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Old 18th May 2016, 18:06   #1
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Default Off-roading with the Isuzu D-Max V-Cross 4x4

Mod Note: Our V-Cross Report has been taken live at this link (Isuzu D-Max V-Cross : Official Review). Please continue the discussion over on the new thread. Thanks!


One of our friends is looking for a vehicle suitable for a cross-country trip, Kolkata to London to be precise. It should be able to carry loads of luggage and has to be simple and reliable. What vehicle can fit the requirement more than the newly launched Isuzu D-Max V-Cross 4x4, phew quite a long name! Before going for it he wanted to test the vehicle thoroughly. Being the city duelers that we are and with the shrinking greenery everywhere, it is difficult to find a place to properly test the vehicle's off-roading capabilities. We tried our best with what we got and the following is a short report on both on-road and off-road performance of the V-Cross.

Day 1 -
Got an impromptu call from a friend that he has arranged for a test drive of the V-Cross 4x4. It was a pleasant surprise. A first glance at the vehicle was enough to create a lasting impression. It was huge and was grabbing the attention of all sorts of people around. It was already quite late in the afternoon, so without wasting a lot of time we drove the vehicle straight to a nearby place with a few small humps. Tried to cross one such in 2WD mode first, it did not make it. One of the rear wheels started spinning, a typical problem with pick-up trucks without load at the rear.



Switched to 4H and it crossed the hump without any problem.



In the following video one can see the long wheelbase of the V-Cross can make it prone to under body hits while crossing obstacles
that are not too high




Next I tried to take the vehicle over an innocent looking dip. I did not pay adequate attention to the long wheelbase of the V-Cross. Midway across the dip heard a scraping sound and immediately stopped. That was a mistake, should have gunned it and the vehicle would have made it without any problem. It was loose soil, so damage would have been minimum. However, it was too late and the vehicle got beached. Tried a lot of things, pushed it, rocked it, asked people to stand on the loading bay to put additional weight on the rear tyres, but the vehicle did not budge.

Off-roading with the Isuzu D-Max V-Cross 4x4-img_20160517_173943.jpg

Off-roading with the Isuzu D-Max V-Cross 4x4-img_20160517_181103.jpg

Off-roading with the Isuzu D-Max V-Cross 4x4-img_20160517_181143.jpg

Off-roading with the Isuzu D-Max V-Cross 4x4-img_20160517_182137.jpg

One of the Isuzu guys called up the showroom which was nearby and a D-Max was sent to help us out. At this point we found out that there is no tow hook at the rear of the truck, which is quite strange. The guys who came to the rescue did not listen to us, thinking that only a novice could have got the vehicle stuck in such a manner So they put the tow rope around the rear axles of the V-Cross and the D-Max (D-Max also does not have rear tow hook). We were afraid that a sudden jolt on the rear axles could damage the vehicles. However, the D-Max could not move the V-Cross even an inch. Instead there was a lot of wheel spin on the D-Max.

Off-roading with the Isuzu D-Max V-Cross 4x4-img_20160517_183110.jpg

Off-roading with the Isuzu D-Max V-Cross 4x4-img_20160517_183117.jpg



Meanwhile team-bhpian himadrimondal had been sent an SOS. He promptly arrived with his Thar. We were now able to convince the guys that the V-Cross could not be pulled out from the rear. They obliged and the rope was tied to the front tow hook of the V-Cross and the rear hook of the Thar. In a matter of seconds the V-Cross came out of the mess. Lesson learnt, never venture out even for TD of a 4x4 vehicle without a backup 4x4.



Day 2 -
The next day was a well planned test drive session with team-bhpians Avrendu, Samba, 1100D, Cloudmobile_Deb along with a few other non-bhpians agreeing to attend. Samaresh, the guy who is planning for the trans-continental trip, had spoken to the Isuzu guys and had made it clear that it would be an extended TD session.

