ON TEST D-Max 1.9 TD Blade.
Can a 1.9-litre engine work in a one-tonner? That’s the question Isuzu needs to answer if the D-Max is to maintain the huge success it’s achieved, with a 2.5-litre engine, since 2012.
There’s more to the new D-Max than just less cubes, however. Its styling has been freshened up, its cabin has been improved and all models now feature hill start assist and descent control. The front is now more pedestrian-friendly, too.
The D-Max tested here is the range-topping Blade double-cab, complete with auto gearbox. This would cost £28,24 plus VAT; price apart, does the character of a topspec truck sit comfortably with that of such a small engine?
First impressions are certainly promising. The Blade’s dressed-up does feel special; in particular, the plastics feel dense, stout and as if they belong. They’re hard, but they don’t feel at all cheap or brittle.
The infotainment module, on the other hand, doesn’t feel as if it belongs, with a 9” screen that sits proud of the facia and totally dominates the rest of the dash. It does have plenty of power, with phone pairing and sat-nav among its functions, though its controls take a bit of learning your way into.
Another feature of the Blaze model is its quilted leather seats, which look fantastic and are in the main good and comfortable. The driving position is good, with plenty of adjustment in all directions.
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