WHENEVER someone is contemplating to buy a pick-up truck,
the Isuzu D-Max always comes up on the list. It offers truck driers that
"feeling of control" and that nothing can or should get in their way. Having
powerful torque or turning power is not just a quality; it's a prerequisite
to move all that metal that makes the truck. And the D-Max is tough indeed.
It's common knowledge that all (popular) trucks can take a hit or two and
the D-Max is no exception.
If there's anything else that the D-Max makers like to brag about, it's
the truck's low fuel consumption. Apparently, people have driven from the
Klang Valley to Bangkok one single tankful of diesel. That's impressive.
Diesel price has gone up and even I will feel happy if I can stretch a full
tank to travel 700km. That's easy enough o achieve, I'm sure, and that's
coming from someone who's quite horrible in pocket-friendly driving.
Driving trucks with leaf springs can be jumpy but somehow Isuzu has
minimized this in the latest D-Max. The suspension however still does not
stabilize the frame once the vehicle goes over a pothole or an undulating
surface but it seems to be better with this new model than its predecessors.
I tried loading the flatbed with some really heavy furniture, which I
wanted to get rid off anyway, and the rear of the D-Max felt more planted.
The brake needs getting used to because it's a tad soft which becomes
especially troublesome with a heavy load at the back.
Moving to the interior, Isuzu clearly knows that their D-Max is now
mainstream enough to not make it look too industrial. The steering wheel
even comes with audio controls while the tail lights are LEDs.
My six-speed automatic test truck is immediately recognizable as the
top-spec variant since the rest in the family come with a five-speed manual.
The auto gear is quite competent yet unremarkable at the same time. It
shifts smoothly enough although it tends to go to the next ratio too early.
The new Isuzu D-Max exhibits the company's ability to be flexible as it
has incorporated more elements that make the truck more people-friendly.
there's a contemporary look to it as well, both to the exterior and cabin.
Its double-cab offers adequate room for rear passengers. Its
air-conditioning system takes quite some time to cool the interior but
that's just a minor problem.