In front of the Isuzu showroom. The Bolero looks small compared to the V-Cross!
Off-roading with the Isuzu D-Max V-Cross 4x4-img_20160518_151332.jpg

First we went to a nearby field and drove around for a bit. There was not a single challenge suitable for a 4x4. Nevertheless we drove around the place for sometime to get familiarized with the V-Cross before venturing into tougher territory.

Samba posing..
Off-roading with the Isuzu D-Max V-Cross 4x4-img_20160518_155702.jpg

Off-roading with the Isuzu D-Max V-Cross 4x4-img_20160518_155726.jpg

The Isuzu is heavily outnumbered by Mahindra 4x4s..
Off-roading with the Isuzu D-Max V-Cross 4x4-img_20160518_160109.jpg

Next we went to a place with a bit more challenge.

The following video shows the V-Cross coming down an incline (video credit Samba)




The incline in reverse, the lack of weight at the rear becomes evident with the right wheel going up in the air - (video credit Samba)



The same incline in reverse with a lot more rpm - (video credit Samba)



The same incline in reverse from another angle - (video credit Samaresh)




The V-Cross kicking up dust
Off-roading with the Isuzu D-Max V-Cross 4x4-img_20160518_164014.jpg

The inclines in videos look at a lot tamer than they actually are. This pic shows the angle of the incline in a better manner.
Photo credit Samba
Off-roading with the Isuzu D-Max V-Cross 4x4-img20160518wa0027.jpg


Observations off-road:

1. For the inclines we faced, the low end torque seemed to be adequate. But it needed a bit more effort when compared to the Di Bolero
2. In spite of having rear leaf springs, the vehicle does not jump around like a Bolero 4WD
3. Isuzu has gone for 16" rims, so there will be a lot of AT tyre options (tyre size 245/70/R16)
4. The rear wheels lose traction very easily in no load conditions
5. Articulation at the rear could be a bit more, need to check when loaded
6. The rear overhang needs to be kept in mind while tackling steep inclines
7. 4Low 1st gear could be a little more low, without any input (Accelerator,Brake and Clutch) the vehicle seemed to get down a slope faster than the Bolero
8. Rear tow hook has been a bad miss from the manufacturer. Hope they get this fixed in the next iteration
9. I would have been happy with a bit less rear leg space if it could help in reducing the wheelbase length
10. Would loved to have a dedicated gear lever for shifting to 4WD instead of the rotary knob
11. Shifting from 4 Low to 2WD mode took a long time to reflect on the console, though I could feel that the mode had already changed



On road experience -

Next 1100D tried out the vehicle on-road. There was a desolate stretch of road nearby with a few 90 degree turns and a few flowing ones. He pushed the vehicle hard around the corners and it was a pleasure to be a co-passenger. Next he asked me to take it for a round on the same stretch and he would follow in his Scorpio 4WD (maybe he did not want to take the risk of sitting beside me). The idea was to see if the Scorpio could keep up with the lighter and more powerful V-Cross around those turns. The V-Cross was absolute fun around the corners, with the light rear loosing grip at the turns. At one point it went into a 4 wheel drift for a few seconds. I could not shake the Scorpio off my tail except at a few turns. But then there were a few points that should be kept in mind, I had the AC switched on, I was not familiar with vehicle and it did not belong to me, hence could not push it to the limit. On the other hand 1100D has driven the Scorpio more than a lac kilometers and knew it to the core. Keeping all these in mind I think it can be safely said that V-Cross should be faster than the Scorpio. Will request 1100D to share his viewpoint.

Observations On Road:

1. Superbly appointed interiors, ergonomics are spot on
2. Well sorted ride and handling considering the weight and the rear leaf-spring suspension
3. The brakes are superb, stops the car without drama. ABS is not too aggressive but does the work when needed
4. Quite easy to drive considering the length of the vehicle
5. Steering is well weighted
6. Rear leg space is more than adequate and the rear seats are comfortable as well
7. The tyres look a bit small on the vehicle. Owners will surely go for an upsize
8. The power delivery is so smooth that it gives an impression of the vehicle not being fast. But as we found out, it is fast without giving the feel


This pic shows how happy I was after driving the V-Cross 4x4

Photo credit Shaswat
Off-roading with the Isuzu D-Max V-Cross 4x4-img20160517wa0024.jpg

Thanks to the Isuzu guys, especially Rahul, for the extended test drive session!

