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The Mercury Cars Guide : October 31st 2009
16--- Classifieds 62 300 400 • carsguide.com.au Saturday, October 31, 2009 Laid back and ready to roll AFTER a 14 year absence, Nigel Schmeegle appeared at the front door of his home standing alongside a person of identical appearance. His wife, traumatised after open- ing the door to the long-lost, previ- ously considered dead husband Nigel and further shattered by his doppel- ganger, fainted. When she came to, Nigel calmly told her that he took leave of their home in order to find himself. Being successful in his quest, he had returned. It's not dissimilar to opening the door and finding a long-lost brand in the driveway parked alongside a vehicle of almost identical appear- ance. Such is the unusual case with the General Motors-produced Holden Colorado nee Rodeo now being riv- alled on the Australia light- commercial vehicle market by the Isuzu D-Max. They are for all intents and pur- poses the same vehicle, built at different factories in Thailand after Holden parent GM decided to break links with Isuzu and source its new ute from a new factory down the road. The funny bit is, GM took copies of all the body parts with it. Meanwhile, Isuzu continues to pump out a ute with the same components. For buyers of a dual-cab ute, it can mean highly competitive pricing between the different dealers selling Holden and Isuzu for what is basi- cally the same car. And, of course, you can service and repair the Isuzu at a Holden dealership. One of the models from Isuzu is the 2WD dual-cab ute. A quick glance --- in fact, even an indecent stare --- may indicate this is a4WDbutit'salltodowiththeLS model's high-riding stance preferred by buyers with crafty things on their job description. The look is purposeful yet not abrasive and certainly not what you'd call modern. That impression is repeated in a cabin that is practi- cal, roomy and with a pleasing list of features dulled only by the magni- tude of grey plastic and the some- what dated layout. Cruise control and electric win- dows and mirrors are taken for granted on passenger cars but gener- ally fail to make a mention on commercial vehicle feature lists. These additions go a long way in making the D-Max LS an inviting and relaxed ride, even for city commuting. The icing is the automatic trans- mission. Though only a lowly four- cog unit, it mates to the 3-litre turbo- diesel engine --- the only engine Isuzu offers --- with the consummate ease of an eHarmony relationship. Or at least an eHarmony TV adver- tisement. I reckon this is an excellent engine. It's so laid back yet willing and, to top it off, is as economical as the company claims. It's also quick enough to frighten some cars off the traffic lights and has a delicious punch from about 2000rpm to sharpen overtaking times. An unladen ute will chop a bit on roughened roads. This is a 2WD but comes standard with a limited-slip differential so can get down a sandy trail with reason- able ease, helped by the progressive power delivery of the automatic transmission. The higher chassis of the LS --- a feature not available on the cheaper SX because of its different suspen- sion --- helps offroad exploits though don't expect to successfully chase 4WDs. Pricing is good though the Isuzu still lags a bit in comparison with newer utes --- the HiLux, BT-50 and Ranger among them. But despite being a tad older in design, the Isuzu/Holden ute history generally records reliability and dur- ability as benchmarks. small torque ISUZU D-MAX 4x2 LS Origin: Thailand Price: $38,400 Engine: 3-litre, 4-cyl, common- rail turbo-diesel, intercooler Power: 120kW @ 3600rpm Torque: 333Nm @ 3200rpm Fuel: Diesel Fuel tank: 76 litres Economy (official): 9.0 litres/ 100km Greenhouse: 237g/km (Corolla: 175g/km) Transmission: 4-speed automatic; rear-drive Brakes: Vented disc/drum; ABS, EBD Turning circle: 11.8m Suspension: Front --- double wishbones, torsion bar; Rear --- live axle, leaf springs Wheels: 16-inch alloy, 245/70R16 tyres; full-size alloy spare Length: 5030mm Width: 1800mm Height: 1735mm Wheelbase: 3050mm Ground clearance: 225mm Payload: 980kg Tray: 1380mm x 1550mm Weight: 1820kg Tow (max): 2500kg Warranty: 3yr/100,000km Service: 15,000km What we like: Rugged, engine, simplicity What we dislike: a bit dated, drab interior, tray length 75/100 IMPRESSIVE: The Isuzu D-MAX 4x2 LS is part of an extensive Isuzu DMAX range, above. One of the Rodeo twins goes its own way. Neil Dowling tests the Isuzu ute www.djmotors.com.au firstname.lastname@example.org Glenorchy 275 Main Road, Glenorchy Phone: 6213 3 315 Brian Anning 0418 531 853 Chris Wakefield 0400 635 446 Allan Gebel 0428 729 659 Hobart 1a Brisbane Street, Hobart Phone: 6213 3300 Warren Amos 0417 544 829 Luke Mitchell 0408 545 146 Easy finance available with DJ Financial Services †To approved business clients only, with a $2,500 deposit over five years with a 30% residual payment. Interest rate 10.50%.v DRIVE AWAY -- NO MORE TO PAY at DJ MOTORS 07 MITSUBISHI Lancer Stock No. 321743 ONLY$15 ,490 DRIVE AWAY $8.00 per day† 04 SUBARU Liberty Stock No. 321983 $13.50 per day† $24,990 WAS $26,990 NOW DRIVE AWAY
October 24th 2009
November 7th 2009