D-Max V-Cross 4x4 Double Cab Auto
tried a pick-up? You dont
know what youre missing! Isuzus
uber-practical and exceedingly well-
mannered all-new D-Max V-Cross
is the perfect place to start... and
HEADLINE PLUS-POINTS include a five-star EuroNCAP safety rating along
with much improved driving dynamics, excellent road manners and easy driveability,
a generous equipment tally plus class-leading safety kit, and even better off-road
abilities. These latest Isuzu pick-ups mark a substantial step-up in the D-Max's
all-round usefulness, and further extend its versatile lifestyle attributes.
Work or play, the D-Max's ability to lug 1,070kg in its rear 'bed' or tow a
braked 3,500kg is a major asset. That it will also comfortably punt you around
along with three other adults is another persuasive selling point.
Under the V-Cross's broad bonnet beats a 1.9-litre turbodiesel that puts out
162bhp (backed up by 266lb ft of torque) while also out of sight under the all-new
bodywork sits a tough, upgraded ladder-frame chassis hung with new suspension
that's about as indestructible as one of Arnie's Terminators.
the same size as its predecessor, the all-new D-Max nevertheless boasts both
a larger load area and a roomier cabin, all made more appealing by the choice
of trim grades tailored to suit specific needs: work, multi-purpose, or lifestyle/adventure.
We're focussing here on the Double Cab 'lifestyle' model with four doors and
five seats but other body variants include the Extended Cab (occasional back
seats and half-size rear doors), and the Single Cab (two doors and two seats).
and lifestyle drivers, the
range-topping V-Cross is
tricked-out with all the
bells and whistles.
As on the outside, so on
the inside like the
D-Maxs swish new
clothes, the V-Crosss
cabin is a substantial
step-up from the
The deeply padded
chairs are large and
supportive and great to
sit in, and the
holds you beautifully
snug; setting a
position is a breeze...
Aimed at adventuresome and lifestyle drivers, the range-topping V-Cross is tricked-out
with all the bells and whistles. As on the outside, so on the inside
like the D-Max's swish new 'clothes', the V-Cross's ambiance is a substantial
step-up from the superseded models. Swing open the driver's door, momentarily
rest you toe on the gun metal side step (there's also a convenient and sturdy
grab handle on the A-pillar) before you climb aboard and settle behind the wheel.
The deeply padded leather-upholstered 'chairs' are large and supportive and
great to sit in, and the pronounced bolstering holds you beautifully snug (but
still lets you exit elegantly). To assist getting in or getting out, ever door
features a rugged grab handle attached to the door frame as well as an overhead
Setting a commanding driving position is a breeze courtesy not just of the generous
steering wheel adjustability but also thanks to the eight-way powered driver's
seat. Both front seats are heated (two-stage) but only the driver gets powered
lumbar adjustment. Headroom is impressive a full fist-and-a-half of it,
and there's plenty of room between the front seats so no elbow clashes when
you're twirling the wheel. And because all four corners are clearly visible
from the driver's seat, parking and manoeuvring is never a problem.
Sweep your gaze across the fascia and you'll like what you see particularly
the 9-inch entertainment system's touchscreen. However, there's no built-in
SatNav blame that on the number of drivers who prefer to use their smartphones'
navigations apps instead; in the D-Max you can too because Apple CarPlay and
Android Auto are fully integrated.
Naturally you'll be expecting creature comforts such as keyless entry and push
button start, dual-zone climate control, a multifunction leather-wrapped steering
wheel, reversing camera, front and rear parking sensors, auto-dimming rearview
mirror, heated powerfolding door mirrors, power windows, height-adjustable seatbelts…
Relax. They're all standard-fit, as is much more.
The central entertainment display is set high in the fascia so can easily be
taken in with a quick glance; the graphics are crisp and sharp, plus the menus
intuitive and easily called up. Also part of the new-look dash is a driver-configurable
information display between the instrument panel dials. Good to see that both
the digital road speed readout and the posted speed limit are shown close to
entertainment features include a DAB radio, CD/DVD player, eight speakers, Bluetooth,
front USB port with 12V and Aux-in ports, another USB in the rear cab, and an
SOS emergency call function that automatically alerts the emergency services
after an accident. The climate system controls are logically laid out and dead
easy to use on the go.
to a well-
between its impressive
off-road ability and its
statement, it serves up
a seriously user-friendly
ride. Tatty tarmac and
bumpy blacktop are
brushed off with minimal
fuss and even potholes
hold no fear, so you can
drive confidently and
smoothly with no
jarring or jolts.