P.S: Samba's post on the test drive session can be found in this thread -
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...ml#post3977134 (Isuzu starts production at Andhra Pradesh. Rolls out D-Max V-Cross @ 12.49 lakhs)

Last edited by GTO : 22nd September 2016 at 16:22. Reason: Linking to review :)
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Old 20th May 2016, 10:30   #2
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Default re: Off-roading with the Isuzu D-Max V-Cross 4x4

Taking live, thanks for sharing.
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Old 20th May 2016, 14:12   #3
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Default re: Off-roading with the Isuzu D-Max V-Cross 4x4

Excellent Test Drive Report there BlackPearl !! Provides a pretty descriptive insight of the V-Cross by ISUZU and a very honest one indeed. A lot of prospective potential buyers will keep this report as a reference which might be a deciding factor for them going in for the V-Cross. I must compliment the enterprising ISUZU Dealership which happily let you all do whatever you had in mind to do with the V-Cross. A lot of dealerships (irrespective of the brand) show their resistances to such Off-Road Tests considering it not being a 'DEMO' Vehicle.

I got my first glimpse of the V-Cross at the Auto Expo 2016 earlier in February this year and it was indeed a Show Stopper for me in that Hall where alongside Ford was exhibiting it's mighty Endevour.

I do not know if ISUZU will get the First Mover's Advantage here or not bringing in the V-Cross to a market where the Scorpio Getaway(s) have not shown numbers. I suppose people in India have their apprehensions to :
  • A long wheelbase vehicle - This one is bigger than big with a prominently big rear overhang
  • A vehicle with a carriage more commonly known as "Daala" in India

But yes, definitely a VFM Vehicle (more importantly a comfortable one) for the enthusiast who wants to possess one as a Lifestyle Vehicle Some choicest mods and it will look and drive gorgeous !!

Sharing some pictures of the V-Cross from the Auto Expo Stall :

Off-roading with the Isuzu D-Max V-Cross 4x4-isuzu-1.jpg

Off-roading with the Isuzu D-Max V-Cross 4x4-isuzu-2.jpg

Off-roading with the Isuzu D-Max V-Cross 4x4-isuzu-3.jpg

This one was stunning :
Off-roading with the Isuzu D-Max V-Cross 4x4-isuzu-5.jpg

What lies under the hood :
Off-roading with the Isuzu D-Max V-Cross 4x4-isuzu-8.jpg

Off-roading with the Isuzu D-Max V-Cross 4x4-isuzu-9.jpg

Let me know if you would be interested for the 3rd Test Drive; would love your gracious presence and company over the TD of the V-Cross.
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Old 20th May 2016, 14:41   #4
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Default re: Off-roading with the Isuzu D-Max V-Cross 4x4

Nice short review of the vehicle. In one of the videos the V-cross struggled a bit to cross the incline at low speeds, could this be because of the lack of limited slip differential ?
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Old 20th May 2016, 15:36   #5
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Default re: Off-roading with the Isuzu D-Max V-Cross 4x4

That's a very nice coverage of the V-Cross, helping us know the finer bits in detail.

I think it is these kind of expeditions for which the V-Cross will be extremely suitable a vehicle at this price.

It would make for a fantastic companion on such trips involving mighty driving and encountering varied terrain, where durability & reliability are as important as is space, performance & capabilities. A few modifications to the suspension to sort out the bumpiness due to the rear leaf springs is all that would be required to get it ready to cross borders.

