Oliver Keohane highlights four of his favourite aspects of Isuzu’s D-Max V-Cross, after spending a month behind the wheel of the double-cab over the holiday season.
There’s no more convenient car you could ask for during the holiday than a double-cab bakkie. Ample space (and comfort in this case) for passengers and a full load bin for extra cargo. Luckily for me, four-wheel drive, a low-range transfer case and a rear-differential lock added a range of capabilities to our ride for the festive season.
I wrote a lot on the Isuzu D-Max during 2023, driving various iterations from their 2×4 offerings to the extended cab 4x4s and even the AT35 Arctic Truck D-Max, a wonderful toy for the affluent off-roading enthusiast!
Thanks to Isuzu and Deon Joubert Racing, December would be spent on the Isuzu D-Max V-Cross 4×4, the Japanese manufacturer’s top-of-the-range offering (aside from the AT35).
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Powered by Isuzu’s grumbly, ever-reliable 3,0-litre turbo-diesel engine, the V-Cross offers up to 140 kW and 450-N.m. Paired with a six-speed automatic transmission, the bakkie is more comfortable at higher speeds. Expect a bit of noise as you gear up, but more than enough power and comfort once you’re cruising.
The current D-Max has been around for a while, there has been a lot written on it, and a face-lift is expected for this year. So instead of reviewing yet another D-Max, I thought I would take a look at four specific aspects that I enjoyed.
Isuzu, across their D-Max and MU-X range, has nailed it with the cabin. The V-Cross sports luxurious leather seats, which complement a sleek and simple steering wheel. The 9-inch touchscreen infotainment system is a nice size, and functions decently, but the most notable element is the space – for both storage and people – inside the cabin. There are cup holders pretty much everywhere, and the storage compartments in the side doors are big enough to fit a big bottle or hydro-flask, which may seem like an obscure thing to point out, but is a rarity among most motor vehicles. There’s plenty of legroom, and the electrically adjustable seats are a nice bonus on the V-Cross spec.
Despite the current generation D-Max coming to market in late 2019 (though we had to wait two more years in South Africa because of Covid-19) , the bakkie remains stylistically competitive with its rivals as we go into 2024 – though as mentioned earlier, it will be receiving its mid-life facelift this year. The flagship V-Cross, in particular, is just a nice vehicle to look at; sizeable, but streamlined, aggressive but classy. The metallic graphite trim, complemented by mean sports bars, makes the V-Cross an eye-catching ride, but Isuzu’s styling throughout the D-Max range is on the mark. A notable improvement on previous generations!