This is a pick-up that seems insatiably popular. While it lags behind the Ford Ranger in the sales charts, you’d understandably think the opposite if you counted just how many seem to be out and about plying a trade. D-Maxes seem to be everywhere.
It’s the only thing Isuzu sells in the UK these days, with the Trooper long since dead (having preceded the SUV craze) while quirky oddballs like the VehiCross and Piazza are now a distant memory.
But that’s not to say the D-Max plays things with a completely straight bat: there’s a slightly bewildering array of options when you go to spec one up, starting with the usual single- and double-cab commercial options, going via an actual tipper truck and the strangely masked XTR and ending with the frankly mad Arctic Trucks AT35 (pictured in black in the gallery above). The latter has been prepped for adventure by the same people who sorted the Toyota Hilux you likely saw the old TGTV team take all the way to the North Pole.
Chances are you’re not buying a D-Max for such frolics, though, in which case the AT35 acts as a mad flagship to the range much like a BMW M5 tempts all those company car users into a diesel 5 Series. It’s the one that makes you want an Isuzu over the multitudinous other pick-up options you can currently choose from. For there really are many.
This second-generation D-Max has been on sale since 2011, and received an update in 2015 as well as more recently, where newly modern infotainment – including an ultra-high-def Apple CarPlay display – can be optionally fitted into its otherwise delightfully big-buttoned, no-nonsense interior.
Every single one, whether it’s an entry-level single-cab workhorse or a mini-monster truck with 35-inch tyres, uses the same 161bhp 1.9-litre turbodiesel engine which is loudly and proudly a commercial vehicle powertrain, endowing the D-Max with the ability to tow 3.5 tonnes. You’ve a choice of manual or automatic gearboxes, with prices starting at a smidge over £17,000 before VAT for a basic (ish) single-cab, stretching the other side of £40,000 if you want the full Icelandic-spec Arctic Trucks special.
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