ISUZU Hi-Lander pick-up truck review: Should you buy it?
The pick-up truck segment is still nascent in India but ISUZU should be credited in establishing the lifestyle pick-up genre with its D-MAX V-Cross. Now, it wants to further expand this segment and get new buyers into its fold with a new affordable variant called the Hi-Lander. The Hi-Lander is basically a stripped out iteration of the D-MAX V-Cross. Here's our review.
The truck gets a gray grille along with halogen headlamps
The Hi-Lander, with its rugged styling theme, is quite different from the V-Cross as far as design is concerned. It has a gray grille on the front along with lots of black cladding all over. There are basic halogen headlamps along with 16-inch wheels sporting a plastic wheel cover. That said, you do get a chrome tailgate handle which looks nice.
The cabin is finished with durable materials
The interiors mimic the same utilitarian philosophy of the exterior design with no audio system or a touchscreen console. There are also manual controls for the air conditioning while the upholstery is finished in a gray color. However, the cabin comes across as well finished with durable materials and practical touches like twin gloveboxes. The rear seats are also decent in terms of space.
From a height adjustable driver's seat to reverse parking sensors
The Hi-Lander does not have a long equipment list but it gets basic features like power windows for all four doors, a central locking system, cupholders, a height adjustable driver's seat, rear parking sensors and adjustable headrests. Further, the Hi-Lander offers standard dual airbags and ISOFIX child seat mounts. However, given its premium price-tag, one expects a lot more.
The truck cruises comfortably with less gearshifts required
The Hi-Lander is powered by a 1.9-liter diesel engine which develops 163hp of power and 360Nm of torque. The sole gearbox option happens to be a 6-speed manual. The engine is fairly refined despite the diesel clatter at idle state; it cruises comfortably with less gearshifts being required. The gearbox is slightly heavy to use in city traffic though the clutch is quite light.
It has an impressive off-road performance
The Hi-Lander lacks a four-wheel drive system and while that limits its off-road ability to some extent, it is still impressive overall. The ladder-frame chassis along with the excellent ground clearance enables the truck to overcome road obstacles with ease. It also has an excellent water wading capacity. Meanwhile, the ride quality is slightly on the bouncy side.
Is it worth your money?
Priced at Rs. 16.98 lakh (ex-showroom), the ISUZU Hi-Lander makes sense for those who need the practicality of a pick-up truck along with good off-road credentials. It is an intriguing alternative to an SUV and will appeal to those who want a vehicle which stands out. However, we do wish it had a four-wheel drive system and some new-age tech features.