There are plenty of incentives to own a pick-up, then, but what's the catch? Ah, well, the catch is putting up with distinctly average ride and handling, which goes for pretty much all of them on sale today. The Navara has the most advanced rear suspension of its class, getting a five-link set-up (versus the usual leaf springs) and it is the best-riding pick-up going, but it still gets nowhere near a conventional large SUV for comfort or dynamics.
The D-Max does get leaf springs, and the range-topping Blade model we're driving here has 18in alloy wheels, too. As such, it feels constantly unsettled on the move without a load. Fill its loadbay, though, and it manages to keep much of the awkward verticle movements at bay, despite still being thrown off by ruts and potholes. However, these characteristics are much the same as any of its leaf-sprung rivals.
It seems barely worth mentioning that a D-Max's handling is no more impressive: its steering is heavy and slow, it leans a long way and is easily disturbed by mid-corner road scars. But again, really only the Navara does a better job of it, and even then not a truly decent one. Where the D-Max does lag behind, though, is refinement. Its engine is raucous under load and road and wind noise are more prominent at motorway speeds than in the Navara or Amarok.
In going from 2.5 to 1.9-litres, the D-Max's diesel engine loses none of its 163bhp, but does have slightly less torque. However, emissions are reduced by up to 37g/km, and fuel economy by up to 8.4mpg, while the new engine is also compliant with Euro 6 emissions regulations. It isn't however, any more engaging - and Isuzu doesn't provide a 0-62mph figure, which all but confirms how important straight-line performance is to buyers. The six-speed auto 'box's remarkably laid back nature further confirms that suspicion.
Of much more consequence for most buyers are the carrying and towing figures a pick-up achieves, and in this sense, the D-Max holds its own. It'll tow up to 3500kg of braked trailer, which is equal to the Navara, Amarok and Ford Ranger, and this Blade automatic will haul an improved 1101kg in its loadbay, which is slightly more than a range-topping auto double cab Navara or Ranger will, if marginally behind the equivalent Amarok. All will fit a standard Eurpalopean pallet onboard.
Inside, four adults will sit in good space in the Blade's double-cab body. The driver, however, will find their seat set too high and the rake-only steering adjustment unsatisfactory. Quality is enhanced over lesser models with leather seats and piano black trim touches, but there's absolutely no doubt that the Navara and Amarok's manufacturers do a better job on perceived quality.