it was time to see how it would react on the hills and sand, so we drove to the desert. Note that we were in an animal reserve area, where we had to watch out for any living creature throughout the ride.

When we tackled the trickier desert terrain, we changed the rotary dial mounted behind the gearstick where it can be turned to engage all four wheels. Turn the dial another notch to select low-range gears, which enables you to make the most of the engine's rev range even while crawling up a rutted track at walking pace.

Although the D-Max has relatively sophisticated double wishbone suspension at the front, the heavy-duty leaf springs fitted to the rear make the ride a little bouncy when the load bay is empty. This bounciness and associated shortage of grip means you need to be cautious on slippery roundabouts and hills because a heavy right foot will induce the rear wheels to slide. Thankfully, the D-Max comes with stability control to prevent the tail from getting too animated. It also comes with the reassurance of six airbags should the worst happen.

Verdict
Till date, numerous consumers around the world depend on the potency, consistency and economy of Isuzu pickups with the latest D-Max following in the footsteps of its predecessors. So if you're in the market for a pickup, then the D-Max is certainly worth considering. It's capable of hauling and towing significant loads and feels built to survive a hard life.

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  • Dubai Motorshow 2017 (Nov 14-Nov 18, 2017)

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  • Tokyo Motorshow 2017 (Oct 25-Nov 5, 2017)

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