ON the lookout for a pick-up? There’s never been more to choose from in the UK with most of the major manufacturers having something in their line up.

Business Vans may have narrowed the choice down a little picking the all-New Isuzu D-Max as the winner of the 2021 Business Vans Best Pick-up award.

It’s a model that raises the bar for safety, technology, capability, and refinement the pick-up segment as a whole. Add competitive pricing to that and you have a worthy winner.

We took a look at the Isuzu D-Max a few months ago, the XTR version which is the most sophisticated and capable version of this pick-up.

It has been developed for off-road enthusiasts and drivers who want a vehicle to “complement their lifestyle”.

It features a bespoke Pedders suspension upgrade as standard and kerb appeal is boosted with a sophisticated body kit and aggressive styling.

XTR sits between Blade and Arctic Trucks, completing the Adventure range of Isuzu D-Max pick-ups.

The Isuzu pick-up has always majored on value for money while being tough, strong and reliable.

With the XTR, Isuzu is upping the anti by adding the Pedders suspension – this is an Australian suspension and brake system developed for the outback and in this case engineered specifically for XTR.

A new front suspension upper arm in conjunction with newly designed damper units help achieve a longer suspension articulation, giving impressive off-road performance.

In addition, suspension height is set higher than a standard D-Max meaning XTR benefits from a 250mm ground clearance.

New performance front brake discs have been designed for a consistent brake pedal feel, high wear resistance and better anti–corrosion protection.

They are also fully vented and slotted for improved heat dissipation and braking. Kevlar ceramic front brake pads work in combination with the discs to give a much improved braking performance and stopping power.

The set-up of springs and shock absorbers is aimed at achieving a more comfortable and refined ride.  These have been tuned specifically with XTR’s new wheels and tyres in mind.

17” alloy wheels have a heavy duty, rigid design which doesn’t compromise the vehicle’s towing and load carrying capabilities.

A popular wheel size from a tyre perspective, the 17 x 8J XTR alloy gives flexibility of tyre choice if you choose to fit an off-road only tyre.  However, Isuzu’s choice of the Pirelli Scorpio All Terrain Plus 265/70R17 tyre has been tuned to match the D-Max XTR and Pedders suspension.

Isuzu is the first manufacturer to adopt these tyres as standard as they are suited to all types of driving conditions.  Quiet during on road driving, for day to day use, they can handle wet or muddy roads, and off-road on difficult surfaces such as rocks, snow, mud, grass and sand.

All improvements have maintained the Isuzu D-Max’s 3.5 tonne towing and load carrying credentials.

The custom designed XTR body kit gives the exterior a lift and includes a front bumper guard, bonnet protector, headlight frames and wheel arch extensions.

Vibrant green colour coding is repeated throughout the pick-up.  A rear bumper and tailgate spoiler complete the body kit which is Raptor coated in a durable black finish. Black door mirror covers and black door handles complement the body kit and tinted rear windows provide a dark aesthetic.

XTR side steps have an angular bar framework and lozenge shaped infill which acts as a drain point for mud, sand and snow.  Designed to prevent rocks and stones damaging the bodywork, the durable textured black finish doesn’t show marks or scratches and provides extra grip to the step surface.

The interior of the XTR has been spruced up as well with heated front sports seats upholstered in leather, suede and carbon fibre leather with contrast green overstitching on the side bolsters.

Leather is also added to the headrest, lower seat base and upper seat back, which has been padded for additional back support.

The D-shaped sports steering wheel has been moulded for comfort and grip.  Trimmed in leather and suede with green overstitching, the steering wheel materials match the seats.

Leather side panels are practical and easy to clean on the areas you hold regularly and a convenient thumb rest is located next to the steering wheel controls.  Upper and lower suede quarter sections contribute to the premium feel of the wheel and have been balanced carefully with the leather to optimise functionality.

All the while, the D-Max XTR retains its 3.5 tonne towing, 125,000 mile / 5-year warranty (whichever comes first) and 5-year roadside assistance in the UK and across Europe.

  • P11D Value, £36,149
  • 4-door double-cab pick-up
  • Engine: 1.9-litre four-cylinder diesel
  • Power/torque: 164hp/360Nm
  • Economy: 29.8mpg (on test)
  • CO2: 183 g/km
  • Performance: 0-62/mph, 13 secs/112mph

To find out more about the Isuzu D-Max click here

Business Van of the Year Awards 2021