We've just had the pleasure of reviewing the ISUZU D Max XTR, we have had the vehicle seven days, it's our first vehicle since the UK Lockdown has been eased and we've taken advantage of that and been on quite a few adventures whilst maintaining social distancing.
The D Max model by Isuzu first appeared in around 2002, as a matter of interest it was known as Holden on Australia, now depending on where you are in the world depends on what engines you get, in the UK we get one, a 1.9 turbo diesel four-cylinder engine with the option of either a six speed manual or six speed auto outside the UK you can get a 3L turbodiesel.
The XTR we have the Nav plus trim meaning we get lots of additions as well but the XTR as it is stands on it's own. It is a great pick up and well trimmed, you get big buckety racing seats lots of premium materials throughout the cabin, a few hard plastics, that's what you want with a pickup it provides robustness.
Your met with sidesteps making it easier to climb in, there are manual seats but they are heated and are comfortable, with a good driving position, the steering wheel has height adjustment but no reach but that didn't seem to make a problem for us.
The XTR Nav Plus model we had retails for just under £44,000 and as you'll see from the video you get quite a formidable vehicle and we did quite a bit of exploring we headed up Grizedale and onto some green lanes, nothing too strenuous, however anything we encountered with the Pirelli Scorpion tyres was childs play, it is pretty unstoppable and you have 4x4 on the fly meaning you can select it up to 60 miles an hour, descent control is a welcome addition as is an old school handbrake with hill start assist.
Practicality wise it can carry 1.1 tons on the bed and tow upto 3 1/2 tons. The other non lifestyle D Max models are quite different to the XTR, this behemoth has a bodykit which is twofold and looks very GTR-esqe from the front, the looks are mainly a happy coincidence, its primary role is protecting the vehice whilst off-roading.
The green adds vibrance and makes it really stand out and it also highlights key points on the pickup truck e.g. the bespoke Pedders suspension and calipers. You can get a D Max for around £20,000 inc VAT, for that you'd get single cab with manual box perfect for farming or whatever you need, bear in mind this vehicle can wade upto 600mm without a snorkel, and at the other end of the scale the XTR is £44,000 or just under and comes with the choice of 4 complimentary paint colours, decals and a Pioneer head unit.
Now this has returned, we have the XTR colour edition later this year to look forward to.
We are back with our first vehicle, and it's one that should have arrived far earlier, however it's here now... it was delivered yesterday and it's a Lifestyle pick up, the Isuzu D-Max XTR.
We had the D-Max Blade last year, a very capable pick up with a great price, the XTR capitalises on the D-Max and specs it up, quite literally.
XTR is one of the lifestyle variants of the pickup, lots of additions especially in the styling department e.g. the front guard which literally surrounds the grille and headlamps, extended wheel arches and even Kevlar ceramic brake pads, it's 25 mm higher and sports bespoke Pedder suspension.
Powered by 1.9 turbodiesel engine and a six speed automatic gearbox, it offers responsive throttle response, yet has short first few gears, makes sense they are made to be work horses primarily. You can also get a manual if you prefer it has on the fly four-wheel-drive and four high four low and descent control.
When offroading you want beastly tires, you get 17 inch wheels and 32 inch Pirelli Scorpion tyres, the sidesteps are designed to glance off rocks and there is lots of underside protection too.
When it comes its capabilities, on road feels well planeted and we'll find out when we go offroading in the next few days.
In a nutshell it can tow upto 3.5T and carry 1.24T on the bed, it comes with a fourcab allowing your passengers to travel in comfort, for this model including VAT it is around £43,000 and you can choose from four colours and they're all complimentary.
If this isn't quick enough you can even tune your vehicle for £800, which makes it as fast as a Raptor, it has 161 brake horsepower and 360 nm of torque, granted it's not the quietest engine in the world and its not that fast either hiting 0-60 in around 12 1/2 seconds but that's not what it builts for.
It's a very capable pick up with decent economy, superb looks and exceptionally good offroad, and if you want to something less sporty or something more sporty there's a range to choose from.
Watch out all this week on our YouTube channel to see what we get up to with the XTR.
