With the change in trends, the automatic transmission world is shifting their interest from standard hatchbacks and sedans to SUVs. Even latest entry-level SUVs like the Mahindra Marazzo, Renault Triber, and even some and sedans like the Volvo V90 comes with automatic transmissions these days. But when we talk about real SUVs, it should be a 4x4, it should have a great road presence and a body on frame design. But above all else, it has to be totally practical for any kind of terrain. Catering those needs, Isuzu has managed to position its V-Cross as a lifestyle vehicle. For 2019, the company has given it a mid-life refresh and upped its premium quotient with features and smaller touches, all of which go well with its lifestyle image. We recently got a chance to ride the new Isuzu D-Max V-Cross to see if these changes make it a true utilitarian.
The new Isuzu D-Max V-Cross gets a new chrome grille with minor changes and extensions that go into the LED projector headlights with LED DRLs at the bottom, redesigned fog lamp cutouts in the bumper with more chrome, and more chrome on the rear bumper. This refreshed model also comes with 18-inch alloy wheels, compared to the 16-inches it had before. On the sides, the V-Cross comes with proper side steps to get in and out of the vehicle more easily. As soon as you get inside the car, it is all black, which actually looks very stylish. It also gets new leather upholstery, six airbags and completely new gearbox. Other interesting updates in the cabin include a brand new 8-speaker sound system, which includes roof-mounted speakers and the sound quality is pretty good.
This is one area that adds a cherry to the cake that is its powerful engine with the 6-speed automatic transmission. Although as comparative with the older version, the new V-Cross’s engine has been downsized to 1.9-litres, it still is very powerful as it develops around 150 of power at 3,600 rpm and 350 Nm of torque between 1,800-2,600rpm. The motor seems very refined, which makes the overall response extremely smooth. Although there is a slight lack of turbo at slow speeds, it is not at all bothersome when you are driving through city traffic as the torque is available low range.
If you are a fan of Isuzu, you are going to love the performance of this engine, which is (just like we mentioned earlier) very similar to the bigger capacity unit; plus that makes the overall ride very smooth, especially when the turbo is at full boost, around 2,100-2,000 rpm. Its powerband is narrow and by the time the engine spins to 3,100-3,300 rpm, power begins to taper off. From thereon there’s more noise than movement until the motor hits its 4,500 rpm redline. However, this isn’t a truck you’d want to hustle and max out the revs. Because of its strong mid-range, the V-Cross diesel-automatic feels like an effortless cruiser. This 1.9-ton truck can reach 0-100 kmph in just in a respectable 13.5 seconds, which pretty impressive for it.
With a price tag of `19.99 lakh, the new V-Cross may not be the most affordable. But it offers a lot more with its new engine and loaded features that makes it stand out from the crowd. Also, you cannot ignore the convenience of that automatic transmission, which makes it so smooth while driving through busy streets. So if you consider all that, it’s a price you won’t mind paying.