Car Reviewed: Isuzu D-Max V-Cross Auto
The Isuzu D-Max test car was the range-topper in their Adventure series. Visually, it’s marked out by the colour range and Black Chrome wheels. Ours looked handsome in Spinel Red Mica. Gun-metal exterior accents add to the effect.
TV commercials currently aim to sell this pick-up by showing a guy driving down to the beach with his surfboard and heading towards the waves or an intrepid hiker about to get out his climbing ropes.
At the other end of the scale, we loaded up with old tree branches from the garden and a variety of unwanted recyclables to take to the council tip…
The car, being an automatic (only available in this Adventure version), could not have been easier to drive. However, with the 4-cylinder, 2.4-litre diesel engine being on the noisy side at lower speeds, the car felt to be always a very busy worker. The 164PS engine is lively enough for everyday situations. Torque comes out at 360Nm from 2000-25000 rpm. 0-62mph comes up in 13 seconds.
All that said, once cruising speeds had been reached and at 70 mph on the motorway, it was commendably quiet, allowing appreciation of the eight-speaker sound system.
The car proved to be very comfortable to ride in, as remarked by my passengers both in the front and the back. This model is upholstered in leather. The driver’s seat (and the passenger’s) is heated and has powered eight-way adjustments and lumbar support. There is no parcel shelf in the rear, but stowage is provided under the seats.
Hard cornering revealed only a slight lean over and, with its good brakes, the overall impression was of safety and security.
As an off-roader, the Isuzu is fully equipped, including a rear diff lock, Hill Start Assist, and Hill Descent Control. As an ordinary road car, it so happened that our week with it was particularly wet and such vehicles are perfect for handling flooded country lanes, as indeed was the V-Cross.
The test car came without a hard-top or load cover, and at one point, there were a good two inches of water swilling around the back, although this did not appear to have the slightest effect on the handling. Some sort of protection over the rear screen might be a good idea if large, bulky loads are being carried.
The view for the driver was generally very good, with the minor exception of the large exterior wing mirror occasionally impeding the negotiation of tight corners and bricked roundabouts.
Safety sophistication came in the form of such features as front and rear parking sensors (with a reversing camera), Trailer Sway Control, Rear Radar Chipping Guard, Multi-Collision Brake and the usual array found universally in today’s world.
The automatics also come with Adaptive Cruise Control. The Forward Collision Warning seemed a touch too sensitive for my liking, but, I suppose, better than nothing.
Connectivity? Yes, it’s all on board with Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and DAB radio. A charging cradle for your mobile would be a desirable addition. Perhaps the same could be said for a satellite navigation system, but doubtless, the vast majority of drivers would have this as an app on their mobile.
After driving the V-Cross nearly three hundred miles, half of that on motorways and dual-carriageways, and otherwise, with plenty of starting and stopping, the info displayed showed fuel consumption at a reasonable 36.7 mpg at an average speed of 34 mph.
As such, the large 16.7-gallon fuel tank can give a whopping range of 612 miles.
Like all of today’s double-cab pick-ups, the V-Cross can be registered as a Light Commercial Vehicle, in which case, before any hard-top, it’s priced at £35,779. The manual gearbox model would be £1500 less (and, by the way, there is no 60 mph speed restriction).
As a purely private car, add on 20%, totalling £42,860. Hard-tops will add a few thousand, depending on your choice.
Looking for a top-of-the-line pick-up that can handle both your lifestyle and utility needs? Then the Isuzu V-Cross may just be the perfect fit for you.
Tom Scanlan has written for a wide variety of magazines and newspapers, particularly the Reading Evening Post for ten years, having got into motoring journalism in 1973 via the somewhat unlikely back door of the British Forces Broadcasting Service. BFBS produced a weekly radio motoring show for the services overseas and Tom produced it, as well as interviewing experts and eventually reporting on cars.
He is into classic cars and has owned Porsche, Ferrari, pre-war Alvis and Rileys and currently owns his fifth old Alfa Romeo, a 1984 GTV 2.0.
In his spare time, Tom is a professional cricket coach.