Newspaper article Gympie Times, The Qld.

Hairy-Chested Ute Delivers on Truck Heritage; with a Long History of Reliability, Grant Edwards Finds This Latest Range of Utes wona[euro][TM]t Disappoint When It Comes to Work or Play

Newspaper article Gympie Times, The Qld.

Hairy-Chested Ute Delivers on Truck Heritage; with a Long History of Reliability, Grant Edwards Finds This Latest Range of Utes wona[euro][TM]t Disappoint When It Comes to Work or Play

Article excerpt

UTES have come a long way.

Not so long along they were confined to tradies and those on the land. Yet nowadays theyare often used as family haulers for those who head bush on weekends, or just to tow the boat or caravan.

Add the likes of Holdenas SS Commodore and Fordas XR derivatives, which are really just coupes with big boots.

Isuzu has been around for 100 years, but it wasnat until 2008 the ute arm of the famed truck company gained its own presence in Australia.

For a fair time Holden had rebadged the D-Max a Rodeo and then a Colorado, although the two have parted company and the only thing shared now is the platform.

Given the proliferation of utes on the market, we took a chance to jump into the D-Max Space Cab. Isuzu was actually a trailblazer in this genre, laying claim to the first ute of this shape in 1982.

Comfort

Built for work, the Isuzu has no pretences about its intentions. The cabin is functional yet simplistic.

Like many others in this realm, hard plastics are the primary material. Black finishes are broken up with some silver highlights on the fascia and doors, while the steering wheel is leather wrapped and has useful functions like Bluetooth phone connectivity and cruise control at your thumb tips.

There are two bottle holders in the centre, two pop-out cup holders from the dash and spots for another bottle in each door.

Storage spaces are thoughtful, with a centre console, small spots in front of the gear shift and under the steering wheel, while you also get a dual glovebox.

Both front seats offer good support and proved comfy even on some long highway hauls.

Jump seats in the back are not designed for regular use. Small cushioned seats fold down from a vertical position and are only suited to small adults or children who donat need a booster or their own chair.

Accessing the rear is made easier by two asuicidea doors, but the running boards are vital for easy entry and exit.

On the road

Robust and burly, the D-Max matches its hairy-chested exterior with the driving experience.

Itas surprisingly easy to drive and ultra-settled even on the highway a impressive given its truck credentials. At 100kmh, it cruises at about 2000rpm, drinking only about six litres every 100km.

Donat be fooled by the statistics a 130kW and 380Nm a which are shy of many competitors but this is a strong hauler. It can handle just about anything you throw at it.

Thereas 235mm of ground clearance, and switching between two-high, four-high and four-low is done by a dial on the console. In slippery conditions on bitumen itas best to switch into four-high as the back does like to step out.

Parking can be a challenge in tight metropolitan car parks given its large footprint and parking sensors would be a handy addition.

What do you get?

Donat expect to be seating in the lap of luxury and you wonat be disappointed. …

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