Isuzu D-Max LSE – a tough guy in a luxury suit

Isuzu D-Max LSE – a tough guy in a luxury suit


When I received the Isuzu D-Max LSE for testing, the first thought that came to my mind was: “Nice car! It’s more like a limousine than a car that needs to deliver fuel to a combine harvester or seed to a seeder while driving on dirt roads or fields. Can such a vehicle meet the farmer’s expectations? The answer came after traveling several hundred kilometers of different roads … and wilderness.

For the test, we received an Isuzu D-Max with a double cabin (5-seater) in the LSE version, that is, with richer equipment. At first glance, the car seems to stand out from the crowd. Those who know the previous version of this truck (before 2020) will also be surprised, because there are many changes.

Safe and comfortable

Strong, with a unique body line covered in pearl varnish with black and graphite materials, 18-inch wheels, tinted windows, and the interior … it’s the best! Leather upholstery, 9” monitor in the center of the cockpit, automatic transmission, multifunction leather steering wheel.

And the further you go into the forest, the more trees grow. The manufacturer did not regret the features that improve driving safety. We should mention, for example, systems such as active cruise control, a camera that detects signs with speed limits, automatic emergency braking, lane assist, large side mirrors with blind spot indicator or a full battery of airbags, including those that separate passengers traveling ahead.

Strong, with a unique body line covered with pearl varnish as well as black and graphite materials, 18-inch wheels, tinted windows, and the interior … it’s the best!

The driving position is very comfortable. The steering column can be adjusted in two planes and the seat is electrically controlled. The back is also at least fine. There is no shortage of legroom, and the seat cushions and backrests are well positioned at an optimal angle. The overall interior of the car is of a very good standard. While driving, we did not hear unnecessary noises: squeaks, squeaks, etc. This definitely confirms the materials used and their suitability.

Of course, driving comfort and safety are also affected by good lighting – there are bi-led headlights in front. Regarding the large mirrors mentioned above: it is good that they are of important dimensions, because in the middle – at least in the case of a car with bodywork – the prominence is very small. For full fun with such a big car, a “360 degree” camera (especially for city parking) will be useful, although it must be admitted that the rear camera does its job very well, as well as the front parking sensors.

Engine and gearbox… do it

The Isuzu engine is a turbocharged diesel with a capacity of… 1.9 l (Isuzu product) – the only engine available in the D-Max. It looks a little, but not bad, and even good. I’d say even 163 HP and 360 Nm of driving torque are standard pickup trucks, so a utility vehicle is sufficient. No problem navigating in difficult terrain – also with a load.

The car accelerates well and is very quiet even at a speed of 130 km / h. When the engine is cold, it makes a little noise – it sounds characteristic. It doesn’t bother you at all, and you might like it.

If one expects a lot of movement in high-speed riders, they will be disappointed. It’s only a 1.9 diesel, and the automatic transmission isn’t a speed demon when it comes to shifting, but it’s smooth and fun.

After driving about 800 km during the test under very different conditions (from the highway to the street), the average fuel consumption was 8.4 l / 100 km. This is less than the manufacturer declares.

On the other hand, a small engine and a well-equipped gearbox pay off with low fuel consumption. After driving about 800 km during the test under very different conditions (from highway to off-road), the average fuel consumption was 8.4 l / 100 km. If you consider the dimensions of the car and its weight of 2 tons – this is a very good result.

Off road – like a fish in water

Despite the chic and beauty, it is impossible to hide the true nature of D-Max. Just drive on the dirt road and press the gas pedal – that’s when the journey begins! The car sticks to gravel, uneven surfaces are stuck. It is not afraid of bends and bumps or more bumps, where when driving a regular passenger car, all the cover pants, and even the bumper or the oil pan would have been broken long ago.

Despite the chic and beauty, it is impossible to hide the true nature of D-Max. Just drive on the dirt road and press the gas pedal – that’s when the journey begins!

Suspension of Isuzu (front, free, two wishbone, back on a rigid bridge and leaf springs) with 24 cm ground clearance is just perfect. All this depends on a solid frame. Also on paved roads, the rigid suspension allows the car to be driven very confidently in bends. One disadvantage of the rigid rear suspension when driving on uneven surfaces is that it vibrates a little – especially those sitting in the back seat will feel this.

As a shepherd of the road

In normal driving, the rear wheels of the axle are driven. And there is nothing interesting – with an empty luggage box, the back of the light means that the car does not show the best traction properties compared to conventional cars. A little more sand or, in addition, a small hill and the wheels start spinning faster. However, it is enough to turn the knob on the main control panel to “4×4” mode and the traction problem is solved.

