Isuzu D-Max (2021 – 2023) Review

Isuzu D-Max (2021 – 2023) At A Glance


+Five-star Euro NCAP safety rating. Generous standard driver-assist systems. Reliable and efficient diesel engine. More comfortable than before.

-Engine lacks torque compared to rivals. Refinement is some way off an SUV.

Isuzu has made a name for itself as a specialist manufacturer of robust pick-up trucks and the latest D-Max builds on a winning formula. There's a limited engine line-up (just the one, in fact), while buyers get the choice of a variety of different cab types depending on whether you need to prioritise load or passenger space. Read our full Isuzu D-Max review to find out if it's the truck for you.

There are a number of different models to choose from, covering three broad customer bases: there's the business range, made up of the Isuzu D-Max Utility and intended to be a bit more of a workhorse and aimed at small businesses and builders; the all-purpose range, sitting in the middle of the line-up with the D-Max DL20 and DL40 trim levels; and the adventure range, topping the line-up with the more lifestyle-focussed Isuzu D-Max V-Cross.

All are well kitted out for the money, with pre-VAT prices ranging from £21,500 to around £33,000 – meaning the D-Max stacks up well against alternatives like the Toyota Hilux and Ford Ranger.

Only the entry-level truck is available without four-wheel drive. The rest come with 4x4 as standard, giving the D-Max genuinely impressive off-road ability, helped also by features like the low-range gearbox and Hill Descent Control. DL20, DL40 and V-Cross models add a rear diff lock, helping you maintain progress in slippery conditions.

On the road, the sole 1.9-litre diesel engine (carried over from the old model) isn't as refined as alternatives, while its 360Nm torque figure means you have to work it that little bit harder, especially if you're carrying a full load or lugging a trailer.

Like most trucks, the D-Max is going to feel like a bit of a culture shock if you're buying one to replace an SUV. Its suspension isn't as sophisticated as the Nissan Navara's, although there's an impressive list of standard safety equipment. Driver-assist features like Autonomous Emergency Braking and Lane Departure Warning contribute to the D-Max's five-star Euro NCAP safety rating.

Ask Honest John

What is the most reliable pickup truck?

"What is the most reliable pickup truck to buy?"
We would suggest looking at the Toyota Hilux and Isuzu D-Max if reliability is the most important factor. These brands achieved the highest MoT pass rate for their first test at three years old. Also you could look at the Volkswagen Amarok, which had the highest MoT pass rate for an individual model.
Answered by David Ross

Can you recommend an electric car with a high seating position?

"I own a Renault Zoe but would like to change to a car with a higher driving position. My wife has an Isuzu D-Max which is perfect for me. Does such a combination exist? "
I think you might struggle to find an EV with a seating position as high as the D-Max. Something like a Volvo XC40 Recharge could be a good compromise, though. This guide could be useful:
Answered by Andrew Brady

Can you recommend a 4x4 company car with good load carrying capacity?

"I am looking for a new company vehicle. I work in outdoor events - in the summer I am on green field sites across the country and in the winter I’m doing the meeting rounds with current and prospective clients. So I need something with a reasonably large load carrying capacity and some 4x4 capability to cope with rough tracks, uneven ground and serious mud. In an ideal world I’d like a reasonable fuel consumption. I’d also rather not be crippled by benefit in kind (BIK) tax. The most fit-for-purpose over the last 8 years was a Skoda Octavia Scout. I had a Passat Alltrack for a while which was ok but pricey on BIK. However, jacked up estates seem to be on the way out. I have looked at hybrids but most seem pointless as they have a very limited range on electric, are expensive on fuel, have load space limited by batteries, plus few places I stay have exterior sockets available for charging. I was seriously considering a double cab Mitsubishi or Nissan pick-up but then both pulled out of the UK market. One worry was the security of a hard top as I do carry some reasonably pricey kit around. I guess I’m looking for a workhorse that is reasonably comfortable, enjoyable to drive and doesn’t cost the earth to run. Does such a beast still exist?"
I don't think there's anything that'll tick all the boxes (good on fuel, low BIK and practical for your needs). You need to weigh up the compromises but, essentially, I think your options are: A pick-up truck like the Isuzu D-Max. There are fewer trucks on the market now, as you've mentioned, but the D-Max is a solid choice with a payload of more than 1000kg (important for low BIK). It won't exactly be car-like to drive, but it'll be well up to tackling rough tracks and muddy fields. High-spec models are fitted with luxuries such as cruise control and a reversing camera. A plug-in hybrid SUV like the Ford Kuga. This will be more comfortable than a truck and only marginally more to tax, but it'll be thirsty without regular charging. It's not as versatile as a truck, either. A diesel 4x4 such as the Skoda Kodiaq. Something like this will probably be the best tool for the job (with low fuel costs and impressive versatility) but, unfortunately, you're going to get stung on the BIK. My money would go on the truck.
Answered by Andrew Brady

Can I have my lease car serviced outside of the dealer network?

"My leased 2020 Isuzu D-Max is due its first service at 12,000 miles but the supplying dealership wants £280 for it. My local garage owned by a good friend who I know will use genuine Isuzu parts will do the service for half the cost. Can I have my pick-up serviced by a non-Isuzu dealer? Will this cause any complications with the vehicle lease?"
This would be a question for the lease company - they are the legal owner of the car. If I had to hazard a guess, I'd say the answer is no. The lack of Isuzu dealer stamped service history will probably impact the residual value of the vehicle. But check the terms and conditions of your lease agreement or speak to your lease provider, they may be willing to allow their vehicle to be serviced outside of the dealer network.
Answered by Dan Powell
More Questions

What does a Isuzu D-Max (2021 – 2023) cost?