This all-new D-MAX
works just fine used as
daily transport, and will,
if you ask it, happily
gobble up all the
long-distance miles you
throw its way...
storage includes two gloveboxes, a convenient lidded storage box built into
the top of the dash, a drop down overhead glasses case, another bin under the
central armrest, a deep tray ahead of the selector lever, bottle-holding door
pockets, siamesed dual-use cupholders in the central tunnel along with multi-use
pull-out drawers with integrated cup-holders fitted either end of the fascia.
Those travelling in the Double Cab's spacious rear compartment fare well, with
plenty of knee-room and increased legroom along with decent headroom. A minimal
rear tunnel frees up plenty of foot room and two adults can share the nicely
padded, fold-out armrest that, along with the outer armrests, keep a body nicely
settled. Despite the upright rear screen, the single section contoured seatback
is set at a comfortable angle which combined with the well-plumped seats makes
for pleasant journeys both long and short.
Other welcome touches include twin cupholders in the armrest, bottle-holding
door bins, generous seatback pouches, a USB port, and rear ventilation control
panel. Large side windows and the full-width rear window make for a light and
airy cabin, so all those travelling in the second row can enjoy expansive views
out. Isofix fittings on the outer back seats tick an important box for those
with a need for child seats the high seating position (the D-Max's back
seats are set six inches higher than the fronts) makes getting youngsters in
and out so much easier.
And the back seats harbour a secret: hidden beneath each lift-up base you'll
find a very useful storage cubby. The one-piece seatback can be folded down
to sit completely flat for a good-sized storage area perfect, in fact,
for your dog (or even dogs!) while protecting the leather from their claws or
If you think of pick-ups as just rough and ready workhorses, you're in for a
pleasant surprise when you get behind the wheel of the D-MAX. Thanks to a well-balanced
trade-off between its impressive off-road ability and its lifestyle mission
statement, it serves up a seriously user-friendly ride.
Tatty tarmac and bumpy blacktop are brushed off with minimal fuss and even potholes
hold no fear, so you can drive confidently and smoothly with no jarring or jolts.
Bear in mind though, that as good as it has become, it can still be a tad bouncy
when unladen as its suspension is designed to cope with a tonne behind the back
seats or stay focussed hauling 3.5 tonnes behind it. Dump some payload in its
bed and you'll find it rides even better. That noted, the D-MAX works just fine
used as daily transport, and will, if you ask it, happily gobble up all the
long-distance miles you throw its way.
pick-ups are not renowned for their economy, but the V-Cross automatic did surprise
us officially, its combined figure is 30.7mpg. However, a week's driving
around Devon's twisty, fuel-sapping back roads saw a commendable average at
the end of eight days: 35.8mpg! Even better was the 38.6mpg we recorded on a
run from Gatwick down to Plymouth. Should you opt for the six-speed manual version,
the official average is 33.6mpg.
ups are not renowned for
their economy, but the
V-Cross automatic did
surprise us officially,
its combined figure
However, a weeks
driving around Devons
back roads saw a
at the end of eight days:
Even better was the
38.6mpg we recorded on
a run from Gatwick down
Should you opt for the
version, the official
average is 33.6mpg...
four-pot turbodiesel is a sociable unit, noticeably more refined than in earlier
incarnations, and although you know it's there when your right foot dials up
some hard acceleration and you hear its affably gruff soundtrack, it's never
intrusive and goes easy on your ears.
The six-speed automatic transmission also lets you 'go manual' if you need to
simply nudge the selector lever to the right and tap lightly to shift
up or down the ratios. It's a well-mannered auto and manages its business smoothly.
Go for the stick-shift instead and you won't regret it because it comes with
a neat change action. Acceleration-wise there's not a lot between the manual
and auto: the auto hits 62mph off the line in 13 seconds; the manual takes 12.7.
Both will run to 112mph.
In common with the rest of the pick-up breed, most D-Maxes will live hard lives
so it's impressive, and doubly reassuring, that the D-Max comes with a five-year
/ 125,000-mile (whichever comes sooner) guarantee; you're also covered for five
years' of roadside assistance. Now that's a warranty package that puts quite
a lot of everyday carmakers to shame.