The Kia e-Niro is an electric SUV and quite staggeringly being out for a year still has a sizeable waiting list.
What is it that really appeals about this electric SUV?
The fully electric e-Niro is powered by a 64 kW motor, one speed automatic transmission and a lithium-ion battery which has preheating.
The model we had on test was the first edition however the one you can buy today is the '4'.
There are 3 Kia Niro models to choose from PHEV, Self charging hybrid and the e-Niro.
We had the vehicle on review for seven days, the thing that staggers you about the SUV is it has 282 mile range however if you take into the city it increases to 382 miles.
The 4 Edition comes with a bigger infotainment screen and LED headlamps to mention but a few, it retails for just under £35,000 with the government grant.
It's roomy, practical and full off premium materials as well as great tech and it produces 395nm of torque and has 201bhp meaning it is punchy.
It will wheelspin and it'll give you a rather engaging drive and hit 60 in 7.5 seconds, it comes with adaptive cruise control with stop-go and this smart EV will even give you tips on how to economise.
The regen system on the e-Niro is rather smart and you activate it using the paddles on the back of the steering wheel.
Similar to the system that you would change gear on a sporty car, the paddles operate the three levels of regen, on three we managed to recoup a few miles back into our battery the system works exceptionally well one thing we did notice when you got in the vehicle after say 24 hours the range had not dropped.
Over the course of seven days we took the Kia electric SUV to the Lake District up and down some hills looking for snow, testing its capabilities and seeing how range was affected with the cold, steep climbs and erratic driving.
This year the UK and the rest of the world world are going to need a good day out, as sadly, there have been many cancellations and postponements of amazing automotive events.
As of today the New British Motor Show is going ahead in August, this is straight from Andy Entwistle the CEO, therefore very good news.
So what better event than the British Motor Show? That's right - the classic automotive adventure is back and takes place over four days, thats's August 20th to 23rd at the Farnborough International Exhibition and Conference Centre and it's going to be rather a big deal.
The first thing you want to know is the price: a family of four can attend for under £40, yes that's right, a family ticket for the event is £37 for you and your children (family tickets are for two adults and two children) and an adult ticket is £18.50, Trade tickets cost £10 and VIP tickets £100 - however, these will be limited to 500 and will include alot of things and that money cannot buy.
There are also concessions for students, military, emergency services and disabilities, also health care workers are being given complimentary entry.
Will we be there?, Yes of course Planet Auto will be there. We will be filming content as well as live broadcasts. We will also be giving away some tickets for our 5000 subscriber celebration on the Planet Auto YouTube Channel. We will hold off on this because of the way the world stands at the moment, as we want as many of you to get the chance to actually win these British Motor Show 2020 VIP tickets.
What's happening at British Motor Show 2020?
There will be lots of places to explore: Indoor and Outdoor Arenas, Car Owners Clubs, New Cars, EV's, you name it...and this is just the tip of the iceberg.
Live celebrity stages will be a main part, and you can even test drive cars and buy new cars, there's also lots of live content and interactive displays.
The British motor show is changing, bringing it into this century with lots of interactivity, hands on experience, and a new era automotive event.
There wil be packed halls including new cars, you'll be able to see the latest models from lots of manufacturers and dealers, as well as new launches and new releases. You will be able to see some the latest vehicles that you've not even seen on the road.
Tech halls will showcase the latest autonomy, modifications, styling you name it, and the show is also going to push alternative fuels in a big way as well - yes petrol and diesel - which play a big part of mobility in the UK, however moving forward we are going to be seeing more EV's, hybrids, hydrogen fuel cells, you name it.
A fan of Motorsport? well there will be lots to see, combined with the live-action arena, and there will be a range of cars representing motorsport over the years. Don't worry if you're a classic car fan, as there are lots of owners clubs to explore, everything from Mustangs to Fiat 500s, this means you will see the cream of the crop when it comes to classic gems.
Now to the zones: a clever idea for example is the EV zone. This will show you the latest electric vehicles even concepts, historic cars and technology as well, so you can see how electric vehicles and their technology has progressed.
Everybody loves a supercar, whether it's the Countach from the Cannonball or the latest Ferrari, with the paddock holding some of the finest and rarest vehicles in the world. They will all be on display for you to see.
