The Isuzu D-Max and Subaru XV go head to head
If you’re into Japanese vehicles and you like grip and load-lugging prowess, then check out this double-helping of car review content from our motoring journalist, Tim Barnes-Clay.
When it comes to getting the work done, there’s no machine more fitting than Isuzu’s D-Max.
The vehicle is capable on or off road, and it blends top load-lugging prowess with comfort and performance.
The D-Max houses a 1.9 litre turbo diesel lump that produces 164 PS and 360 Nm of torque. The powerplant builds upon the D-Max’s workhorse appeal making it capable of towing 3.5 tonnes and carrying a 1 tonne load. The Isuzu bounces around a fair bit when it’s not loaded up, but it’s quiet and refined for what it is – and it’s economical.
As per previous D-Max models, Shift-On-The-Fly 4×4 is a key feature of this truck. The rotary dial allows you to select four-wheel drive on the move and the Isuzu is kitted out with low range gears.
The Blade Double Cab Auto, as driven here, (from £35,707) is awash with luxuries like tinted windows, a nine-inch multi-function touchscreen and a remote locking lower tailgate. It also sports Blade puddle lamps, front and rear parking sensors, and a colour-coded Aeroklas canopy, or sports bar with roller cover.
Finally, the D-Max comes with a five-year/125,000-mile warranty, and was the first pick-up in Great Britain to be offered with such a comprehensive peace-of-mind package.
Running costs are kept down by 12,000-mile or 24-month service intervals, five years’ roadside rescue and recovery including European cover, a three-year paint warranty, and a six-year anti-corrosion warranty.
Pros ‘n’ Cons
- Looks √
- Power √
- Practicality √
- Kit √
- Bouncy X
Fast Facts (1.9 Blade 4×4 Double Cab Auto – as tested)
- Max speed: 112mph
- 0-62 mph: Not stated
- Combined mpg: 36.2
- Engine layout: 1898cc four-cylinder diesel turbo
- Max. power (PS): 164
- CO2: 205 g/km
- Price: £35,707 as tested
Subaru’s XV won’t make you moist with excitement, but it’ll keep you safe and sound on and off-road.
I should know. I tested the car– and didn’t crash once. Oh, I tried. But the excellent all-wheel-drive system employed by the XV thwarted my efforts to have an accident.
Crazy? Yes, I am. But car tests can get boring, so why not chuck an XV around stupidly to see what happens? Honestly, the Subaru somehow just plays ball all the time, and its wheels feel like they have spikes digging into the terrain below them. Yes, the grip is that good.
The car’s not bad in comfort terms either. It still lacks that premium feel you’d expect to find in a German machine – and it’s not sexy to look at, but it’s impressive to drive.
The only thing to dribble on the chips of the XV is the whining CVT ‘box. The noise does the nut in, but the excellent audio system can drown that out, no problem.
The XV also impresses on the roominess front. It has bags of space for front and rear occupants and more than enough room for everyone’s luggage in the boot.
You also get that factory-fitted all-wheel drive and Subaru’s EyeSight driver assistance. The latter tech consists of adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking and lane keeping assist. And to help with any off-roading you might want to do, the XV has a substantial 8.7-inches of ground-clearance.
The XV’s performance isn’t mind-mashing, but it’s decent for a crossover. It’ll do 0-62mph in 10.4 seconds and the top speed is 120mph. Fuel consumption isn’t horrific either, at over 40mpg.
The Subaru provides a confident, stable drive on and off-road, with appealing compact proportions for negotiating the overcrowded urban jungle, too.
Overall, the Japanese automaker’s XV should do well in the UK, although it’ll never sell as well as challengers, such as SEAT’s Ateca.
Pros ‘n’ Cons
- Grip √
- Off-Road ability √
- Safety √
- Looks X
- Lacks Premium Cabin Feel X
Fast Facts (XV 2.0i SE Lineartronic Auto – as tested)
- Max speed:120 mph
- 0-62 mph: 10.4 secs
- Combined mpg: 40.9
- Engine layout: 1995cc four-cylinder petrol turbo
- Max. power (PS): 156
- CO2: 155 g/km
- Price: £26,525