Test: isuzu pickup trucks D-Max Space Country Edition: a very useful pickup

Test: isuzu pickup trucks D-Max Space Country Edition: a very useful pickup


Useful or futile?

It’s not a secret: pick-ups benefit from a tax niche that makes them machines appreciated by those who love leisure vehicles, or who see them as a palliative to family SUVs. Is this the case with this isuzu pickup trucks D-Max?

The first Isuzu tested in the entire history of the blog! #emotion!

Attention, here is an exclusive: this is the first Isuzu tested in the entire history of the blog! It is therefore with a hint of emotion, a small tear related to stress and a bead of sweat on my forehead that I sit behind the wheel of this car. Isuzu: we never talk about it on the blog and we’re wrong because the brand is 102 years old!

Founded in 1916, this Japanese company based in Tokyo has certainly been oriented since its inception on commercial vehicles. So, if it is quite discreet with us, you will see tons of it on the roads of Asia and Africa. In France, moreover,

there is only one “civilian” model (a few minibuses and small trucks from 3.5 to 14 tonnes are also in the catalogue): the D-Max.

The ancestor of the D-Max, vintage 1963: super stylish, right?

The D-Max is the pickup. And the pick-up, at Isuzu, is 7.5 million cars produced since 1963. And how did the idea for this test come to me? It’s simple: a memory of my years in Africa (where I successively had two Toyota Hi-Lux V6 4.0 in a company vehicle), enough to appreciate these machines, and then, a lot of pick-up tests. up for the blog. Let’s mention the Mitsubishi L200 Appalaches 2015 then the restyled version of the L200 2.4 DiDen 2016; likewise, the old model Nissan Navara in 2.5 dCi 144 then the new in 2.3 dCi 160 King Cab, the same for the Ford Ranger in 3.2 TDCI with its generous 5 cylinders, then in 2.2 TDCI and its 160 horsepower. More recently, I drove the VW Amarok in V6 TDI and I liked it! The Toyota Hi-Lux is missing.

When stopped, there is plenty of space to shoot football goals…

For 2018, the D-Max has changed a bit: the colour palette goes from 9 to 7 shades (but three new ones are appearing,

a red, a blue and a grey). The finish of the dashboard evolves, the leather of the top-of-the-range Qasar version is of better quality, the power of USB charging is improved, the power steering pump is quieter, a trailer stability control system made its appearance,

A lot of changes for 2018…


The pick-up is still supposed to be a work vehicle. A ton of cement in the dumpster, 3.5 tons on the trailer, it pulls! As a result, the manufacturers keep fairly generous

mechanicals: as such, I can’t wait to get my hands on the Mercedes X-Class and its V6 350 Diesel! Nevertheless, Isuzu goes a little against the current. While

the previous version of the D-Max was powered by a 2.5 Diesel, the latest generation uses a “small” 1.9 D block! Admittedly, its values ​​are not dishonourable: 164 hp at 3600 rpm (remember that the previous 2.5 produced 163 hp!) and 360 Nm at 2000 rpm (on the other hand, the 2.5 produced 400 Nm), it is not so bad because the D-Max is given for 180 km/h Chrono and a mixed consumption of 7 l/100 and 183 grams of CO2 in NDEC standard; in reality, after (zou) a long test drive,

Under the hood, a small 1.9 D: will that be enough?

And then the pros will appreciate the low maintenance required: between the distribution chain, the accessory belts with

automatic tensioners, and the valve clearance with hydraulic adjustment, the D-Max only requires oil changes and (Isu-) shoo! In addition, it is guaranteed for 5 years. That too speaks to the pros.

Country Edition: a beautiful tipper ready to use…

My test car was a limited series Country Edition, brought up with a lot of episodes of Sheriff, scare me! a high-end sound system to listen to the best of Johnny Cash in his early days, even if, I tend to prefer his reinterpretation of Personal Jesus. Not that here: inside, a Pioneer car radio with red diodes, so the eighties !, but it still offers a USB port that recharges and is full of functions, even if I had trouble pairing my iPhone. On the other hand, the dashboard is quite complete and readable, with its onboard computer in the central position. Note, however, the presence of an integrated GPS on the two high-end versions.

Rustic? yeah…

Country vibe?

And then, Country Edition, it comes for the complete covering of the dumpster and a hitch for the trailers: we can see, this Isuzu is a professional thing (a truck  !)!

In reality, the interior of the D-Max is a big generation behind its competitors. It’s solid and well-built, and it’ll probably withstand a nuclear

war (or years of use on a construction site), but it’s not glamorous. Suddenly, the D-Max is more useful than futile. No modern infotainment, no fancy driver assistance, no unnecessary comfort. However, after a few hours on the road, we appreciate the good comfort of the seats and the rather correct sound insulation.

Up front, things are going pretty well…

That’s not all: if the gear lever deflections are well in the register of the commercial vehicle (they are long and rubbery),

the box is rather well staged and the “small” 1.9 shows that it has, in fact, some resources. Suddenly, he carves the road in

silence (but not without trepidation of his rear axle), at 2300 rpm in sixth gear at 130 km/h, and with the flexibility of the engine,

we manage to manoeuvre his 5.29 m of long enough easily, even in town.

At the back, a little less…

This is also the real good surprise of this test: 1.9 does the job. The 6-speed manual gearbox (a 6-speed auto is also available, it advantageously replaces

the old and antediluvian BVA5 of the 2.5), has a short first, useful in all terrain or for towing. So, in reality, you can start in second gear in most cases.

On the comfort side, there too, the Isuzu is a little late. Not on the seats or the soundproofing, as we said, but the rigid axle plus leaf spring combination is stiff when

the machine is not loaded, and the competition does better, especially since the small jump seats at the back are spartan.

It may be different on the double cabin version which, for 2018, has seen its springs go from 5 to 3 blades and increased travel (from 7 to 9 cm).

As a result, it would indeed be necessary to refine its judgment with a Double Cab Qasar version, top of the range, but in

the current state of things, the D-Max Space Cab seems to me much less comfortable and user-friendly than, at random, a Nissan Navara dCi 160 King Cab,

which can still claim to be a leisure vehicle in this definition.

If the 1.9 block is rather convincing, and it’s a surprise with a machine that still weighs 1900 kilos, in the current state of things,

the D-Max is intended more for the pros. Useful, not futile. And from €26,370 excluding tax (€31,644 including tax) in the Solar Plus finish with automatic

air conditioning and BVM, this bodywork is available from €22,030 excluding tax in the Satellite finish.


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