When it comes to Lifestyle Pickup truck culture in India, the Isuzu D-Max V-Cross is holding the fort all by itself. Manufacturers in our country like Ford and Toyota have some of the most popular vehicles in the world in their International lineup, amongst which are Lifestyle Pickup Trucks having a global fanbase.
But even such automotive giants don’t dare to bring their Pickup Truck portfolio down to the Indian Market. So when amidst such scenarios, a brand like Isuzu ventures to bring about a lifestyle pickup truck revolution in the country, it is ought to be appreciated, especially by enthusiasts and adventure junkies.
Isuzu has got all the pedigree to develop a sturdy yet stylish pickup truck and the D-Max V-Cross is the perfect manifestation of the same. The brand Isuzu hails from an age-old legacy of producing large commercial vehicles and SUVs and the D-Max, V-Cross carries similar DNA.
How the Isuzu D-Max V-Cross came into existence?
The Isuzu D-Max V-Cross (also its SUV sibling Isuzu MU-X) derives its platform from the Chevrolet Trailblazer which was launched in India in back in 2015. This happened due to a partnership agreement between Chevrolet and Isuzu which later came to an end. However, Isuzu continues to use the same platform and even the interiors of D-Max V-Cross are identical to the now-discontinued Chevy Trailblazer till date.
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Isuzu D-Max V-Cross | Dimensions
|Specifications||Isuzu D-Max V-Cross|
|Ground Clearance (mm)||225|
|Cargo Capacity (kgs)||235|
With huge bonnet, SUV spec-Cabin and the cargo deck of the of a microcar, the D-Max is humongous. Think of any Full-sized SUV or even an executive sedan which is known for its significant proportions and the D-Max is larger than all of them. To gain a little perspective, let’s take the Ford Endeavour in Consideration, the Isuzu D-Max V-Cross is 392mm longer, 9mm wider and 18mm higher than the Ford Endeavour. It is due to these gigantic proportions that a lot of Indian Households would probably consider it impractical, but again, you don’t buy a lifestyle pickup truck for the practicality it offers and rather invest in to bring out the adventurer in you.
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However, with a wheelbase of 3095mm, the Isuzu D-Max V-Cross makes for a very spacious cabin which can easily accommodate 5 adults and with a large cargo deck, it makes for a perfect companion for long family getaways.
Is the Isuzu D-Max V-Cross Reliable?
Keeping the legacy of Isuzu for building sturdy and reliable vehicles alive, the Isuzu D-Max V-Cross seems like it has been built on purpose to take on whatever you may throw at it. The iGRIP platform for the ladder frame chassis built with high tensile steel makes for a very strong underpinning for the lifestyle pickup truck. Apart from that, the cabin doors and tail-gate feel heavy while tackling which signifies a robust built.
The motor on the Isuzu D-Max is also equipped with tech which makes it built to last. The engine is equipped with a steel timing chain instead of the conventional timing belt which helps in making the motor long-lasting. Other features like the polymer skirted pistons and use of big end bearings on the connecting rod further reduces wear and tear on the motor.
What powers the Isuzu D-Max V-Cross
Post the 2019 update, the Isuzu D-Max V-Cross now comes with two engine options a 2.5 Litre, four-cylinder turbo-diesel making 134Bhp and 320Nm of torque mated to a 5-speed manual transmission and the newer 1.9 Litre, four-cylinder, turbo-diesel making a stronger 147Bhp and 350Nm torque mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. The newer 1.9 Litre motor with the auto box comes only in the top-spec variant.
Both the engines have strong mid-range power delivery, which doesn’t surge up instantly which comes in handy during off-roading. The automatic gearbox also works well in putting down power from the 1.9 Litre mill and the auto box doesn’t hastily upshift and rather holds the gears to build up the pace when needed. In fact, this behemoth of a vehicle is capable of doing a reaching a 100km/h speed from standstill in 13.22 secs, which isn’t so bad for a car of its proportions.
Isuzu has not rolled out the BS6 compliant variant of the D-Max V-Cross yet and is expected to show up sometime in the second half of 2020.
Isuzu D-Max V-Cross and its Off-Road Tech
This lifestyle pick-up truck though is not considered to a proper off-roader, still packs a lot of mechanics which can make it change avatar dynamically from a highway cruiser to a rough trail conqueror.
The pickup truck comes with a Shift-on-the-fly 4WD system that enables you to switch between driving modes, from 2WD to 4WD modes without the need to pull over. However, shifting to the extreme 4L mode is only possible when the vehicle is stationary.
There are three modes, 2H,4H, and 4L. The 2H mode sends power only to the rear wheels suitable for the tarmac cruising. The 4H mode engages all four wheels can be used for tackling sections of mud, slush and gravel while you’re on your adventurous getaways.
The 4L model is for strict off-roading and you’ve got to bring the car to a halt to engage it. Engage the 4L mode, put it in first gear and the car can crawl over rocks, obstacles and even a standard height road divider by just lifting off the clutch and not even touching the accelerator pedal(our very own experience). The power balance is so efficient in this mode that giving manual throttle inputs can unbalance the power delivery and you may end up in wheel spin and hence it is best to let the mechanics of the car do the job in this mode.
What takes away from the Isuzu to be a proper off-roader is it’s “way too big” proportions and it’s the incapability to find grip in the rear end as it tends to bounce around when the cargo deck is empty.
The D-Max V-Cross uses old-school suspension tech
The Isuzu Lifestyle pickup gets double wishbone suspension in the front and leaf springs at the rear located right above the rear axle. These rear springs of the D-Max V-Cross are made for increasing Ground clearance and tackling cargo in the deck which means these aren’t optimal for rear occupants in the car as it tends to bounce around quite a bit and makes for a bumpy ride on rough surfaces, especially for the rear occupants.
The Hydraulic steering on the Isuzu also makes the steering inputs a heavy affair and manoeuvring the bulky ride in city traffic is a tussle.
Isuzu D-Max V-Cross and its Safety Features
The Isuzu D-Max V-Cross comes with a host of safety features making the 4×4 vehicle a safe space to travel along with your loved ones.
- 6 Airbags
- Brake Override System
- Hill Descent and Ascent Control (HDC and HSA)
- ABS with EBD
- Electronic Stability Control (ESP) with Traction Control System (TCS)
Other than this, it comes all kinds of robust reinforcements making it a no less than fortress to be in.
Isuzu D-Max V-Cross Pricing
Isuzu D-Max V-Cross comes in three trims and their ex-showroom prices are as below.
|Standard||Rs. 16.54 Lakh|
|High (Z)||Rs. 18.06 Lakh|
|Z Prestige||Rs.19.99 Lakh|
The BS6 update expected later in the year could witness a price hike of Rs. 1-1.5 lakhs Ex-showroom.
The 2021 Model year Isuzu D-Max V-Cross was recently showcased and is available in the Thai markets. The Indian Market could expect the same model sometime next year.