This review is from Fleet Auto News.
It looks like the team at Isuzu have really ramped up the safety considerations in their 2021 D-Max offering. Which is welcome news for tradies, who often shoulder sole responsibility for their business and need a trusty ‘workhorse’ to get the job done. So, is the new D-Max a tradie’s dream come true? .
A seasoned car reviewer, Marc understands the importance of not letting your own bias influence your opinions of a vehicle you’re testing out. He believes need a few days to forget about how the car you drive daily feels and performs. And sure enough, when he picked up the new Isuzu D-Max in Sydney, he was confronted with both issues.
There had been a lot of hype around the new model launch, and so Marc’s expectations were suitably high. He’d requested the SX 4X4 base model with the heavy-duty suspension, figuring it’d be the model most likely chosen for business fleets. But as he took to the wheel, his bias kicked in. He’s more of the comfortable SUV type than the bouncy and functional ute type. Luckily, he recognised his preconceptions and stuck it out.
After a few days bouncing around the roads, Marc realised that, were he a tradie, he would be very happy driving the D-Max day in and out. Despite the bumpiness, it proved a comfortable ride and had everything required of a fleet truck – and more.
Notably, the pleasantly surprising inclusion in the base model is its multitude of safety features. These are additions that historically cost extra and therefore often don’t make the cut for business fleet selection. In a win for road safety, it seems Isuzu Ute Australia (IUA) have removed the need to make that difficult decision, with the same level of active and passive features included across the range.
In fact, the entire virtual launch of the 2021 Isuzu D-Max echoed with messages of safety. And this ute walks the walk; packed with features normally found only in luxury passenger vehicles.
The standout feature in Marc’s eyes is the Intelligent Speed Limiter. This unique technology syncs up to the Traffic Sign Recognition system, meaning you can set the Limiter to match local speed restrictions such as school zones. The vehicle then won’t exceed the upper speed limit, even you’re a bit heavy on the pedal. This is a great feature in terms of keeping road users safe, and in terms of reducing costs associated with speed infringements.
Having mastered the based model Isuzu D-Max, Marc swapped the keys over to review the flagship X-Terrain.
He reported that the ride was great, with normal suspension that felt more like an SUV and remained stable at higher speeds. The X-Terrain steps it up a notch with leather seats, however Marc did concede that he missed the heavy duty ‘wash out’ interior of the SX when he took this one off-road.
When it started raining on one of his last days with the X-Terrain, Marc was able to test out its auto wipers, or rather, they tested themselves out. It was then he received one final D-Max surprise and delight: it had also rained while he had the base model SX, but he couldn’t remember switching on the wipers. A quick lookup of the specifications confirmed that base model also boasts the auto wiper function as standard – happy days.
All drivers look for different things in their vehicles. Some prize lumbar adjustments in the driver’s seat, while others consider climate control and keyless entry as non-negotiables. Marc just wants a tissue box to fit in the centre console. And while the new Isuzu D-Max does actual offer very generous centre storage; it ticks many more boxes than just tissues.