GORV - Digital Magazine Issue #65 - Page 14

Goldstream RV loaned us a van for the day . Hitching it up presented no problems – the vehicle was fitted with the factory Isuzu towbar , which can support up to 350kg , along with a 12-pin trailer plug .
The van weighed about 2400kg and we subjected the vehicle to a mix of highway driving , wet gravel roads and , when unhitched , offcamber tracks . You know when people say that they could “ hardly feel the van back there ”? That was how I felt when lugging the Goldstream with the D-MAX .
When taking off from the lights , the LS-U + D-MAX confidently got up to speed and had no difficulty keeping up with the steady flow of traffic . Of course , there ’ s a bit of that dreaded turbo lag , which is to be expected , but it ’ s only a moment before the turbo kicks in . The six-speed automatic ( manual isn ’ t available on this variant ) shifts reasonably smoothly . There are no issues on that front – the transmission has a nice spread of ratios . The grade logic transmission means it will shift down when descending steep hills in order to utilise engine compression braking , or hold a lower gear when ascending a steep incline .
The overall ride quality was a surprise , particularly when ( sensibly ) ploughing unhitched through a few potholes and along ungraded gravel roads . For a vehicle designed for carrying significant loads , with stiff threeleaf rear suspension , the ride was unexpectedly supple . When hitched , with a small load sitting on the towbar , the suspension felt even more settled .
Isuzu has given the vehicle a new independent front suspension system with a higher spring rate , intended to improve composure and cornering stability . Overall , it felt stable and predictable .
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