I think the V-Cross is a great product being offered at this pricing. Its overall tough build & the Japanese reliability that would come along definitely make it a strong contender to be going on such an adventure.
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Old 20th May 2016, 16:42   #6
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Default re: Off-roading with the Isuzu D-Max V-Cross 4x4

Thanks for the good review.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackPearl View Post
The idea was to see if the Scorpio could keep up with the lighter and more powerful V-Cross around those turns.
Is V-cross lighter than Scorpio?
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Old 20th May 2016, 16:53   #7
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Awesome review !! Samba mentioned it in the other thread about having a hatch for the city and a V-Cross for everything else. I was contemplating a Thar + Ritz combo but maybe I should wait a bit more and take a VCross. It would be easier when on long tours.Another vehicle I am eagerly waiting for is the Jeep Renegade. Hope they price it well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AJ-got-BHP View Post
I do not know if ISUZU will get the First Mover's Advantage here or not bringing in the V-Cross to a market where the Scorpio Getaway(s) have not shown numbers.
Arav, not just the Getaway but also the Xenon failed. However, I think this is a much better product compared to them and the demand for 4WDs have increased since then. Atleast in Kolkata thanks to our newest dBHPian The Thar has also paved a new road for these kind of vehicles, so it may just work.
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Old 20th May 2016, 17:38   #8
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Default re: Off-roading with the Isuzu D-Max V-Cross 4x4

Quote:
Originally Posted by AJ-got-BHP View Post
Excellent Test Drive Report there BlackPearl !! Provides a pretty descriptive insight of the V-Cross by ISUZU and a very honest one indeed. A lot of prospective potential buyers will keep this report as a reference which might be a deciding factor for them going in for the V-Cross. I must compliment the enterprising ISUZU Dealership which happily let you all do whatever you had in mind to do with the V-Cross. A lot of dealerships (irrespective of the brand) show their resistances to such Off-Road Tests considering it not being a 'DEMO' Vehicle.
Thanks a lot AJ. Yes, the Isuzu dealership guys are one of the best I have seen till date. Hope they remain the same in future after handling such demanding customers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AJ-got-BHP View Post
I got my first glimpse of the V-Cross at the Auto Expo 2016 earlier in February this year and it was indeed a Show Stopper for me in that Hall where alongside Ford was exhibiting it's mighty Endevour.

I do not know if ISUZU will get the First Mover's Advantage here or not bringing in the V-Cross to a market where the Scorpio Getaway(s) have not shown numbers. I suppose people in India have their apprehensions to :
  • A long wheelbase vehicle - This one is bigger than big with a prominently big rear overhang
  • A vehicle with a carriage more commonly known as "Daala" in India

But yes, definitely a VFM Vehicle (more importantly a comfortable one) for the enthusiast who wants to possess one as a Lifestyle Vehicle Some choicest mods and it will look and drive gorgeous !!

Sharing some pictures of the V-Cross from the Auto Expo Stall :
Excellent pics AJ. The one you have mentioned as stunning is absolute drool material. Regarding the load carrier image of a pick-up truck in India, I hope and think is going to change in future. But I also pray that people who need it to live a lifestyle they dream of should buy it and not just anybody as a style statement. I am sure we do not want plenty of these behemoths on our roads

Quote:
Originally Posted by AJ-got-BHP View Post
Let me know if you would be interested for the 3rd Test Drive; would love your gracious presence and company over the TD of the V-Cross.
Please AJ, I am in for test drives anytime, provided the Isuzu guys do not shoot at me.


Quote:
Originally Posted by stanjohn123 View Post
Nice short review of the vehicle. In one of the videos the V-cross struggled a bit to cross the incline at low speeds, could this be because of the lack of limited slip differential ?
Thanks stanjohn123. There could be several reasons for the struggle -
1. Lack of grip due to no load at the rear
2. Lack of grip from the OEM HT tyres
3. Inadequate torque at low RPMs
4. The 1st gear might not be as low as the competition

Need a more extensive test to find out the reason (might be combination of reasons) or the experts can chip in for this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by forester View Post
That's a very nice coverage of the V-Cross, helping us know the finer bits in detail.
Thanks forester!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mohanaj View Post
Thanks for the good review.

