D-Max 1.9 4x4 Utah Double Cab Auto
D-Max pick-up has recently come in
for a serious makeover that includes
a cleaner all-new 1.9-litre engine...
MORE OFTEN THAN NOT, when you see a pick-up today in particular
a four-door, five-seating double cab it's often not a builder
or jobbing gardener using it but a nuclear family with a pampered pooch. Even
the two-door versions seem to be driven by noticeably more women.
And why not? Their tough, go-most-places abilities and urban jungle-proofing
make them a logical choice for today's dangerous roads. Besides, go for the
more upscale trims and a pick-up can be as well-specced as any crossover or
SUV. And that includes the must-have four-wheel drive.
Not only that, PAYE workers who pay for their car out of their salary will keep
a lot more of their hard-earned after-tax cash if their boss hands them the
keys to a pick-up. And for some, that's reason enough...
imposing new D-Max definitely looks 'the biz' its clean, uncluttered
lines and hi-quality chrome detailing work even better thanks to a refreshing
lack of 'bling'. Meaty 255/60 18-inch Pirelli Scorpion Zero tyres wrapped around
six-spoke, eighteen-inch alloy wheels are housed under blistered wheelarches
that don't just look macho but also serve a bona fide all-terrain purpose (allowing
plenty of wheel articulation).
downsize is actually a
with 161bhp and 265lb ft,
cleaner and more
have been reduced and
bettered. And the new
1.9-litre pulls the same
Utah sits above three D-Max models but below the Blade and leader-of-the-pack
Arctic versions, but it's still kitted-out with plenty of equipment including
black leather upholstery (with likeable woven-effect fabric centre panels),
keyless entry and push button start, automatic AirCon, eight-speaker Pioneer
navigation and infotainment system with a beautifully crisp multifunction touchscreen
the SD mapping is perfect and the whole thing intuitive to the degree
that you can skive off reading the handbook.
You also get a reversing camera (with selectable viewpoints), plus Apple CarPlay
and Android Auto smartphone mirroring, DAB radio, and Bluetooth, front and rear
USB ports, heated front seats (two stage) with powered adjustment on the driver's
seat, multifunction leather-rimmed wheel (driver's trip, cruise, audio, phone),
power windows and heated on-demand powerfolding door mirrors, cruise control,
rear parking sensors, 18-inch alloy wheels, and roof bars.
Safety kit and driver 'assists' include electronic stability control, dual front,
side and curtain airbags, height-adjustable front seatbelts, four-wheel drive,
hill descent control, hill start assist, and LED daytime running lights.
Previously the D-Max employed a four-cylinder 2.5-litre turbodiesel that kicked
out 160bhp backed-up by a muscular 295lb ft of torque and would haul a 3,500kg
braked trailer; but the new turbodiesel now occupying the engine bay has dropped
601 cubic centimetres. A good move?
The downsize is actually a sensible swap: with 161bhp and 265lb ft, it's cleaner
and more economical emissions, now compliant with Euro 6 standards, have
been reduced to 205g/km while at the same time fuel consumption has been bettered
with an official 36.2mpg in the Combined Cycle (for non-EU English, read that
as 'average') . And the 1.9 will pull the same braked 3.5 tonnes.
up into the D-Max despite riding tall you probably won't need the non-slip
side-step although there are sturdy grab-handles on the A-pillars and
settle in the well-padded and supportive leather seat from where you'll enjoy
excellent 360-degree visibility and a commanding driving position.
(5.3 metres long,
1.8 metres tall, and with a
bonnet that sits closer
to most peoples
than their waistline!)
the D-Max doesnt
the least bit oversized
down to it being
easy to place...
most modern cars, from behind the D-Max's wheel you can actually see the bonnet
and both front 'corners' (and, courtesy of a deep, full-width rear screen, you
can see the rear 'corners' too). Consequently, placing the Utah even
when jockeying in heavy traffic really is a walk in the park.
Deep side windows let plenty of light in to what is a spacious cabin with generous
headroom. The dash and centre stack are neatly laid out and there's plenty of
'in-flight' storage for all aboard including two gloveboxes (one lockable),
a good-sized lidded bin in the top of the dash with another under the front
armrest pad, and door pockets that genuinely do hold bottles, etc. Particularly
neat are the mini-drawers built into each end of the fascia that double as cupholders
and which are perfectly sited for those essential kick-start-your-day Americanos.
