2017 Isuzu D-Max Arctic Trucks AT35 Review
The Isuzu D-Max Arctic Trucks AT35 is the result of a collaboration between Isuzu and Icelandic firm, Arctic Trucks – combining 125 years of engineering expertise. Arctic Trucks reimagined the pick-up, making it more tough and agile to deal with the harshest of terrains while still maintaining the slight comfort you’d expect from an Isuzu.
From a first glimpse at the AT35, you will notice that it sits taller and wider than most pick-up trucks on the UK roads and looks like it is ready to deal with anything you throw at it. Some of the many additions made by Arctic Trucks include: flared and extended wheel arches, raised performance suspension, 315/70 tyres, 17-inch by 10-inch alloys, profiled side steps and branded mud flaps. The combination of these extras makes the AT35 look bolder and more adventurous as well as hinting at its capabilities.
The interior is designed for durability over comfort and therefore is made up of hard plastics and vinyl-like leather. These simple materials make it easy to clean mud and other dirt off the cabin but they don’t exactly make for a comfortable ride. It’s perfectly suitable for a farmer slogging around the countryside but less than ideal for a family as it isn’t very child-friendly. However, there is plenty of room for two adults to sit easily in the back of the spacious double cabin.
Under the bonnet, the standard 2.5-litre twin turbo diesel engine remains from the normal D-Max models. This means there are no performance benefits from the Arctic Trucks’ modifications. In fact, the AT35 suffers from some of the modifications that have been made. The steering is compromised by the wider, firmer wheels and raised ride height, which makes steering less precise. You also feel every bump in the road making for a distracting drive on the road. Having said that, this makes it perfect for ‘ragging around’ the countryside, where precision and a soft ride are less important.
Technology is minimal in the AT35, as, again, it is built for purpose rather than comfort. You get a Pioneer touch-screen entertainment system, which includes satellite navigation, Bluetooth connectivity and a reversing camera. You also get a multifunction steering wheel and a six-speaker sound system. These features will add a little comfort and allow you to get where you want to go with minimal fuss, but your kids won’t be entertained for long if you decide to bring them along.
Essentially, Arctic Trucks addition to the Isuzu D-Max add a sense of purpose to the AT35 but do little to improve the performance and handling. However, none of its rivals can compete with the AT35’s styling and its bold, monstrous looks make it stand out among the Ford, Mitsubishi and Volkswagen equivalents.