Having been Australia’s best-selling medium truck brand for over two decades, Isuzu is now making its mark in the UK. The all new Isuzu D-MAX 2012 will soon be as familiar in the suburbs of Sussex as the Range Rover. However, can this new model match up to its greatest rival, the Holden Colorado, which has been an Australian favourite for many years? The comparisons are already being made between this new Isuzu model and the familiar car in the Australian outback, the Holden.
Looks wise, the all new Isuzu D-Max is a good looking vehicle. It is a very modern car, with enhanced safety including six airbags as standard and extra passenger and cargo space. The engine is a Euro 5-compliant 2.5-litre common-rail diesel engine. For the technical person, this runs twin turbochargers, lifting output to 119kW and torque to 400Nm from 1400rpm. For the UK market, there are four levels of specification and three body types.
Added extras include driver and passenger reading lights, heated rear screen and heating ducts, electronic climate control and height-adjustable rear headrests. Sixteen and 17-inch alloy wheels, are also features as well as a six-speaker audio system, leather trim, roof bars and rear parking sensors.
One of the details that the company has highlighted as being important to commercial and fleet customers, the design includes a ‘Space’ cab with small rear wing doors. According to Isuzu, this provides load versatility and pillar-less entry convenience.
The similarities with the Holden Colorado include spaciousness and the 24-degree recline for the rear seat back. Performance wise, the Isuzu offers different gearing and acceleration with its 3.0-litre turbo-diesel. In terms of suspension, the Isuzu D-MAX has a different calibration making it a bit softer over bumps.
Although the body of the car has been classed as aggressive, the sloping bonnet and prominent roofline have been designed to make it more aerodynamic with a drag cD of 0.47. Flared wheel-arches manufactured from steel instead of plastic enhance the side view.
The introduction of the Isuzu D-MAX into the UK market is a bold move but this 4x4 certainly has the looks to succeed. The fact that the testing procedure has been carried out in Australian conditions means that this car should be able to withstand the rigours of Sussex life without too many problems. It will be interesting to see how the Isuzu D-MAX fares in a tamer environment.