Pick-up trucks have never been famous in India and those which are known are generally seen in commercial usage for transportation purposes only. But, there are people who look for quality products which can serve their interests best and suit their lifestyle unlike any other SUV. Isuzu is one company which seems to have taken this consideration seriously and that is why they have entered India with their globally acclaimed pick-up truck, the D-Max Space cab arched deck. Does this pick-up have the potential to mark its presence or will it just add to the list of pick-up trucks in India?
Powertrain and Performance
Isuzu is globally known for their high performance diesel engines and D-Max also gets a very responsive engine. It's powered by a 2.5 litre, 4 cylinder CRDI engine which is the downsized version of the 3.0L diesel engine doing duty in Isuzu's flagship model, the MU-7. This engine in the D-Max generates a maximum power output of 134 bhp. The most enjoyable thing about this engine is its heavy torque which makes sure you never run out of breath. Its peak torque output of 294Nm ranges between 1800-3200 rpm which is adequately supplied to its front wheels by a 5-speed manual gearbox. Undoubtedly, the D-Max is a large vehicle and it weighs quite a lot as well but, the strong low and mid range of its engine never lets you feel its actual size.
This engine takes inclinations with ease and you can always gear up while climbing as its gear ratios are perfectly matched and helps reducing the stress from the engine. Test it on wide open roads and you will be amazed by its performance. Isuzu claims a top speed of 175 kph for the D-Max which always seem a tap away thanks to its amazing performance. The clutch also feels surprisingly light keeping its engine and vehicle size in mind confirming you ease of usage in city driving. The suspension setup of the D-Max includes independent coil springs at front with anti-roll bar while traditional leaf spring does duty at the back. This suspension of the D-Max feels on the softer side thus resulting into complete absorption of potholes and broken roads without any complaint. Yes, there is body roll when you push it around the corners but only by SUV standards and that's quite impressive. 15 inch wheels with wide section tyres gives you a good grip while you take it off road and its high ground clearance of 195mm is also helpful as it jumps off most of the obstacles with ease even with full load at the back. Parking the D-Max in tight areas is a real task as its 5 metres in length, but its light and accurate steering makes things a bit easier.
Build and Styling
The D-Max shares its styling cues with company's flagship model, the MU-7. The vertically placed multi-reflector headlights and broad front chrome grille are the two most striking things about the D-Max. The Arched Deck variant looks further classy with usage of chrome on its door handles. This variant features body-colored door handles, ORVMs and bumpers which differentiate it from its cheaper variants. The bonnet scoop for its turbocharger also adds to the sporty character of this truck and makes it look attractive. Raised suspension, bold wheel arches and high ground clearance further gives it a rugged look. The rear look is completed by tail lights placed on the both ends of the truck along with a sealed glass giving view into the driver's cabin. The cabin of this Arched Deck version of D-Max feels like any premium car with short gear knob, four spoke- steering wheel, power windows and high quality of buttons used for AC controls. The features include AC with heater, adjustable steering wheel, 1.5 ft luggage space behind the front seats, adjustable seats and central locking. However, it misses out safety features such as airbags and ABS. The front seats offer you incredible amount of under thigh and back support and feels extremely comfortable while there is enough leg room for front passengers as well.
The D-Max has most of the qualities of a proper SUV be it the styling, performance or interiors, and it is a very competitive product. Moreover, Isuzu has priced it brilliantly in our market which makes it a nice option for those who have been willing to buy a proper and mature pick-up truck. Looking at the handling and performance of the D-Max, one can even consider it to be a daily usage vehicle which can take you from home to office and back and be your weekend companion as well. Surely, it's a thoughtful and functional product which will surely be recognised in our market.