I drove the Isuzu D-Max – it looks awesome but I have a complaint about the engine


ISUZU’S tried and trusted pick-up, loved by builders and farmers up and down the country, has been taken to the max in the new Isuzu D-Max.

Re-engineered by Icelandic off-road extremist Arctic Trucks, this new top-of-the-range adventure-ready edition will get you noticed on any terrain.

Dubbed the AT35 on account of its fearsomely huge 35in mud-plugging BF Goodrich tyres, a bespoke Bilstein suspension system combines with them to help hoist the cabin a further 50mm skywards.

And not just looking awesome, it also improves approach and departure angles, meaning there really aren’t that many places you can’t take this whopper unless of course it’s through a width restriction.

Those extended flared wheel arches and matt black alloys really are quite hard to stop looking at.

Crucially, this kick-ass D-Max retains its commercial vehicle status with its one-ton-plus payload and 3.5-tonne towing capacity unaffected by the mods.

This also of course means you can knock the tax off the price tag and save £10k if bought for work.

Sold, serviced and shown off in Isuzu dealerships, this monster truck even comes with Isuzu’s five-year/125,000 miles warranty and, somewhat amusingly, five years’ roadside assistance.

Taking all the kit from the V-Cross model – Apple CarPlay, leather, eight-speaker sound system and more clever cup holders than you’ll ever have cups for – it is familiarly loaded but with a twist.

That being the AT branding littered about the place and a wireless phone charger.

You’d have thought, with those wild off-road boots, that the on-road performance would be laughable.

But thanks to Arctic Trucks’ three decades of dealing with just that, it’s not.

It’s obviously no Range Rover on the road and requires a dash more steering input than a more sensibly-wheeled D-Max, but I did a solid 500 miles of motorways and country lanes, dirt tracks and stony beaches with ease and a smile on my face.

While you can choose manual or automatic transmissions – the difference being £2k – it only comes in 1.9-litre diesel flavour.

Which is a bit of a shame, given a boost of irresponsible petrol-propelled performance would have admittedly gone down a treat.

It may be nearly twice the price of the entry-level double cab D-Max but it’s more than twice the fun.

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