Bingo! I have broken and boldly driven beyond the 30mpg barrier in the D-Max’s slow climb towards green status.
The magic moment flashed up during a long traverse of the Fosse Way, Rome’s prototype of the M5. Call me Luddite, but the F-way is infinitely preferable to the M-way, with places to stop (from Exeter all the way, that is, to Lincoln) that offer a little more allure than your average Welcome Break.
So the D-Max is now becoming a Happy Eater mpg-wise: as the engine beds in and I get better at identifying its sweet spot, the omens look good. Clearly it prefers a life on the moderately open road. Its usual stop-start diet of endless ascents and descents of the Cotswolds bring out the drinking devil in it (rev briskly up a hill and our tester says it’s sucking in 7.4mpg) while a flip down to Bristol, if you wish to stretch your legs in the outside lane, can also make its economy wobble.
A move to Holland continues to weirdly appeal then, but in the meanwhile I’m enjoying this car. After all, there are few vehicles on the road more conducive to that Great British pastime of gawping at the view. As already reported, the D-Max is an eagle’s nest on wheels and on leisurely Roman roads, there’s every opportunity to peer across the hedgetops and gawp at the kind of hidden aspects which remain but a dream to lowly Mondeo Man. Even his rapidly breeding offspring, Qashqai Kid, hasn’t a hope of the embracing vision these keys can buy.
All this is perhaps not so important to me as it is to the children. There are times in the day when – as all parents of young children know only too well – a badly timed outing on wheels spells nailed-on night-time disaster. For me, a mid-afternoon journey implies a high-risk that the on-board infants will soon nod off – and therefore be bright eyed and wired until you’re pining for Newsnight on television and weeping into a copy of The Gruffalo, pleading for mercy.
So think of D-Max as kid-safe Pepsi Max: every ride is an adventure on the back of a big-exciting beast with great views of the world outside and plenty of stuff to see. I’m also pleased, on a selfish level, that the Isuzu and Britax click together in close harmony. Being a driver who chops and changes to many test models, some cars offer a level of child-seat friendliness that sends me lurching to the GP with a bad case of Britax back. The Doc told me to try Ibuprofen for the literal pain in the neck that comes with trying to endlessly fit and refit these seats. So every time I point and click the seats to their Isofix mountings on the D-Max, I sigh with pleasure. Well they do say parenthood is all about small victories.
|Whats Hot:||Roomy in the rear, with plenty of space for a brace of Britaxes, the D-Max gets a keen thumbs up from younger users.|
|Whats Not:||I love this rear-view camera, but always forget to wipe the dirt off it before setting off. Time to invent a mini-cam wiper?|
|Date arrived:||27th November 2013|
|Mileage to date:||1,509 miles|
|Fuel consumption:||33.6mpg (official combined)
30.1mpg (on test)