In-depth reviews

Isuzu D-Max pickup - Engines, drive & performance

The Isuzu D-Max has just one engine, which is noisy under acceleration

Carbuyer Rating

3.4 out of 5

Engines, drive & performance Rating

3.3 out of 5

Unsurprisingly, the Isuzu D-Max is a diesel-only affair. While other pickups offer a number of engines, there’s just one in the D-Max – a 163bhp 1.9-litre turbodiesel that provides plenty of punch, thanks in part to relatively short gear ratios. The problem, however, is that the short first gear means you have to rev the engine quite hard before changing up, which makes a lot of noise.

Having a short first gear will help when towing but you may find it easier to set off in second gear when not carrying anything. The automatic is better in some regards, even if we found it to be a little slower to react than the new 10-speed auto in the Ford Ranger.

Isuzu D-Max diesel engine

The Isuzu D-Max can get from 0-62mph in 12.7 seconds, which is fairly competitive for a pickup. Specifying the automatic gearbox sees that rise slightly to 13 seconds.

Both automatic and manual gearboxes were new for the facelifted D-Max and both have short ratios, meaning lots of gearchanges are required at low speeds, although the fact the pickup has six gears means it’s reasonably relaxed on the motorway. There’s a low-range gearbox on both the manual and automatic, which improves traction off-road.

For a pumped up pickup like the Ranger Raptor, it’s worth hunting out an XTR model, which isn’t currently available new. It gets a bold look; black bodywork cladding, extended wheelarches and graphics on the bodywork set it apart from other versions, while a 250mm taller ride height sees it towering over most traffic. The body still feels impressively tied down for a pickup but, despite being upgraded for the XTR, the brakes still feel like they can struggle to stop the two-tonne D-Max sharply. The new green-painted suspension and Pirelli off-road tyres certainly deliver in tough conditions, and effective hill descent control is reassuring when teetering on the edge of a slippery slope.

Recommended

Isuzu D-Max updated with new variants
Isuzu D-Max 2021
Isuzu D-Max pickup
5 Apr 2022

Isuzu D-Max updated with new variants

Isuzu D-Max pickup review
2021 Isuzu D-Max off-road
Isuzu D-Max
11 Nov 2021

Isuzu D-Max pickup review

Top 7 best pickup trucks 2022
Ford Ranger Wildtrak crossing a river
Best cars
14 Oct 2021

Top 7 best pickup trucks 2022

Most Popular

Best new car deals 2022: this week’s top car offers
MG HS
Deals
12 Aug 2022

Best new car deals 2022: this week’s top car offers

Top 10 best electric family cars 2022
MG ZS EV - front
Best cars
8 Aug 2022

Top 10 best electric family cars 2022

Kia EV4 SUV to take on the Volvo XC40 Recharge
2024 Kia EV4 - front
News
5 Aug 2022

Kia EV4 SUV to take on the Volvo XC40 Recharge

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
23 Mar 2022

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Electric car charging station
Tips and advice
5 Nov 2021

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Car buying
17 May 2022

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
20 Jun 2022

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors 2022
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors 2022

Top 10 best electric cars 2022
Ioniq 5
Best cars
12 Jul 2022

Top 10 best electric cars 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022
Nissan Leaf front
Best cars
12 Jul 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2022
Audi RS 3 driving - front view
Hot hatches
24 Jun 2022

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2022