The Isuzu D-Max first entered the market in 2002. It has been in production since then, sharing the same platform as several of the mid-size trucks that General Motors has. It is known by different names depending on the market it is being sold in and it goes by Isuzu Rodeo in the United Kingdom. Standard features for D-Max units in the UK include: six airbags, daytime running lights, stability control, air conditioning, a rev counter, front electric windows, and an immobilizer. The UK's D-Max is also quite a safe vehicle having been rated with four out of five stars in a Euro NCAP test.
In terms of equipment, the Isuzu D-Max is modest. It is nothing lavish but it does offer more than what others would provide with a standard kit. A standard D-Max will already give you a CD player, iPod connector, stereo controls, cruise control, and Bluetooth connectivity. Many of these are available only if you get a better trim and for that alone the D-Max offers good value for money.
Step inside the D-Max and you'll be met with a decent level of head, leg, and elbow room enough to fit five adults comfortably. There's also a large glass area which provides the cabin with a great feeling of airiness and ample lighting. Outside, the D-Max has a bit of a narrower loadbay than an Amarok from Volkswagen but it is still capable of dealing with a one-ton payload and towing a braked trailer weighing up to three tons.
Apart from making easy work of hauling heavy loads, the D-Max also features top-notch, no-nonsense materials. Because it is durable, the load bay can easily be cleaned with a hose pipe while the cabin can be quickly swept with the help of a yard brush. Industrial-strength running gear also ensures that the D-Max survives years and years of use without trouble.
Behind the wheel, the Isuzu D-Max requires more to get on your good side. For starters, the seat's quite high so you end up having to haul yourself up to get into it. Once you're in though, you'll have to do a bit more work getting comfortable. The steering wheel offers limited adjustability so it doesn't help much either. At the very least controls on the steering wheel make it easy to operate cruise control and radio function.
While the D-Max is fitted with sophisticated double-wishbone suspension in front, leaf springs at the rear have a tendency to give it bounce when the pickup truck is not loaded. Grip is also lacking so extreme caution has to be exercised when driving on slippery roads, most especially around corners, as heavy throttle can induce sliding in the rear.
There is also a bit of chatter with the engine and it escalates when it is put to work. The noise settles down a bit at top gear but it lingers and can be compounded by wind noise. Surprisingly, there is little road noise to be heard despite the large tyres, but this does very little to ease overall noise during a drive.
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