Alex Bradley is a skilled writer and digital content specialist focusing on automotive and sports. He has a degree in Multimedia Journalism and previously worked for The Northern Quota as Head Sports Editor.
The Isuzu D-Max is a versatile pickup truck that's great for outdoor enthusiasts and tradespeople. Now in its second generation, the D-Max comes with an impressive towing capacity, loads of safety equipment, and good off-road capabilities.
Our Isuzu D-Max review covers:
The exterior design of the D-Max is a classic pickup truck. You've got a large 'double-fang' grille that makes it look quite aggressive, distinctive headlights, and a choice between single, double, or extended cab styles.
As expected for a pickup truck, there's plenty of space in the front of the D-Max. Those over six feet get plenty of leg and headroom, and the large central armrest means you won't be brushing shoulders. In the double cab version, three passengers can fit on the rear bench.
There's also plenty of storage options. There's a cubby in front of the gear lever and a large bin under the armrest, and in the back, there's a couple of door bins and two cup holders.
At the rear, the bed size varies depending on your choice of cabin. The bigger the cabin, the smaller the load bed. Regardless, all sizes can carry more than 1,000kg and have four tie-down hoops to keep your cargo secure.
Climb inside the cabin of the D-max, and you'll find a well-equipped interior that's been built to last. The dashboard has a decent amount of soft-touch plastics, and the top-range trims feature leather upholstery. There's no denying the interior of the D-Max is decent, but it falls short of the luxurious SsangYong Musso.
On the standard Utility D-Max, you get a 4.2-inch multi-information display that's a bit of a blast from the past with it having a CD player. Upgrade to DL40, and you get a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system, which is further increased to nine inches in the V-Cross trim. It's a decent system that responds quickly, but the graphics aren't as sharp as in the Ford Ranger or Volkswagen Amarok.
The D-Max is available in five trims: Utility, DL20, DL40, V-Cross, and Arctic Trucks.
Utility has 16 or 18-inch steel wheels, automatic headlights with high beam assist, cloth upholstery, a six-way adjustable driver's seat, vinyl floor covering, a height/reach adjustable steering wheel, manual air conditioning, speed-sensitive power steering, hill start assist, advanced driver assist systems, a start/stop system, and trailer sway control.
DL20 adds 18-inch alloy wheels, front fog lights, a body-coloured front/rear bumper, heated front seats, steering wheel mounted audio and cruise controls, a driver's footrest, a carpet floor trim, remote control central locking, rear differential lock, cruise control, and rear parking sensors.
DL40 has 18-inch two-tone alloy wheels, bi-LED headlights, LED rear lights, chrome exterior styling, leather upholstery, an eight-way adjustable driver's seat, a leather steering wheel, keyless entry/start, dual-zone climate control, a seven-inch touchscreen, and a reversing camera.
V-Cross has 18-inch dark grey alloy wheels, a gunmetal grey exterior, and a nine-inch touchscreen.
Arctic Trucks is designed for off-roading and has 17-inch black alloy wheels, an Arctic Trucks exterior and interior styling pack, roof rails, a torque wrench, a wireless phone charger, forward collision warning, autonomous emergency braking, lane keep assist, rear cross-traffic alert, and adaptive cruise control.
Under the bonnet, you get a four-cylinder, 1.9-litre diesel engine in the D-Max. In the entry-level Utility trim, you get a choice of two or four-wheel drive, while in every other trim, it comes standard with four-wheel drive.
For the gearbox, you get a six-speed manual or automatic transmission.
The engine pulls well from low revs and it has 162bhp and accelerates from 0-62mph in 12.7 seconds. It feels similar to the entry-level Toyota Hilux but falls short of the most powerful engines in the Ford Ranger and Volkswagen Amarok.
Get on the road, and the D-Max returns pretty decent performance, both with and without a full load. Its handling is decent and easy enough to control when tackling a bend, but it's not as refined and engaging as in the Ford Ranger.
Its suspension is better than its previous generation; however, it does feel a bit bouncy with an empty load. If you're carrying cargo, you won't have many complaints as it tackles bumps in the road and potholes with ease.
The worst part about driving the D-Max is the engine noise when you up the speed. Get to motorway speed, and there's an orchestra of road noise in the cabin, and it's certainly not as quiet as the Ford Ranger or SsongYang Musso.
If you like an off-road excursion or drive over rough terrain often, the D-Max is the pickup for you. It feels at home off-road and tackles rugged terrain with ease, and the lockable rear differential provides maximum traction. If you want total off-roading capabilities, the Arctic Trucks trim is superb and can take on almost any conditions.
Prices for the new Isuzu D-Max start from £28,708.80 OTR* or to lease from £384.36 per month.
Leasing may be cheaper than an outright purchase, thanks to a low initial deposit and fixed monthly rentals.
*' On the road' price correct at time of publication and includes one year's road fund license, DVLA first registration fee and number plate fee. Prices are subject to change; always check with your nearest retailer.