More than just a utility vehicle
ISUZU needs no introductions on South African roads and about a year ago I got to test drive the 2017 X-Rider and made a trip to the Drakensberg mountain range.
Exactly a year later, I drove the KB 4x4 X-Rider and I can see why it will be a popular choice in Durban. According to the team at Isuzu, the bakkie is home-grown and designed to meet the needs of those who love the African terrain and the outdoor lifestyle.
I can quickly agree as I found driving it around the city a bit difficult at times, but the bakkie came to life during my road trips to the Midlands.
Firstly, the X-Rider is much more than a utility vehicle. While designers have clearly spent some time sharpening the design edges of the exterior of the vehicle, the interior stays true to what makes up the X-Rider.
Without the thrills and frills of technology (touch screens and more) the workhorse X-Rider only needs a driver and a long road to anywhere in South Africa. I would say this Isuzu can double up as a bakkie for business and offers comforts to transport the whole family on holiday. The touch of luxury comes with leather seats and a little more leg room in the back.
After a bit of struggle, due to winter weight gain, I climbed into the driver’s seat and had to come to terms with the size of the bakkie. Honestly, a rear camera would have worked for me as it is a bit difficult to manoeuvre in a tight spaced parking lot.
The other struggle I had was getting used to changing gears — although it did take me a while to get used to the older version a year ago as well.
However, once I was comfortable on the road, I found myself easily taking control and loved the ride during my long distance trips to Pietermaritzburg.
I have become accustomed to the “power” of the Isuzu bakkie and the X-Rider confirms that Isuzu is still my favourite. There is no stalling on any road in an Isuzu, with or without a load.
Unfortunately I did not get the opportunity to make a trip to the mountain range once again, but based on my daily running around and having to transport luggage and family at times, I can see why most people are opting for utility bakkies as family vehicles.
Firstly, you never run out of space and secondly you can be rest assured that your family is safe and comfortable.
This bakkie is ideal for the person looking for the best of both worlds — utility bakkie and luxury.
Also if you’re not into vehicles looking like space ships on the inside with touch screens and buttons all over the place, then the X-Rider is for you. It is simple, tough and no match for any road in South Africa.
The KB250 4x4 double cab is available from R454 100 for Isuzu dealerships.