We've been watching Retro EV's for many years - an LA company released a VW Betle with an electric powertrain some years ago, so expect to see this type of electrified classic car, and the retrofitting of EV power to classics. There maybe even be a certain electric JDM car there...
Now with any of these events, you want a nice place where the children can play safely, so there's a kids zone that's dedicated to the younger car enthusiast. Lego building slot car racing and much more.
Now everybody loves a modified car, and of course film cars and that's what the crazy car corner is all about.
No show would be complete without a place to buy things, and this is where the Marketplace comes in. Suppliers and product retailers - with styling, tuning parts, memorabilia, you name it. You can even get a poster of that car you once coveted...
Something that we've been seeing more of lately is automotive arts and crafts: they are even going to bring in a mystery car to be painted live - all this is and more under the Piazza!
The live stages are going to play a major part (and 500 VIP's can really get involved) there will be celebrities on stage, answering questions, taking part in guest panels, interactive sessions and lots more...
If you like the latest tech, the tech theatre is probably up your alley. This runs throughout the show, and delivers sessions dedicated to teaching you interesting aspects about the automotive world, with everything from myth busting to sorting out the jargon in your head. "What's an autonomous vehicle?" "How does an EV work?" "What's an MHEV?" And things like this.
You can look at beautiful cars, talk to people, listen to tech guys, and even see your favourite drivers demo in the live arena. You will also see stunt shows performed by Paul Swift and his team.
Thinking of getting a new car? Mike Rutherford will be heading up a celebrity group test panel, and he also offers some buying advice for people interested in purchasing one.
You can even test drive one that takes your fancy, using the internal 2 kilometre track. If you really like the car, you may even be able to drive a little further than that...
You can test hybrid, petrol, diesel and EV's - in fact, any car that's for sale, you can drive it!
Now, we did touch on the live content before, however it really is going to be something, and includes:
Paul Swift Stunt Show Motorsport
Demos Supercar and classic car parades
Mountainbike displays Celebrity Q&A
Interviews Live product demonstrations
Tech sessions the Sporting bears with dream rides
A wall of death Go-karting
Under 17 year old driving lessons - yes even if you're not driving age you can drive cars at this event Drift rides
And the list goes on...
Now automotive careers of late have been suffering somewhat. At the British Motor Show, why don't you see if you can find the perfect automotive career for you? This is a call to arms for all!
The show takes place from the 20th-23rd of August, and we look forward to seeing you there.
It's all about electric vehicles or the humble EV this week and to be honest we even saw this at Autosport International where we got to see MillTek showing off their new active sound system for Tesla, on there Tesla 3 Performance. Yes, you heard right you can make your Tesla car sound like a combustion model with a sporty growl from the exhaust.
The sound is operated with a simple app on something like a tablet or smartphone.
The MillTek active sound control module with a link pipe and mounting kit is available from Demon tweaks for a number of cars, however the Tesla is a new addition. For around £1627 you have the power to take direct control of your exhaust note and you can tailor the exact noise you want.
We saw this demonstrated at Autosport International, the video shows the car with the sound and app that controls it.
The modulator works with vehicles with an existing inbuilt active exhaust sound system, the way it works is you insert a module into the original system and this gives the user the ability to tune the sound of their exhaust with a smartphone or tablet.
This looks like the kind of thing that you will also be able to add to say the Tesla cyber truck and Y.
The vehicle demonstrating the exhaust speaker system was one of Millteks new showcars the Tesla model 3 Performance in action, the car sound generator produces 98 dB of performance exhaust tones.
A lot people want no sound from the Tesla but others want their car to sound like a supercar, you to set the sound when you step on the accelerator.
You can tweak and tune the sound you can choose from options such as V10 and V12 and the clever thing the tuning company will add to the list of active sound options in the future.
Of what we heard it is a subtle noise but it does give the car a little more character and you can disable it to so if you fancy travelling along with it off you can.
Speaking of electric cars we've currently got the Kia e-Niro on review, now this crossover has upto a 282 mile range which recoups energy back to the battery.
