Best suited to delicate off-road trails, the Hi-Lander is a no-frills-attached efficiency automobile
Isuzu has re-introduced its D-Max pick-up after a spot of virtually a yr. However, this isn’t the all-new Isuzu D-Max pickup that went on sale overseas final yr, however only a BS6 improve to the mannequin that was already on sale. The next-gen mannequin continues to be a while away from an India launch.
Updates are restricted to the engine. The outdated 2.5-litre diesel unit has been dropped altogether, making the new-gen 1.9 diesel the only engine on offer. In BS6-spec, the engine makes 163hp and 360Nm, which is an increase of 13hp and 10Nm.
There is a rise in pricing, which is up by almost ₹3 lakh . There can also be a brand new entry stage Hi-Lander variant (₹ 17.05 lakh, ex-showroom) which is what now we have right here with us.
While it’s uncommon to see D-Max with out equipment, the Hi-Lander is quite plain even by factory-spec Isuzu pick-up requirements. There isn’t any chrome detailing, save for the tail gate launch, the headlights are fundamental halogen models and even the wheels get easy, plastic covers. Even a footboard is just not half of the usual package deal. Our check automobile’s exhausting lid cowl for the cargo mattress is a component of the equipment offered by Isuzu. That stated, some patrons may see their Hi-Lander as a clean canvas ripe for visible updates.
About 5.3m lengthy and 1.9m extensive, the Hi-Lander occupies rather a lot of actual property. Its sheer measurement lends it authority on the highway, and few automobile varieties have the cool quotient of a pickup. If you do need one to make use of as a pick-up, it is best to know it’s officially rated to hold 215kg of cargo, although you’ll in all probability be capable of cart a complete lot extra. The cargo mattress is giant but in addition fairly excessive so it’s not the simplest to load/unload from; the plastic mattress liner does assist slide objects in/out.
Given that the Hi-Lander sits so excessive off the bottom, it’s advisable to go for a footboard to ease ingress-egress. Once contained in the cabin, you’ll discover that there are few frills. For a ₹ 17 lakh pick-up there’s a quite brief consolation and comfort options’ listing, which incorporates energy home windows on all 4 doorways, central locking, six-way adjustable driver’s seat, adjustable headrests (back and front), a guide aircon and little else. If you need an audio system you’ll be required to choice one on as an adjunct.
In phrases of security, twin airbags and reverse parking sensors are normal and commendably the rear seats get ISOFIX little one seat mounts.
While the Hi-Lander may lack frills, the inside is definitely fairly good. The dashboard is neatly styled and sensible with twin gloveboxes and pop-out cupholders, the plastics really feel constructed to final and the panel gaps are tight and constant.
Drivers will like their seats in addition to the commanding view of the highway forward. Seating on the again is comfy with good cushioning and ample legroom. The backrest angle is a contact upright however nothing to make your passengers uncomfortable. A rear USB port and 12V socket guarantee units might be juiced up. When not in use, the 60:40 rear seat base might be flipped as much as make sizeable baggage house throughout the cabin.
The Hi-Lander is perhaps pitched as a pickup truck for city patrons, however it’s not the friendliest automobile to stay with on the town. The huge dimensions, heavy steering and enormous turning circle make it cumbersome to drive and park, and with restricted rear visibility (no reverse digicam on the Hi-Lander), you will want a second particular person available for three-point turns.
With that out of the way in which, allow us to discuss efficiency. The Hi-Lander pairs Isuzu’s 163hp and 360Nm, 1.9-litre diesel engine with a 6-speed guide that channels energy solely to the rear wheels. The engine has been tuned to drag masses and that turns into obvious if you drive. The diesel mill could be very tractable and offers good pulling energy from low within the rev band. The tractability additionally means you possibly can often get by in the next gear for a given velocity; simply as nicely as a result of gearshifts require effort and the clutch is heavy. There is just not a lot to realize by revving previous 2,500rpm. Keep revs beneath this mark and you’ll even admire the engine’s refinement. It does clatter at idle and is audible in any respect instances however it’s not loud as you’ll anticipate a diesel pickup truck to be.
Ride consolation is on anticipated strains. Low-speed bump absorption is nice however even at average metropolis speeds the Hi-Lander feels bouncy, extra so when there is no such thing as a load on the leaf-sprung rear suspension. Potholes taken at excessive speeds lead to a pointy judder. Handling can also be lazy.
Ability off-road? Well, the Hi-Lander can be greatest suited to delicate off-road trails — tried in truthful climate of course. The ladder-frame chassis is constructed to take a beating whereas the chunky 245/70 R16 tyres and ample floor clearance additionally assist. If your use case requires correct off-road potential, you will want to significantly stretch your funds for the V-Cross 4×4 MT.
The Isuzu Hi-Lander is one of these automobiles that grows on you the extra time you spend with it. Yet, objectively talking, it’s exhausting to make a robust case for it. Sure, it really works nicely as a pickup truck for small enterprise homeowners to haul cargo in, however then there are extra reasonably priced choices that do the job. The Hi-Lander will primarily be purchased as a life-style automobile and, in that mild, it comes throughout as simply too costly for what it offers.
A Hi-Lander with 4×4 on the similar value level would have been a vastly superior proposition, making for a wonderful base to construct upon. But as is, the Isuzu Hi-Lander doesn’t fairly ship the products.