Handling-wise, the latest D-Max benefits from changes that have improved stability
and boosted agility. Its power steering is an electrically assisted speed-sensitive
set-up, which makes for easier steering during low-speed manoeuvring but adds
weighting as your road speed increases (it also minimises impacts through the
steering wheel from the likes of potholes and when off-road). Body control is
also tightened up and together with the other improvements already mentioned
it has made the D-Max's everyday roadholding more confident while off-road it
is now even more competent with greater axle articulation.
The D-Max is fitted with selectable four-wheel drive that's a no-brainer to
use just twist the rotary control knob on the centre stack to one of
its three settings: 2H (High-range, rear-wheel drive); 4H (High-range, 4WD);
or 4L (Low-range, four-wheel drive).
The default mode for general road use (and the best mpg) is 2H. For moderate
off-road conditions and slippery roads 4H will be fine. But on treacherous ground
think deep, boggy mud and shifting sand or when forging across
country where 'max trax' is essential, 4L is your mode. Incidentally, toggling
between 2H and 4H can be done on the fly at up to 60mph. Extending the D-Max's
off-road repertoire is a rear diff-lock (indispensable in extremis when, say,
one of the rear wheels is off the ground!), hill descent control, and hill start
assist. Good to know, too, that the D-Max features tough underbody protection.
you don't get a normal boot you do get a large load bed that's fitted with a
tough liner and sturdy tie-down eyelets. Despite being of substantial construction,
bulging biceps to raise or lower the damped tailgate aren't needed; and if you're
loading with it in place, you'll be glad of the step integrated into the rear
bumper. For the record, the load bed measures 1,495mm long x 1,530mm wide x
you dont get
a normal boot you do
get a large load bed
thats fitted with a tough
liner and sturdy tie-down
Despite being of
bulging biceps to raise
or lower the damped
tailgate arent needed;
and if youre loading
with it in place, youll be
glad of the step
integrated into the
versions are not just well-specced with 'goodies', they're also packed with
active and passive safety systems. In a first for a pick-up, EuroNCAP awarded
it a five-star rating along with a maximum score for child occupant protection.
Eight airbags (including one for the driver's knee and a centre airbag that
prevents the front occupants from colliding in an impact) are fitted, as is
a forward collision warning system with autonomous emergency braking, lane keeping
assist, lane departure warning and prevention (actively prevents you changing
lanes if there's a vehicle in your blind spot), electronic stability control,
traction control, adaptive cruise control, manual and 'intelligent' (road sign-triggered)
speed limiters, multi-collision braking, blind spot monitoring, emergency lane
keeping, rear cross traffic alert (stops you backing out into moving traffic),
and trailer sway control.
There's even something called AT Pedal Misapplication Mitigation that's there
to save you from yourself (!) by preventing accidents caused by stamping on
the accelerator instead of the brake pedal. Other worthwhile items include traffic
sign recognition, auto lights and wipes, automatic dip/main beam switching,
automatic headlight levelling, Bi-LED headlights, LED daytime running lights,
LED front fogs, and LED taillights.
Those on a tight budget should check out one of the Utility trim D-Max models.
We tested one back-to-back with the range-topping V-Cross and rate it as highly
because while you give up some of the kit such as the auto transmission, smart
alloy wheels, leather upholstery, and heated seats, you still get all the comprehensive
safety stuff, the easy ride and smooth driveability, the 4x4, a bigger load
bed payload (1,115kg), the same reassuring warranty, and 33.6mpg (we averaged
35.5mpg). A Utility Double Cab costs £24,509.
If you're looking for an all-purpose, family-friendly lifestyle vehicle with
four-wheel drive but not an SUV! then the D-Max V-Cross
could be your new best friend. It's well priced, kit-rich (especially safety-wise),
drives convincingly on road and off, and comes with a reassuring five-year/125,000-mile
warranty. Go on… give it a go! ~ MotorBar
Isuzu D-Max V-Cross 4x4 Double Cab Auto
| £32,759 (Excl VAT)
Maximum speed: 112mph | 0-62mph: 13 seconds | Test Average: 35.8mpg
Power: 162bhp | Torque: 266lb ft | CO2: 241g/km