“Isuzu recently launched the latest generation KB bakkie, and since launch it has received much acclaim. The Isuzu brand is one loved here in SA and throughout its lifespan it has seen many a happy owner, so many that it could even be classified as the main rival to the ever-popular Toyota Hilux. We had the KB250 4×4 DTEQ Double-cab on test recently, and we had some fun with it.
Our “truck” arrived in silver, the 4×4 variant, complete with high and low range AWD modes, as well as RWD only. I say truck, because the thing is massive, even making a Nissan Navara look small (yes we compared them next to one another). It rides high, sits long, and wide too. But the greatest irony of all is that from the moment you climb inside, it’s spacious, but feels like a car. The size is suddenly non-intrusive on the rest of the feel, and it feels much smaller than the outside footprint would suggest. But the truck-like feel slowly changes to a tractor-like one when the diesel engine turns. The 2.5-litre turbo-diesel engine is quite rural in sound, and even once warm, still sounds tractor-ish. But with figures like 85kW and 280Nm, the rural feel is soon forgotten.
Pushing this further to the back of ones mind is the typically diesel torque and power delivery at low revs. The 5-speed manual gearbox channels the torque from as low down as 1800rpm and when the torque retreats, the 85kW keeps you going. There is no lack of grunt to the Isuzu’s motion, and power transfer through gear changes is smooth and strong. With a payload carrying ability of 950Kg and a towing capacity of 2100Kg, the diesel engine proves itself highly useful.”