Isuzu D-Max X-Runner road test review | Raising eyebrows
ISUZU'S gleaming X-Runners garnered much interest on the ferry across to Moreton Island this week, even raising the eyebrows of owners of those V8 luxury offerings.
The X-Runner is a limited edition D-Max dual-cab with the same exclusive 3.0-litre TDI engine, strength and versatility with a more pronounced exterior and some value-adding extras.
Demand has been extraordinary, a sign of Isuzu's growing popularity, and after the D-Max's performance on the beaches of Moreton, one of Queensland's hidden four-wheel drive gems, it is easy to see why.
The interior of this limited edition X-Runner lacks for nothing in terms of creature comforts.
The space is uncluttered with a logical practical layout and, as you would expect from a true 4x4, plastics are strong and hardwearing.
At first glance the seats don't look that comfortable but they manage nicely enough with more than adequate support even when you are pushing your vehicle around off-road offerings. There are enough storage options and cup holders to stash a bottle of water, a mobile phone and even a map of your intended route.
There is comfort, too, for passengers in the back with generous head and leg room although there is a fair bit of sliding around when the going gets tough off the bitumen.
On the road
Excitingly most of our day in the X-Runner was spent on the sand roads and beaches of Moreton Island, a perfect measure of the Isuzu's prowess and an ideal opportunity for this group of journalists to hone theirs.
Naturally, off road you are hoping for more than just city smarts from your vehicle of choice and it is here that the D-Max really shines, working well in both 4H and 4L with the grip and nous to get you to your destination safely.
The steering is light but pretty direct and ride quality good with much work done to help cushion the bumps in the rough.
Four-wheel driving is tremendous fun but takes concentration with the D-Max proving an assured companion through soft and hard sand and surefooted through the water.
What do you get?
The limited edition X-Runner builds on the inclusions available in the top-specced D-Max LS-Terrain adding a dark grey interior, keyless entry and push-button start to auto climate control, sat-nav and rear-park assist with reverse camera.
Safety is five-star with six airbags and a full suite of the expected systems including stability and traction control.
Fuel economy for a combined run is listed at 8.6 litres/100km and surprisingly we managed to get close even on a demanding off-road track.
Isuzu offers a five-year warranty with roadside assist and capped-price servicing.
The D-Max dual cab ute certainly boasts all those niceties that makes this kind of vehicle so popular for those wanting to combine a work and pleasure vehicle or the adventurous type looking for a robust reliable offering.
The interior could look a bit more luxurious and on-trend though with a few more highlights to break up the black and grey. A larger infotainment screen and a bit more side bolstering on the driver's seat wouldn't go astray either.
The X-Runner is available in metallic pearlescent white and lapis blue with beautiful chrome fittings, an aggressive front and rear body kit, alloy sports bar and tub liner. It looks like a 4WD that is strong and fierce and one that relishes a challenge.
With just 360 units available here in Australia the D-Max X-Runner will be hard to get your hands on.
The normal D-Max dual-cab range offers the same steely performance though and if you are looking for a vehicle with good on-road manners and genuine off-road capability, one that will enable adventurous forays, this Isuzu is worth a look.
What matters most
What we liked: Excellent off-road ability, agile ride, creature comforts
What we'd like to see: Reverse camera standard across range, funkier interior.
Warranty and servicing: Five year/130,000km warranty with fixed-price servicing and roadside assist. Servicing is every six months or 10,000km.
Model: Isuzu D-Max X-Runner.
Details: Four-door four-wheel drive dual-cab ute.
Engine: 3.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine generating maximum power of 130kW @ 3600rpm and peak torque of 380Nm @ 1800-2800rpm.
Transmission: Five-speed manual or automatic.
Consumption: 8.6 litres/100km (auto), 8.5 litres/100km (man).
Bottom line: $51,990 drive-away.