TIME TO GET REAL DIRTY
LITTLE wonder car wash joints charge extra to clean utes and SUVs.
These things are a headache to detail: the extra surface area of the hard lid, the height of the roof (I cheated and just hit it with a hose), the crevices between the body and the tub and the exposed underside of the wheel arches all take extra time.
And I haven’t got the Isuzu D-Max truly dirty yet.
It’s a worthwhile exercise because you always find something new about a car once you’ve gone over it with a sponge. For starters, I discovered to my surprise the hard lid is watertight.
I didn’t try to spray under the lip but after a normal wash, it was bone dry inside.
The rubber door seals also did their job, which bodes well for keeping out dust.
Initially quite strong, the new-car smell of the cabin plastics is beginning to subside with time.
Having jumped in and out of a series of utes in the past month (Triton, HiLux, Navara, Colorado) it was good to get back into the D-Max.
It doesn’t drive with the same finesse – if that’s the word – as the Triton or HiLux but holds up well versus Navara and Colorado.
The D-Max lacks some modcons but its biggest strength is still its engine. The 3.0-litre turbo diesel’s power numbers are down versus its peers but it doesn’t feel underdone on the road and easily keeps pace with the Triton and HiLux, for example.
We’re still getting good economy out of it (about 8.0L/100km) although this is mostly freeway driving unladen. Small annoyances? No Apple CarPlay, no volume knob and the rear view camera image isn’t very clear at night. In the day it’s too faint if you have the headlights on (as I always do).
A light sensor – as per other utes – would be handy so the screen is easier to see.
Clean bill of health... the Isuzu D-Max.