You can read how the vastly improved 2012 Isuzu D-Max pick-up truck fared in our Pick-up Of The Year test starting on page 46, but Isuzu hasn’t stopped at improving the outgoing Rodeo this year, having just announced the introduction of two new body styles to join the range for the very first time in the UK. And it has also confirmed a four-star Euro NCAP safety rating, writes Hils Everitt.
The utility and construction sectors should be rubbing their hands with glee as they now have the choice of a Single Cab and Extended Cab, alongside the familiar double cab, with a safety rating to please fleet managers; combined with the new body styles, this may grant the D-Max even more clout in the sector.
Prices start from £16,249 (plus VAT) for the new single cab (4×4), which boasts a payload of 1136kg and you’ll get 38.2mpg out of it on the combined cycle. The extended cab is only available as a 4×4 and starts from £16,749 (plus VAT) with a 1085kg payload. Like the Double Cab they’ll both tow 3000kgs and offer the excellent 30° approach angle. Due to customer demand the new trucks come with a utilitarian bent with steel wheels, fabric seats, vinyl floor, plastic bumpers, door handles and grille for easy cleaning, maintenance and repair.
If you order your new Isuzu model now, you may have a wait. There is currently a claimed 100,000 back order due to the floods in Thailand affecting supply, but Isuzu assures us that factories are working flat out to catch up.
As well as the new body styles, the D-Max, in Double Cab form, now offers an auto option and bespoke specs – as well as the regular Eiger, Utah and Yukon – one of which has been inspired by our very own TV chef Mike Robinson – see December’s issue. The ‘Huntsman’ (pictured above right) has load bed drawers, a winch and ramp, heavy-duty sidesteps, ATs, tow bar, seven-pin electrics, reversing camera, Pioneer sat nav and no chrome if so desired so as not to scare the animals with shiny reflections. You can decide exactly which of this lot you want, and during 2013 other specs designed for utility workers will be available. In the meantime, you can opt for the ‘Vision’ pack now with Yukon or Utah models which includes Pioneer satnav, rear-view parking camera, CD/DVD playback, MP3, micro SD, USB, iPod and Parrot Bluetooth hands-free, all for £900 plus VAT.
Isuzu currently enjoys 14per cent market share since the launch of the new D-Max in June close behind Nissan, Mitsubishi and Ford at 15per cent. In the retail sector it boasts a top 30per cent being dominant in the rural and agricultural sector. “We are not so good in the construction and utility sector and want to improve fleet sales,” suggests a spokesman; the new body styles are an attempt to solve that. The good news is that there are now 98 dealers in the UK and four Land Rover dealers are now taking the D-Max; praise indeed. ‘We want to be No 1 in the pick-up market’, says official comment; well, with a four-star NCAP and the first in class to provide a five-year/125,000 warranty it may be possible…