In terms of power this civilised 1.9 is as well endowed as the 2.5-litre it
replaces: in fact, power is up albeit by a token 1bhp, to 161bhp. Importantly,
the new engine generates a strongly satisfying 265lb ft of torque enough
for it to pull the same 3,500kg it's predecessor did with 30lb ft more. You'll
also find the new six-speed automatic gearbox is nicely in-tune with the demands
of your right foot thanks to shorter ratios it ensures that the performance
is the same, or better, than that of the superseded 2.5-litre. And it feels
things: there's still more than ample reserves of torque for heavy-duty towing
and load-lugging; and the new unit's diesel soundtrack is noticeably more muted.
On the move there's also a sharper response when you squish the loud pedal and
a feeling that 'there's plenty more where that came from'. It's also agreeably
hushed when cruising at the legal limit.
For those occasions when more focused driver input is needed, such as towing
or driving off-road, the selector lever can be nudged sideways into its +/-
gate for smoothly managed up- and down-shifts dictated by you.
that the D-Max wears a big, tough body and majors on genuine workhorse ability
(which includes all-wheel drive), fuel consumption is better that you might
have expected our 'drive 'em hard' test philosophy means few drivers
are likely to see a lower fuel consumption that us; and over 400 miles of mixed
roads we recorded 33.9mpg against the official Combined Cycle 36.2mpg
close enough to confirm that you too should achieve figures like these.
to know, too, that
the D-Max is competent
in severe weather
conditions: a low-
range gearbox and 4x4
drivetrain lets you
flick from two- to four-
wheel drive on the fly
at up to 60mph using
a rotary knob close to
the selector lever...
would object to being seated in the rear section of a D-Max's double cab. For
a start it's an easy climb in and the seats are set high off the floor, so along
with decent knee and leg room, rear passengers can enjoy people-watching as
the world passes by.
Like the front, the back compartment is also pleasantly airy with plenty of
light coming through the full-width rear screen. A well-padded, drop-down central
armrest will cheerfully separate two 'bruisers' and, with long nicely-padded
outer armrests, cupholders, and dedicated heating ducts, your back seat passengers
will stay comfy and cosy.
If it must be three-in-the-back, well that's doable too the central tunnel
is minimal and three pairs of shoes travelling side-by-side won't cause any
disagreements. And Yes, there are twin Isofix child seat mountings as well as
rear door child locks.
those times back passengers don't figure, numerous cargo-carrying options kick
into play for instance, the rear backrests drops down totally flat onto
their seat bases to make a useful 'bay' behind the front seats; alternatively
you can fold and lock vertically either or both of the 60:40-split
base cushions to accommodate taller items. And then there's the obvious: if
you're realistic about leather's practicality, leave the seats in place and
just dump your shopping on top!
latest generation D-Max pick-ups also come with a satisfactory ride quality
even crumbling blacktop and poorly patched potholes are barely noticed.
And there's none of the 'bouncy castle' handling you'll find on some pickups
when running lightly laden.
its size (5.3 metres long, 1.8 metres tall, and with a bonnet that sits closer
to most people's chest than their waistline!) the D-Max doesn't feel the tiniest
bit oversized that's down to it being manoeuvrable and easy to place,
both in car parks and out on the road; handling is predictable, it's composed
through the twisties, and feels stable and secure when mixing it with fast-moving
D-Max serves up a laid-back drive, being agreeably chillaxing to travel in,
particularly on long runs and in stressful rush-hour traffic where it makes
its driver feel cool and fully in control, all of which helps explain its strong
appeal to lifestyle users.
the rough the D-Maxs
235mm of ground
considerably, as does a
600mm wading ability
and approach and
designed for climbing
Good to know, too, that the D-Max is competent in severe weather conditions
as well as off-road; a low-range gearbox and 4x4 drivetrain lets you flick from
two- to four-wheel drive 'on the fly' at up to 60mph using the rotary knob close
to the selector lever.
In the rough the D-Max's 235mm of ground clearance helps considerably, as does
a 600mm wading ability and approach and departure angles designed for climbing
Pickups have a loadbed behind their cab that doubles as an exceptionally big
boot. Our test Utah came with a strong lockable black roll-top 'boot lid' that
slides open automatically and makes the lined loadbed a secure and weatherproof
place to stow your gear. When opened, the drop-down tailgate sits horizontal
and level with your thigh for no-hassle loading of large items. And Isuzu even
throw in a full size matching alloy spare wheel something for which a
number of carmakers now charge extra.
A versatile lifestyle vehicle, the tough-but-tame D-Max is not only family-friendly
and nice and easy to drive but for added peace of mind it comes with a rival-beating
best-in-class 5-year/125,000-mile warranty. ~ MotorBar
Isuzu D-Max 1.9 4x4 Utah Double Cab Auto
Maximum speed: 112mph | 0-62mph: n/a | Test Average:
Power: 161bhp | Torque: 265lb ft | CO2: 205g/km