12:00pm Thursday 12th July 2012
By Steve Teale
Pick-ups always were big business in America. Now it seems we’re catching the bug, too.
These vehicles are popular among farmer-types and people who love the rugged outdoors.
Pick-ups, or utes (utility) vehicles as Americans tend to call them, have come on in leaps and bounds in recent years with improvements to quality and specification.
One of the most interesting new models is the D-Max, from Isuzu, which claims to be aggressively styled with impressive performance and a refined cabin.
In recognition of what Isuzu calls a ‘fundamental upshift in performance, quality, efficiency and refinement’, the new model bears a fresh name for the UK pick-up sector.
D-Max is already popular in some parts of the globe and costing £14,499 to £21,499, this diesel-powered beat seems likely to win a following here, too. Isuzu’s new pick-up sees the introduction of extensively redeveloped common-rail diesel engines, which will deliver improved emissions and economy together with more flexible power and torque.
William Brown, general manager of Isuzu UK, said: “The result of an exhaustive development process that included extensive research amongst customers around the world, the all-new Isuzu D-Max is an incredibly appealing package that will deliver in every key area that matters to those in farming, construction and other outdoor industries.” With deliveries under way, the vehicle will be covered by a unique-in-class five-year, 120,000-mile warranty. With many thousands of expressions of interest already received for the D-Max before it arrives on UK roads (and farms, building sites and country estates), Isuzu is anticipating a bumper year for sales of its new pick-up.
“Warranty cover for five years or 120,000 miles gives buyers of the new Isuzu D-Max peace of mind for longer than any other pick-up in the UK,” said Mr Brown. “Isuzu has become renowned for producing rugged, durable pick-ups, and we’re now demonstrating our absolute confidence in the toughness of our new product.”
It will be available with four specification levels and three cab configurations – extended cab, single cab and double cab. Prices range from £14,499 for the single cab 4x2 derivative, rising to £21,499 for the range-topping ‘Utah’ specification double cab automatic.
Even the entry-level Isuzu D-Max offers a generous complement of standard equipment, including air conditioning, daytime running lights, electric windows and front, side and curtain airbags.
Power comes in the form of a highly fuel-efficient 2.5-litre twin-turbo common rail diesel engine, available with newly-developed six-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmissions.
As well as being the most comprehensively developed, most efficient and most refined Isuzu pick-up ever produced, D-Max is also highly capable load-lugging workhorse: it has a three-tonne (braked) towing capacity and a payload capacity of over 1,000kg.
Sales of Isuzu pick-up vehicles in the UK rose by 11 per cent last year, putting the UK market firmly at the top of the brand’s European sales chart.
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