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Isuzu D-max single cab: Test Drive Review

Date: 20 May 2013   |   Author: James Dallas

P11D price (without VAT): £16,249

Since 1972 Isuzu has built up its reputation in the pick-up sector on producing durable, reliable, hardworking trucks, and with the D-max the firm has not abandoned its traditional strengths.

We tested a 4x4 single cab D-max and our first impressions were that it does what it says on the tin, and it's none the worse for that.

Like the rest of the line-up, the single cab is powered by Isuzu's 163hp 2.5-litre common-rail diesel engine, which provides impressive power and respectable efficiency - the official combined cycle consumption is 38.2mpg.

The D-max does not lack brute strength and can tow up to three tonnes. Our model also boasted a meaty payload capacity of 1136kg. Being a two-seater it offers an extended load bay measuring 2305x1570x440mm for length, width and height. This compares with the 1552x1530x465mm available with the double cab.

On B roads the single cab 4x4 feels reasonably stable, although it is advisable to take corners quite sedately to avoid giving the rear end the jitters. Also, without a load on board to anchor it, the single cab tends to bounce about even on smooth surfaces, and there is little to stop the vibrations reaching occupants. The gear shifts, though, are pleasantly notch-free while the clutch has a surprisingly light action.

There is a no-nonsense look to the truck's styling. It has 16-inch steel wheels, plastic bumpers and door handles, fabric seats and a vinyl floor inside. The centrally located plastic dial to switch between two- and four-wheel drive is user-friendly but does not look as though it would withstand too many collisions with tools or bags of kit thrown into the cab with any sort of regularity.

As expected for what is a working vehicle, creature comforts are kept to a minimum, but on a raw and foggy day the heater fired up quickly to warm the cab, while aircon comes as standard too. And on the safety side, it is good to see electronic stability control (ESC) fitted as standard. On the other hand, you don't get a clock, the radio is fiddly and pretty basic and if you want a height-adjustable steering wheel and driver's seat you need to step up to an Eiger double cab. 

Isuzu D-max single cab 4x4
Price (ex VAT) £16,249
Price range (ex VAT) £14,499 - £21,999
Insurance group group 9
Warranty 5yrs/125,000mls
Service intervals 12,000mls
Load length 2305mm
Load width 1570mm
Load bay height 440mm
Gross payload 1136kg
Load volume na
Engine size/power 2.5-litre/163hp
On sale November 2012
Combined fuel economy 38.2mpg
CO2 194g/km


A tough, capable pick-up truck marketed as a durable workhorse.