The Isuzu D-Max is a tough and durable workhorse, but it struggles with towing. Even compared with other pick-ups, the D-Max is disappointing to drive.

No test illustrates that better than the emergency lane-change. The D-Max tied itself up in knots, moving sideways abruptly in the first and slowest of three planned attempts at the manoeuvre.

It took an age to get up to speed. Towing from 30-60mph needed 18 seconds, which is a long time to put up with the racket from the engine.

Once bullied up to the legal limit the D-Max is reasonably stable at 60mph and beyond, but the Al-Ko ATC system picked up some sway while slowing down.

To be fair to the Isuzu, it performed well in the hill-start test. The automatic gearbox meant there was no need to balance clutch and throttle pedals, and the D-Max pulled to the top of the 1-in-6 slope without any sign of strain. Switchable four-wheel drive allowed the Isuzu to cope with pulling away on a damp surface.

The underslung full-sized spare wheel and large load bay were positives in our practicality assessment, and the reversing camera gives a good view of the towball.

Utah specification, as tested here, is the pick of the range. It’s well equipped with leather upholstery, heated seats and parking sensors. The Utah is also priced competitively.

However, if you plan to tow with a pick-up we’d rather recommend the Mercedes-Benz X-Class or Fiat Professional Fullback.

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