- Powerful styling with go-anywhere ability
- Deceptively comfortable and packed with tech
- Imposing road presence – other motorists get out your way
- Quite pricey for a pick-up
- Fast out the blocks but power levels tend to drop off a little
- Fairly noisy
The Isuzu D-Max has been around for some years now with the latest generation model being launched back in 2021 - now we have the long-awaited beefed-up Arctic Trucks AT35 version.
It boasts all the same qualities as the standard vehicle but adds plenty of extra visual and technical advancements.
With its raised ground clearance and tyres that look like they belong on a juggernaut, this is not a pick-up for anyone who doesn’t like life in the limelight. Basically, it’s a monster of a truck but it can still take on and conquer any off road challenges without breaking stride.
On the downside, it’s a costly vehicle, although it does compete price-wise with the likes of the Ford Ranger Raptor.
With outrageous ‘get-out-of-my-way’ road presence, the Isuzu D-Max Arctic Trucks AT35 demands attention wherever it goes. Thanks to its raised ride height and massive 35-inch diameter tyres, this is a double-cab pick-up truck with attitude.
Eye-catching features include a gun metal radiator grille and door handles, Arctic Trucks side steps, bi-LED headlights with LED daytime running lights, flared wheel arches, roof rails, LED rear lights and plenty of Arctic Trucks badging.
Climb on board and you are greeted by a high-end cockpit with a wealth of technology to explore.
There is a nine-inch multifunction colour touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, DAB radio, Bluetooth, a CD player (yes, they still exist), an eight-speaker sound system and wireless phone charger. There’s no sat nav, but it’s simple enough to connect a smartphone to cover that.
A power-adjustable driver’s seat with manual steering wheel movement makes it simple to get comfy and creature comforts include leather upholstered seats that can be heated, a reversing camera, dual zone climate control, a 4.2-inch driver information display and plenty of Arctic Trucks badging throughout.
All controls and readouts are ideally positioned for ease of use and, with a number of wipe-clean surfaces, the interior is practical without looking cheap or tacky.
On The Road
Handling & Performance
Powering the Isuzu D-Max Arctic Trucks AT35 is the same 1.9-litre, four cylinder engine found beneath the bonnet of all D-Max models delivering 164PS and 360Nm of torque. Our test model featured a six-speed automatic gearbox which was nicely timed or customers can opt for a six-speed manual model.
It’s fairly quick out the blocks reaching 62mph from a standing start in 13.0 seconds (12.7 for the manual model) and it tops out at 112mph.
The power levels do seem to drop off a little when you hit 50mph, but it can cope with motorway cruising. The elevated driving position offers excellent driver visibility and you can see over the hedgerows when fizzing through the country lanes.
The steering is nicely weighted and offers ample driver feedback, but you will need a double parking space due to this D-Max’s size. The other slight gripe was the noise levels – it won’t take you long to realise this is a diesel engine.
However, the ride quality has definitely been improved on the latest D-Max AT35 and, despite riding high on huge tyres, the body control through tight bends impresses. The advanced Bilstein suspension system does an excellent job of smoothing out any bumps and dips along the way.
The vehicle is loaded with safety kit and driver assistance aids and, of course, there are all the 4x4 settings to copy with any off road challenges you might fancy taking on. The more difficult, the better in this very capable beast.
Space & Practicality
The Isuzu D-Max Arctic Trucks AT35 not only looks the business, but it delivers on the practicality front too. Stretching 5,265mm in length, 2,040mm across and 1,875mm in height you will need an extra-large parking bay to park, but with those dimensions it is easy to spot from a distance, especially in a stunning Valencia Orange colour.
The 35 in the AT35 title refers to the all-terrain tyre diameter size which are 35 inches and with increased ground clearance compared to the standard model, this vehicle is equipped to cope with anything Mother Nature throws in its path.
It can carry a one-tonne payload, tow a trailer or caravan weighing up to 3.5 tonnes and the load bed measures 1,495mm in length, 1,530mm wide and 490mm in depth.
Climbing into the truck is made easier by the side steps and grab handles and there is bundles of space for three rear passengers in the back with two Isofix fixtures to the outer rear seats to fit child seats.
There are plenty of storage compartments scattered throughout the cabin, including a lockable glovebox, deep central cubby bin, a sunglasses holder, seat back pockets, four cup holders (two front and two rear), door pockets with room to store a water bottle, a wireless charging pad, a covered tray on top of the dashboard, a hidden compartment by the driver’s door, plus a hook that pulls out the back of the passenger seat which is handy to hang a coat on.
The Isuzu D-Max Arctic Trucks AT35 costs £47,999 in manual guise or £49,499 with the automatic gearbox. These prices are the commercial rates so don’t include the VAT. Private buyers will have to pay extra with the automatic model costing £55,529.
If those prices are too terrifying, it’s worth noting the D-Max line-up starts from £23,149 (excluding VAT) and rises to £33,499 for the range-topping V-Cross which the AT35 is based on.
Day-to-day running costs will soon start to stack up though with a combined 30.7mpg and carbon emissions of 241g/km – that won’t make you any friends in the green brigade.
However, as the D-Max Arctic Trucks AT35 is classed as a light commercial vehicle, the tax payments are fixed rather than being based on CO2 emissions.
Another note-worthy fact is the vehicle’s warranty which covers five years or 125,000 miles. That is some indication of how confident Isuzu is about its build quality and reliability.
The Isuzu D-Max Arctic Trucks AT35 automatic sits in insurance group 41.
Sadly, we have seen quite a decline in the number of pick-ups on offer in recent years with the demise of the Mitsubishi L200, Mercedes X-Class and Nissan Navara.
However, for die-hard pick-up fans there are still plenty of quality models out there to choose from, including the Toyota Hilux, SsangYong Musso and Ford Ranger.
Then, there are the more outrageous modified models such as the D-Max Arctic Trucks AT35. This is ‘the’ stand-out model from Isuzu and with the option of dazzling bright paintwork colours, it can probably be seen from the moon.
It’s big on size, big on performance and practicality and very big on appeal … at a price!