We drive the Isuzu V-Cross
The much anticipated ISUZU D-MAX was introduced into our market recently and it has become a popular choice within the hotly contested bakkie segment. As is the case with the many passenger vehicle buyers, there are some who want a sporty alternative, something more visually appealing. Ford has the Ranger Raptor, Toyota has the GR-S Hilux and now ISUZU has the V-Cross. Here is what you need to know.
Emphasising its rugged, yet modern and refined look, the all-new ISUZU D-MAX in V-Cross guise is bolder and sportier than ever. This is clearly evident by the fresh and more aggressive front fascia and grille.
Slimmer, more angular lights that include Bi-LED projector headlamps and LED daytime running lights on the high-series models give the new ISUZU V-Cross distinctive on-road presence. This is complemented by LED edge lighting for the turn indicators on the mirror housings, crisp new LED combination tail lamps and an integrated LED high-mount brake light at the rear that continues the contemporary theme.
The enhanced sense of quality and attention to detail in the design is highlighted with the minimised panel gaps between the doors, as well as between the cabin and cargo box, while the integrated two-step rear bumper is seamlessly incorporated into the sleek and sophisticated lines of the new V-Cross.
The V-Cross also gains added cladding on the exterior to further enhance its rugged character. It is also differentiated from the rest of the range with gun metallic finishes for the grille, fender flares, door handles, mirror caps, roof rails and the distinctive hooped sports bar.
Open the door and you will find a smart and sophisticated cabin. It is more akin to that of a passenger car with sharp graphics and a variety of layered and textured surfaces – most noticeably on the dashboard – that provide a tactile feel throughout. The new dashboard layout comes across as modern and elegant. It’s a simplified layout that positions the controls and switches within easy reach.
Overall interior space has been improved with increased legroom at the rear. The rear seat positions have been moved outward for a 20 mm increase in shoulder room, and the rake of the backrest has been increased for greater comfort.
Other key features include leather seats with eight-way power adjustment, Isuzu’s Advanced Driver Assist System with latest-generation active driving safety features, eight airbags and automatic high beam activation.
Available on V-Cross is the upgraded 3.0 Ddi engine which has been optimised for more torque at lower engine speeds, superior pull off and acceleration, significantly reduced noise levels and optimised consumption. In its latest guise, the 3.0-litre unit delivers 140kW of peak power at 3 600 r/min, with its maximum torque figure of 450Nm available from 1 600 to 2 600 r/min.
Out on the road the V-Cross offers a decent driving experience with refined suspension and while the motors power output might not be as potent as that of its competitors, it still has enough low-down torque to get the job done. You do get a sense that this bakkie is not bothered about being top of its class, it is more focused on providing value for money and reliability. It is worth consideration within the segment in our opinion.