THE weather forecast was ominous with “significant” amounts of snow forecast, but I was not worried because I was testing the all new rugged Isuzu D-Max Utah with four wheel drive writes Bryan Longworth
And when the white stuff arrived the 4x4 pick-up was up for it and kept me on the move especially up treacherous steep and twisting Peak District roads where the low ratio gears slowly but surely kept the Isuzu on the move.
And this latest Isuzu is the only model in this sector to have a five year/120,000 mile transferable warranty.
There is even more good news because Yorkshire based CAP residual value experts have forecast that the new pick-up will retain its residual value better than all its rivals.
My test car was the top model the D-Max Utah. The leather clad double cab which impressed a Land Rover Discovery owner had ample room for five and the standard spec included heated front seats, electronic climate control, 17-inch alloys, parking sensors, leather multi function steering wheel and chrome grille.
There was also running boards on each side which made entering and leaving the vehicle much easier and there were grab handles on each side at the front that also made it easier to get in and out of the cabin.
The steering was a bit heavy until I got used to it and I liked the smooth gear changing and easy to use auto gears.
Like most pick-ups the D-Max which has replaced the Rodeo has leaf springs at the rear which can produce a rather bouncy ride when there is no load being carried, but for much of the test the ride comfort level was very car like.
Grumbles? When the headlights are on at night I found it difficult to see the various heating controls because they automatically go dimmer and I found the old style ignition key rather irritating because I occasionally accidentally pressed the lock and unlock functions.
The top Utah is aimed at the growing number of owners who use a pick-up for personal transport and luxuries in the twin cab provide a really car like ambience. But for those who want the model as a workhorse prices start at £14,499 without VAT.
My Verdict: A stylish and luxurious pick-up.
Model: Isuzu D-Max Utah.
Engine: 2.5-litre four cylinder diesel.
Output: 163bhp @ 3600rpm.
Transmission: Five speed automatic with selective two and four wheel drive.
Top speed: 112mph.
Towing capacity: 3000kg for braked trailer.
Fuel consumption: 33.6mpg.
CO2 emissions: 220g/km.
Price: £26,344 on the road.