2499cc 4 cylinder VGS Turbo Intercooled Diesel
5 Speed Manual
134bhp/ 3600 rpm
320 Nm @
Front: Double wishbone, coil spring
Rear: Leaf Spring
Fuel Tank Capacity
5375 X 1860 X 1800
Hydraulic power assisted
Rs. 15 lakh onward (ex
The Indian automobile industry is becoming more and more like
Bollywood movies. Sequels with pathetic story lines and miserable acting are
being churned out ad nauseam. Isn’t the Indian auto industry a bit similar in its
tack? The moment compact SUVs started becoming popular, there has been a
massive rush by vehicle manufacturers to make these kinds of vehicles. Every
vehicle seems to be sprouting muscles to get into this category of compact SUVs.
But when a vehicle manufacturer dares to be different from the rest, you have
got to take notice of it and show it respect. The Isuzu D-Max V-Cross Adventure
Utility Vehicle, the first of its kind in the country, promises to be
We got an opportunity to drive the V-Cross on a makeshift track in
Isuzu Motors’ new plant at SriCity in Andhra Pradesh on an extremely hot summer
day. With temperatures soaring above 40 degrees Celsius, and not a single patch
of shade to cover our path anywhere, we set about driving the massive pick up
vehicle. The V-Cross is definitely a smart pick-up vehicle meant for the
passenger segment. At least it’s the kind of vehicle you tend to respect for
its brute strength and sundry practical features. Isuzu Motors has been in
India for a year or so and has been making and selling its commercial vehicles
under the brand name D-Max. The vehicles were being assembled at the Hindustan
Motors’ plant in Tiruvallur in Tamil Nadu. Now all that has stopped and the
operations have been shifted out to the new plant, inaugurated recently by Andhra
Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu.
In the past, there have been pick-ups from Tata Motors and Mahindra
& Mahindra for the passenger vehicle segment, but none has been as
purposeful as the new V-Cross. Since we had limited time with the vehicle, this
article is more about a first impression of the V-Cross. The V-Cross comes out
as a very practical and driver friendly vehicle. Built on a ladder chassis,
with double wishbone independent front wheel suspension and long span rear leaf
suspension, the V-Cross has all the comforts of a passenger vehicle and the
dynamism of a rugged 4X4. To begin with, it’s been styled perfectly and has an
extremely bold front and a stylish cargo friendly rear that has all the design elements
of a true off-roader. On the first look itself, you tend to admire it for its
rugged and muscular stance.
The vehicle may be huge in size with a wide track and long wheelbase,
but it’s got a low centre of gravity ensuring minimal body roll. Adding to its good looks are the skid plates
with engine bottom guard and the vehicle sits on smart 16 inches alloy wheels. The
vehicle is aerodynamically shaped for low drag coefficient. The roof rails enhance
the vehicle’s sporty looks. It also comes with large electrically foldable and
adjustable ORVMs with turn signal indicators.
Once you are seated inside the twin cabin you realise that it’s not
only spacious but it’s also noise insulated. This twin cabin can seat at least four
to five adults with great comfort. It has a wrap around 6-way adjustable driver
seat. The vehicle comes with automatic AC with fine particle pollen filter, a 7”
touch screen audio system with USB input, DVD, Aux, iPod and Bluetooth
There is a host of storage compartments and cup holders, flexible
rear seats-foldable with 60:40 split, tilt adjustable steering wheel with
controls for audio, while the electro-luminescent meters come with multi information
display. The dashboard looks pretty spiffy and the central console can put to
shame some of the up market compact SUVs currently available in the market.
Practically speaking, this vehicle is ideal for intercity travel.
Whether you have to cover long distances, or cross hills and mountains, tread
over uneven terrain and rain washed land, travel with loads of luggage or
simply go on an adventure, this vehicle offers everything you ever wished for.
In fact, this vehicle instills confidence in you too as you drive along. While driving
around the track in the SiriCity facility of Isuzu Motors, I noticed the ease
at which one could deploy the 4X4 feature by simply turning the Dual type 4WD
knob. Yes, it has a shift on fly 4X4 feature that enables you to move to either
4H or 4L, depending on the terrain and get back to 2WD when required so.
As we tossed the mammoth vehicle on the narrow track, we noticed
that the body roll was very minimal and the soft suspension gave the comfort of
a passenger car. The moment you step on the accelerator, the engine lunges
forward and the turbo kicks in much before the 2000rpm level. The hydraulic
power assist steering is easy to handle and ensures that you are able to take control
of the beast.
The Isuzu D-Max V-Cross in my opinion is absolute value for money if
it is priced around the Rs 15 lakh tag. But for such pick-up based passenger
vehicle to succeed in India, one needs to change one’s age old archaic mindset
and opt for this vehicle which promises not only driving comfort but instills a
massive dose of confidence in you. No vehicle in India today in the passenger
vehicle segment is as versatile as the V-Cross. Whether it is going to the
hills, cruising on a highway to nowhere or simply picking up relatives at the
airport or railway station or transporting some of your own household stuff
from one place to another, the V-Cross can serve like no other vehicle can. It
can serve you well. When Isuzu Motors finally launches the V-Cross in India in the
beginning of second half of the year, it may have find resistance from people
whose choice has been fed with the staple diet of compact SUVs and small
hatchbacks. In case, the company is able to change this mindset, then it has a
true winner in the D-Max V-Cross Adventure Utility Vehicle.
In the meantime, when the V-Cross is officially launched, Motown
India will do an extensive review of the product and tell its readers about the
true capabilities of the vehicle. Stay tuned till then!
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