Isuzu D-MAX Space-Cab Drive Review


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Akash1886

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Buddies, As you all may be aware by now that most of the time I have written about all sorts of cars be it a Hatchback, Sedan, SUV but today on being excessively pushed and pestered by none other than our very own Shri 108 times Vipul (formally called as TSI Vipul with a Green Smiley), I drove a pick-up truck for the 1st time. Yes its true! This man Vipul kept on telling me to drive it for about 2 months and finally I visited the dealer here and requested them to send the vehicle to my place. Among many other things, 2 important things which I must mention here is that, the TD coordinator and his assistant were quite knowledgeable about the vehicle and 2nd thing unlike many other mass-market/popular car brands, the Test Drive Co-ordinator was very punctual of time and 10 minutes prior to 11am the Truck arrived at my place.[clap]

Now, why I am writing a review of a vehicle that was perhaps launched in 2014! Well, I had heard a lot in past 2 months about this vehicle from Vipul and finally thought to give it a try for once as it was something quite different from what I have driven so far. So, after driving it for a good 15 kms today, I am writing my observations about it. The review is about Isuzu D-MAX Space Cab. Talking about Isuzu as a brand, we all recall Isuzu for its robust and reliable engine that serviced one of the legends of our Indian Automotive Industry i.e the iconic Hindustan Motor's Ambassador and at present is trying to make it's mark in the pick-up and passenger vehicle sector. For details, you may check this thread. Isuzu D-MAX competes against Mahindra's latest Imperio and TATA Xenon and earlier had competitors like Bolero Camper. An elaborate discussion to choose the best option among them can be read here.

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Thread Starter #2

Akash1886

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Isuzu D-MAX
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Firstly please note there are following types of body-styles present in D-MAX.​

1) Isuzu D-MAX Single Cab

2) Isuzu D-MAX Space Cab (With Black Bumper and Radiator Grill)

3) D-MAX Chassis Cab

4) D-MAX Single Cab with A.C

5) Isuzu D-MAX Space Cab (With Body color Bumper and Chrome Radiator Grill)

One of the requisite for driving this D-MAX Space Cab is that one should be having a commercial driving license since its primarily a commercial vehicle here and so far I haven't seen any D-MAX Spacecab on the road with a private registration. In that ways, I find, TATA's Xenon has many more takers.

Talking about the looks, Isuzu has made a humble effort to capture the attention of the buyers by giving the Space-Cab exteriors an aggressive profile. Features like Single slate Chrome Front Grill, Chrome casing on ORVMs and the hood scoop with the chrome surround provide this pick-up truck a reasonably attractive look which can certainly grab the attention. Moving forward, the clear-lens headlamps and tail-lights ensure that in no ways this pick-up truck should look as a mediocre looking commercial container of sorts. Though I agree to the fact that many of the buyers might not consider it as a option in front of veterans like TATA and Mahindra but still if we look at this segment at large, then, D-MAX definitely can be considered as a choice for commercial vehicle and may appeal to some of the off-road enthusiasts and over-night camping enthusiasts. About the side profile if I may say, the bulged out wheel arcs give it a muscular look as what is expected from these type of vehicles and the big quarter glass right behind the front doors provides additional visibility.

Coming to the rear profile, well its true to it's purpose. The rear profile consists of loads of space for customizing and turning it into a proper camping vehicle and since its a commercial vehicle mainly, the rear space can also hold good loads of heavy stuff. The overall looks of the D-MAX are not too loud for the eyes and yes for those who see TATA Xenon as a benchmark in style then certainly D-MAX can never be your choice. It is, if put in simple words, "Built for work and fulfills it's purpose"

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Thread Starter #3

Akash1886

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Interiors of Isuzu D-MAX Space-Cab.

