2018 Isuzu V-Cross High: Test Drive, Review
The Isuzu V-Cross came in India back in 2016 . This is India, and it is a pick-up truck. What are the chances of its success? Experience says, its grim. But no, this vehicle is a miracle that the niche category of life-style pick-up trucks needed in India.
Well, as for the review of the Isuzu V-Cross, I’d say you need to experience it rather than read about it. Its fantastic, that’s my verdict, you may stop reading.
But, as you have clicked in here, let me explain what is it about this vehicle that got me, and well, all at the office feel the star dust for it.
Has it got the looks?
Its long, its got a menacing facia, a good amount of chrome bling.
As this pick-up is based on the MUX, the front resembles closely to the SUV. Now, for 2018, there’s a new, more aggressive bumper that houses the new LED DRLs.
The flared wheel arches add more to the visual bulk and kid you not, this vehicle looks like the Hulk is approaching you if you happen to see one approaching in the rear view mirror. The chrome grille, like the MUX has 3 chrome slats with tiger fang-like design in them. The new bumper is more aggressive than before.
The side profile is where the V-Cross stuns the most. The sheer length of the pick-up is astounding. The bulging wheel arches and the roll bars add all the muscle to the profile.The wheel wells are large, that accomodate the 16-inch alloy wheels. Of course, they’re big enough to accomodate much bigger tyres.
On the rear, the bumper gets chrome treatment for the High variant. Also, the tail lamps are now LED units, which look premium. The lid gets a large Isuzu sticker and a chrome handle. The lid is pretty heavy, which you notice when you open it.
On the whole, the presence this vehicle has is unbeatable by anything you see on the streets. People make way for you in whatever they might be driving. You do get a lot of curious glances and stares of awe whilst going around in a V-Cross.
Add to that the fact that there are loads of customisation options. You can have it lifted,slammed, add meatier tyres, low profile tyres with large radius alloy wheels though I prefer the former). Its upto you as to how you like the pick-up to look like. The internet is flooded with many images of customised V-Cross .
On the Inside
As you get inside the vehicle, you notice a fresh interior with large volumes of space. Done in a beige-Black combo, its a good place to be in. The dashboard is neatly laden and has a clean look to it. The centre houses the touch-screen infotainment display and the A/C controls. The music system is really good and offers great sound quality as well. Also, the infotainment screen doubles up as a display for the reversing camera added to the V-Cross, which was missing earlier.
The rear seats look pretty upright for comfort but that isnt the case. the seats offer good overall support and can keep 5 people in good comfort over long distances.
What really impressed us was the A/C; so much so that we conducted an instrumented testing with some serious testing equipment. As you can see in the video review, our technical head and CEO of Zen Microsystems Mr.Ashish Samant carries out the test. To put in simple words, the A/C is powerful and brings the cabin to the desired temperature in a short span. Even in mid summer temperatures, we were cool as cucumbers as we worked on the vehicle.
Its a spacious interior with most of the necessary features and highly comfortable seats.
Stuff for Safety?
While driving around in a V-Cross,there is a sense of security and invinciblity. It feels not made of earthly material like aluminium and steel, but of the Holy volcanic ashes supercooled to a vibranium-ish elements (you know what I mean if you watch superhero stuff from Marvel). That may sound exaggerated , but it should serve the purpose for me to explain the feel the vehicle gives.
On the electronic front, the V-Cross gets ABS, EBD, ESC, Traction Control. It also gets two airbags for the front seat occupants.
The V-Cross also comes with roof rails and a roll bar for off-road safety.
On the Move
The V-Cross is powered by a 2.5 litre VGS turbo diesel engine, mated to a 5 speed manual transmission. It churns out 134 horsepower @3600 rpm and 320 nm of torque between 1800-2800 rpms.
The fuel tank holds 65 litres of diesel at full capacity. The V-Cross averages at 10 kmpl in the city while a 12.5 kmpl on the highways. hat means, a single tank of fuel can get you a maximum range of over 800 kms. Not bad for a near 1900 kg, long and hefty vehicle.
What this makes the V-Cross is an expert mile mucher. The engine has a good grunt and the power is distributed every where. There is a good amount of low end torque to get you going. As you move through the gears, power flows in smooth, though the engine seems lose steam past 3500 rpm. Of course, you won’t reach rpms that high (high for this engine, a hefty diesel).
The gears have a long throw and takes some getting used to in terms of weight. But the clutch feels light (though has a long travel), and the shifts feel satisfying. The clutch pedal feel is good and transmission inputs reap satisfaction.
The brakes have a good bite and have more than average stopping power. Though the pedal seems to lack the feel, any inputs to the pedal gives a good amount of braking power.
The steering is a hydraulic unit that tends to feel heavy at crawling or city speeds. But the amount of feed back and sense of stability offers more than compensates the heaviness.
The suspension up front is an Independent Double Wishbone with Coil Springs and the rear gets soft ride, Leaf Spring suspension. Now, the V-Cross is a pickup with 265 kg (255 kg for the high variant) of deck loading capacity. Hence, when the bed is empty, the ride feels a bit floaty. But,add a bit of weight to the rear, the ride feels settled. The suspension soaks up every pothole or unevenness of the road and very little of it gets noticeable in the cabin.
The V-Cross gets a shift-to-fly 4 wheel drive system controlled by a knob near the hand-brake. This gives the V-cross serious abilities off the road. There are 3 driving modes to select through: 2H, 4H and 4L. We put the V-Cross through loose sand and gravel, mud and slush and some sort of rock crawl as well. The stability of the vehicle, the solid reassurance from the suspension, the steering feedback and weight all come together to inspire some good amount of confidence while taking on tough terrain.
The Isuzu V-Cross is a vehicle that pulls the strings of your heart for it. Its a highly desirable vehicle to own. Yes its a bit flawed in some areas, its too long for regular commutes in the city. But all that is utterly overshadowed by the driving experience of the vehicle.
Its a great long distance vehicle, can take up much of all kinds of terrain and it looks good irrespective of where you see it from or what you see it doing.
The V-Cross gets two variants now, Standard and High which we drove. Prices start at Rs14.28 lakh, ex-showroom Pune for the Standard variant and Rs.15.78 lakh, ex-showroom Pune for the High variant*. Add the taxes and the top of the line loaded V-Cross can be bought at Rs.18.8 lakh.
At that kind of money, the 2018 Isuzu V-Cross High one of the most desirable vehicles on sale in the country.
(* prices are a subject to change at any given point of time)
Visit the Isuzu India official website to know more.