★★★★★ | Isuzu D-Max Arctic Trucks AT35

If you’re a bit self-conscious or maybe a bit of a shrinking violet, this truck is definitely not for you.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for something unique and something that will make a statement, this is it.

Make no mistake though, the Isuzu D-Max Arctic trucks AT35 isn’t just a statement piece, it’s a very capable and hard working vehicle.

Pickups or trucks as some call them, have come a long way in recent years. In the ’80s and ’90s, pickups were a utilitarian vehicle, built to work, with minimal luxuries and low levels of equipment and refinement. In the 2000s things changed and manufacturers started making pickups that were comfortable as well as functional.

A luxurious pickup ticks a lot of boxes in my world, however, there is another step up on the pickup evolutionary ladder…….the Arctic Truck.

The Arctic truck is probably the highest evolution of the species.

When a dealer receives an order for one of these monsters, a standard vehicle is delivered to the dealer, then shipped to Arctic Trucks where the transformation takes place.

The AT35 is based on the strong and durable Isuzu D-Max pick-up which is extensively enhanced by Arctic Trucks who inject 25 years’ experience of developing 4×4 vehicles capable of taking on the most gruelling conditions.

The transformation involves carrying out a 30mm body lift with complimentary 20mm suspension lift, to give the vehicle enough ground clearance to conquer just about any terrain.

With the huge ground clearance and suspension travel, you need a quality shock absorber set up to control the abuse this truck is built for. Arctic trucks selected Fox suspension as the brand of shock absorbers to fit to this hard core pickup.

All this extra ability is wasted without bigger, better wheels and tyres and Arctic trucks take care of this by fitting 17” x 10” Alloy Wheels with locking wheel nuts, wrapped in 315/70 R17 Nokian Rotiiva Tyres to provide the traction needed while traversing a mountainside.

In order to keep those huge wheels and tyres covered, there’s an oversized fender package front and rear with arctic trucks mud flaps.

When your truck is this big, getting in and out of the cab is harder than you think. These guys take cars of that by fitting side steps and there’s also a rear receiver hitch bar for attachments such as a tow bar.

The end result is the all-new Isuzu D-Max AT35. A pick-up truck engineered to excel in the most

arduous conditions, and is the result of technical collaboration between two respected off-road and pick-up specialists.

Our test vehicle had some choice extras such as the sports bar mounted lazer lights and front bumper lazer lights. These were unbelievable and turned night into day. We also had the chrome rear sports bar and the lockable mountain top roll cover. This was great for keeping the rear bed secure when I parked it on the street overnight. Another practical and aesthetic addition was the aluminium underguard kit. This covered the underside of the engine and gearbox and the rear diff. Very useful when traversing rocky terrain.

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Isuzu’s D-Max Arctic trucks AT35 comes with very comfortable leather upholstery with heated front seats, electrically height adjustable driver’s seat. There are 5 adult seats and plenty of room, front and rear.

As you would expect, it’s loaded with equipment; Projector headlights, electric windows all around, automatic air conditioning, steering wheel mounted audio & cruise controls, keyless entry and push button start system, plus much more equipment that you would reasonably expect on this calibre of vehicle. For example; This Isuzu has Bluetooth® Connectivity, DAB Radio with eight speakers (2 x front door, 2 x rear door, 2 x tweeters & 2 x roof mounted), Apple CarPlayTM & Android AutoTM plus satellite navigation.

In the middle of the soft-touch dashboard is a 7″ multifunction colour touchscreen and reversing camera.

In this day and age, we expect a suite of safety features on our vehicles. Isuzu’s AT35 comes with ABS (anti-lock braking system), ESC (Electronic Stability Control) & EBD (Electronic Brakeforce Distribution). You also have BAS (Brake Assist System), HSA (Hill Start Assist) & HDC (Hill Descent Control) & rear parking sensors with a parking camera.

With only 164 PS (162bhp), the AT35 isn’t what you would call fast. In fact, if you try to hustle this thing, you will find yourself frustrated. It’s slow off the line and when you put your foot down, it’s slow to respond. However, this style of driving is completely missing the point. I spent my time cruising around, stress-free.

Because of the imposing nature of the AT35, people treat you with respect. I found nobody tried to cut me up or block my progress, people were polite and kept their distance. It was very relaxing for a change. Add to that the go-anywhere nature of the vehicle and I was in heaven. There’s almost no terrain this can’t conquer so you feel pretty invincible but conspicuous. It turns heads like a supercar. Sat at traffic lights, driving through town, on a country lane, in fact just about anywhere, this stands out. People are polite and even wave or take a picture. I couldn’t help thinking that if I was in a supercar, the response would be somewhat more hostile.

Fuel economy is reasonable with quoted figures being fairly accurate; Urban 30.4 – 38.7mpg. Extra Urban 40.9 – 50.4 mpg. Combined 36.2 – 45.6mpg.

Another ace up the Isuzu D-Max Arctic trucks AT35’s sleeve is the confidence-inspiring 5 year/125,000 mile warranty & 5 year UK & EU roadside assistance.

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In summary, I wouldn’t hesitate to have one of these as a daily, I loved driving it. We took it off-road at every opportunity and never struggled, not one bit. It’s very capable, well built, well equipped and looks outrageous. I was constantly looking back when I walked away from it. However, It’s not subtle, and for some, might be a bit too obvious.


Manual Transmission

£38,545.00 CVOTR†

Automatic Transmission

£38,545.00 CVOTR†

About the author: Mark Turner
Journo @ Blacktopmedia & freelance for various digital & print publications & some corporate mags. Big petrol head, particularly bikes!