The interiors of the Isuzu D-MAX space-cab are not anything flashy or extra-ordinary rather they are designed keeping in mind the purpose of the vehicle and the treatment which is at-large meted out to the commercial vehicles in India. The interior theme is single-tone grey color and no chrome etc on the AC vents too and quite a few blank spaces sealed by a plastic cover. This type of interior layout shall help in a way to keep the interiors clean and easy to maintain. In the commercial usage, the vehicles not only externally but even their interiors are subjected to rough treatment. So, accordingly, the quality of plastic used is quite durable and shall withstand the rough use. Moving to the IC panel, over there as well, you'll find a subtle design with 3 dials i.e RPM meter, Speedometer and the fuel and temperature dial along with a digital ODO.

Talking about the door trims, the fabric used in the door trims in also Grey in color so as to keep it clean and is easy to maintain. The window switches and the lock-unlock buttons are placed in the conventional positions with 2 bottle holders i.e one each on each door. The center console comes with manual AC controls, Cigar Lighter and provision of a ICE Unit and provision of 2 speakers. There are 2 cup holders in the front and 2 at the back. The hand brake console also has storage space. Talking about the rear seats, as per OEM, the D-MAX space-cab is a 2 seater only and no rear seats are provided as a standard but can be installed separately. The driver seat has good under-thigh support and well-cushioned back-rest to ensure driving comfort. However, unlike, the Mahindra Imperio which I recently saw, placing seats in the rear of D-MAX will hamper the legroom and it won't be serving much of the purpose. To my surprise the assistant who came with the truck, sat on the rear cup-holder console and told me that the backrest was cushioned so not much of an issue.[lol] However, if I ever have to sit inside it, I'll have the worst traveling experience for sure.

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Thread Starter #4

Akash1886

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Performance: Engine, Ride and Tyre(s), Steering and Braking.

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About the performance, The D-MAX is powered by a 2.5 L Turbo Diesel 4 Cylinder Engine which is mated to a 5 speed manual box. The engine delivers 134hp power and 294 Nm Torque at 1800 to 3200 rpm range. Honestly, though its tagged as a commercial vehicle, the characteristics of the engine can well compete with any refined diesel mill of the same capacity. Firstly as usual I noticed the NVH, I am impressed with the NVH levels of the engine as they are really well modulated and proper under-hood insulation has been provided and performance wise the engine was quite peppy with negligible turbo lag. The turbo comes into action around 1900 and the speed develops in a very linear manner. Talking about the mid-range torque, that’s the biggest surprise to me. This vehicle did perform exceptionally well with the mid range level. I tried to drive it from 0 km/h to 60 km/h in 3rd gear without any hiccups. This feature for me personally was really awesome. However, the clutch is bit hard and travels long and the gear shifting too was bit notchy. So, for me, being the 1st time to drive a pick-up, I would say, it is a reasonable performer in its segment. The ride was planted in the speeds of 60-70 km/h range however, the suspension is very bouncy. The jerks are very pronounced and at times can be bit scary. The suspension with less/no load will be one of the negative aspects of the D-MAX. The suspension’s harshness is best felt on the speed breakers.

Speaking about the steering, the steering is Tilt adjustable and it is a power-steering. About the response, the steering did not feel dead at 60-70 km/h and that is quite confidence inspiring. About the Tyre(s), you’ll not get alloys. They simple tubeless tyre(s) with 215/70/R15 specs. My TD Vehicle had Bridgestone Tyre(s) and even personally I would go for a Bridgestone Tyre over Apollo one for better riding manners and grip on the road. Finally to speak on the breaking, the front brakes have ventilated discs and rear has drum brakes and performance wise, brakes performed decently with properly stopping the vehicle without jerks.
 
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Akash1886

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Positives

* Refined and Powerful Engine.

* Likable looks.

* Good Build Quality.

* Very good Front visibility and driving position.

* Good seating comfort in front seats.

* Dead Pedal provided.

Negatives

* No Safety features like Airbag or ABS.

* Bumpy ride with no/less load.

* No options of Alloys.

* Rear seats not available as standard.

* Rear Legroom is a big issue if seats are installed.

* No rear disc brakes

* 5 Speed MT is too less for big vehicle like this. Atleast a 6 Speed MT or AT should be there.

* No internal adjustment for ORVM.

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Brochure and Price List

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All pics and video of this test drive review are only for The Automotive India. Any Re-use needs full credit to TAI.

Regards

Akash
 
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