Is V-cross lighter than Scorpio?
Thanks mohanraj. I could not find out the kerb weight of the Scorpio 4WD from their website, maybe the owners can confirm. The GVW is showing as 2610 Kgs for the 4WD. On the other hand the Isuzu website shows the Kerb weight of the V-Cross as 1905 Kgs. We need to find out either the Kerb weight of the Scorpio or the GVW of the V-Cross to confirm.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Altocumulus View Post
Awesome review !!
Thanks a lot Altocumulus!

Last edited by GTO : 21st May 2016 at 10:22. Reason: Quoted post deleted
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Old 20th May 2016, 17:53   #9
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Default re: Off-roading with the Isuzu D-Max V-Cross 4x4

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackPearl View Post
But I also pray that people who need it to live a lifestyle they dream of should buy it and not just anybody as a style statement.

Please AJ, I am in for test drives anytime, provided the Isuzu guys do not shoot at me.
It took me a while to understand why and from where did that statement come from Finally got it though !! Only if I had the money to splurge at the moment, would have been the first one to get the Modded Drool Stuff in my Garage. Alas I wish !

All you'll need to do is wear a Golf Cap and grow a French Beard to ensure that they do not recognize you and yes, change the venue for the Test Drive. How about Harinkhola (or may be Pandua) with the V-Cross ? The effects of the Long Wheel Base can be aptly checked there.
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Old 20th May 2016, 18:57   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AJ-got-BHP View Post
How about Harinkhola (or may be Pandua) with the V-Cross ? The effects of the Long Wheel Base can be aptly checked there.
Now you are getting a bit too demanding
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Old 20th May 2016, 19:00   #11
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How was the back seat on the DMAX ? No one talks about it. Is it comfortable for medium sized adults. I wish the rear seats would recline a couple of inches. That would make this a perfect long distance tourer !

I think I know why they didn't give tow hook in the back. They don't want people using it to tow jugadu trailers.

I wonder what the tow rating is for the indian version.

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Old 20th May 2016, 20:37   #12
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BlackPearl. Nice TD review. As you observed, i too hope thè concerns raised are addressed. Seems to be a good bet. I would still like a better departure angle and a good low range ratio for inclines.
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Old 20th May 2016, 22:11   #13
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Default re: Off-roading with the Isuzu D-Max V-Cross 4x4

I cant wait to see this one in my rear view mirror,gaining on me, and i will deliberately let off the throttle to get a full view of a pick up which is not a commercial vehicle used to carry poultry.
I can see fancy gypsy owners all set to get their hands on this.. just for the flaunt factor.
Has more torque than the Scorpio, then will some ballast help in avoiding wheelspins?

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Old 21st May 2016, 12:58   #14
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Default Re: Off-roading with the Isuzu D-Max V-Cross 4x4

Nice review Blackpearl!

I think that V Cross need to be driven some what like a Gypsy while off-roading considering the lack of weight at the rear and the lack of torque at the lower end of the power band. How's the bounce at the rear when driving on road?

Will welding of a couple of Steel plates on the flatbed to increase the rear weight by about 150 to 200 kgs help in improving the ride quality as well as the off-road prowess of the vehicle? At the cost of a mild drop in acceleration ofcourse.
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Old 21st May 2016, 13:32   #15
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Default Re: Off-roading with the Isuzu D-Max V-Cross 4x4

Excellent post, look forward to the V Cross.
The trick with the double cabs is like someone pointed out correctly, is to have a bit of a weight. I call it 'the toffee' because it looks like a Toffee. Take an old worn out Truck or a tractor tube. Cut it to size, fill with sand to weight about 150 kgs, maybe 175 kgs and tie both open ends of the tube with para cord or al wire. This is what makes it look like a toffee with the two tied ends in both ends with the sand in between. Now, why a tyre tube and not just a plain sand bag? Sandbag tears and spreads sand all over. The Toffee can be shaped between the two wheel wells, is water proof and does not tear easy. Another experience I have with double cabs is not to put any plastic load bed cover. Instead, spray the load bed with rubberized paint. Plastic load bed hides rust which will start setting in after a few years because there is hardly any breathing space between the plastic cover and the load bed itself. The rubberized paint is also non slip and you can keep spraying as and when needed.
Safe drivings!
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