This solution will be useful in difficult areas, but also when driving on asphalt roads, when, for example, there is snow or the road is icy. The advantage of four-wheel drive is that it can be used while driving – also at high speeds.

Sharing a 4×4 vehicle was enough to overcome all the obstacles that we encounter in the daily work of agriculture. However, if a very difficult situation occurs, more space for the knife, ie the reducer, will help. During our short field test, there was no need to use this solution, but to test it, we drove to the sand dunes in the gravel pit. Here, this solution was very important, because at some point when the car “hit” on deep sand, it started to “miss under the accelerator pedal”.

Engaging the reducer requires stopping the vehicle. After activating the system, the car goes more slowly, but new power enters it and, colloquially speaking: it goes like a tank! As if that was not enough, you can also activate the rear axle lock (with a button), and in a safe way (also for the engine and transmission) – engage the gearbox brake.

Engaging the reducer requires stopping the vehicle. After activating the system, the car goes more slowly, but new power enters it and, colloquially speaking: it goes like a tank!

The car is also not afraid to cross water reservoirs. The manufacturer says that it can go into water up to a depth of 80 cm! We did not test this during our test.

To make it less sweet, let’s mention one detail. Along with the Isuzu, we tested 2 other cars (“off-road”) and wisely threw a rope on the pickup truck so that in the event of a “mishap” on sandy roads, they could be towed by the D-Max. By the way, we looked at where the rope can be tied back. Unfortunately, we didn’t find any handle here. Fortunately, there was no need for a rope.

Large load capacity, small chest

One of the most important factors that affect the usability of a pickup truck is its cargo box. When it comes to its carrying capacity, it is very large – 1088 kg. In theory, you can transport large cargoes…unfortunately, as long as it’s not too big.

In the tested car, the box is 1.57 m long and the same width – 1.53 m. On the sides there are also protrusions of the wheel arches, which reduce the surface of the flat floor. However, you can easily insert a euro mattress here, sliding it for a long time. If someone were to be satisfied with a car with a 2-person cabin, he would have a longer “crate”, about 2.33 m.

It is important to mention that the flap of the open box is an extension of the floor and can carry a lot of weight. The tailgate lowers gently and is slightly raised by the gas cylinders. During breaks, you can sit on it freely and put bottles or cups – there are special cavities for this. The inside of the box is wrapped in strong, molded plastic, and there are several handles on the side so that the luggage can be tied with a rope.

The body of the box that the Road Ranger car was equipped with (really very elegant), on the one hand, can be a useful accessory that allows you to get the transported load (closed from the central locking, rear window and heating) , on the other hand, reduces the length of the loading and does not allow the product to be inserted from above, for example, a large bag or a box pallet.

In our opinion, the buildings are not necessary for the normal use of the farm.

In our opinion, the buildings are not necessary for the normal use of the farm. Without it, you can easily load eg a 1000 liter Mauser tank or a large bag with seeds or fertilizer. It is true that the body can be removed, but as the Isuzu representative informed us, especially to reassemble it, you need knowledge and practice.

And one more minus of the building – after driving on dirt roads, a lot of dust got into the box. However, the connection with the accessory body is not very tight, especially in the back, where the flap connects to the open glass. However, even with a heavy load, the car feels like a fish in water – on a level road and when driving through bushes or ditches in the field.

In fact, many potential users of the D-Max will love the fact that it has been modified to tow a trailer weighing up to 3.5 tonnes.

Summing up…

With every kilometer driven, the car became more convincing. Elegant in appearance with good modern equipment that increases safety and driving comfort, it also turned out to be a great assistant and driver of the road. The most notable features include: high quality of materials used, strong frame design and suspension, as well as excellent driving properties. It is not afraid of the field, bumpy roads, a ton of cargo in the box, but it also drives fast on the road.

The Isuzu D-Max LSE that we tested can be recommended to people who are looking for a universal car, who will take something to the farm, go to the city for parts or shopping, go on a family vacation, go fishing or stop. -road with friends. No road will be a problem at that time, and it will also be comfortable.

For normal field use, where the vehicle has to move in: field-farm-garage-agricultural shop, etc., we would recommend a version with a small cabin (one L or extended LS), and thus a larger body, and less “well ” and with a less refined, elegant interior like in the LSE, it’s just a pity to mess it up and spoil it.

The price of the tested version is at least good compared to the competition. The car costs PLN 149,950 net (PLN 184,438 gross). The cheapest version L costs PLN 116,950 net (total PLN 143,848) in the catalog.