We have the First Edition, the one that you can buy now is the e-Niro 4 and that comes with things like LED headlamps, more info soon and watch out for a full review.
Welcome to planet auto Winter update it’s been a rather hectic time we have now uploaded a number of videos the road trip with the SsangYong Musso, Mitsubishi ASX, Vauhall Astra K, Skoda Kamiq, BMW 330e and more reviews and of course show coverage and some rather interesting vehicles from Goodwood FOS 2919 including some futuristic offerings from Citroen and VW.
We have a few cars coming up, starting with on Monday the Kia eNero yes a fully electric vehicle or EV.
We will be demonstrating the capabilities, range how to charge this vehicle and giving our general thoughts on the Kia eNero.
Expect some interesting challenges, we will also film our regular lives such as a preview and 5 things we love as well including something like a mini road trip, watch our youtube channel for the latest.
There is lots of news about the automotive industry at the moment in the news one of those today been the launch of the new Citroen AMI, a micro car that you only have to be 14 years old to drive fully electric and we saw the concept of this model whilst the Goodwood Festival of speed last year with Citroen 19_19.
We've also heard for the first time ever I think that the Geneva motor show has been cancelled it makes good sense though wait till the world gets in better shape and then put on all these bigger car events again.
As you've likely see from our recent videos we have a number of project cars including the Honda Civic, that being said the Santa pod challenge is back on in April, we will be doing some little things to the car, meeting up with the rest of the channels and hopefully this year doing a couple of runs down the Santa pod Raceway.
Last year we had Annabelle's challenges, however looking all good this year.
The Mercedes is now home, yes our 230 CE W124 that we picked up wiith the Ssang Yong Musso. The car has now gone on its second adventure gone and into a local Mercedes specialist for some rather heavy duty work including subframe mounts, new shock absorbers, new springs, new brake lines, new discs etc.
We expect the vehicle to be in the workshop for up to a month, the challenges that have been revealed are very common on the W124 platorm, for some reason the mounts on the rear of the car seem to separate from the chassis.
Mercedes Benz recognised this and made a custom plate that can be welded straight in and goes exactly where the existing one is, you then need to strengthen up the area around it.
We should hear back early next week to see what needs doing in more detail.
Our Mk2 Golf GTI is well underway as well, the 16 valve ABF engine is in and in a word it's running, the exhaust needs fully connecting up, the driveshafts need reconnecting and then the rest of the car needs building up the electrics but in backing and things like that but we've overcome the first hurdle of getting the engine actually running we've also noticed a touch of welding that needs doing on the driver's side sill and into that floorpan of the front seat's.
After the Mercedes returns home the Golf will be going on a trip to the same place to get the welding completed.
We visited Micks Garage last week when we drove the Mercedes through at around 20 miles an hour due to its delicate predicament, its also booked in for an MOT, it literally took an hour to do a trip that should take around 22 minutes however she got there all safe and sound and looks fantastic.
Micks Garage just outside Kirby Lonsdale was the perfect place, Ben has used Mick at a previous gargage when he owned his C180 and used to look after that, we did some research and found he was still local and worked on classic cars as was the ideal as he's a Mercedes specialist coveted over many a Mercedes Forum.
When we arrived we saw a W124 estate parked on the pavement, and that sealed it.
Mick has already carried out this subframe mount challenge, literally it's a case you could be looking at the car one day and jack the vehicle up the next day and the mount will have be separate and there is no warning.
Our project cars are all well on the way we also have a number of review vehicles coming up including the Ford Ranger Raptor the Mercedes eVito and a number of others.
Spring will be with us very soon, we've started to see Sun already, also it is a leap day today, a day that only comes once every four years and with that we send our best wishes and don't forget to check out the Planet Auto YouTube channel and subscribe if you enjoy our content.
It's been a rather busy couple of months, as you no doubt have noticed, now that we've retrieved our Mercedes-Benz from our former partner. We've also driven a fair few vehicles as well, including the Skoda Kamiq, the BMW 330e, and - obviously - the SsangYong Musso, which we used to tow the Mercedes back, and drop into Autosport International as well.
Coming up, we've got the Subaru e-Boxer XV, the Kia e-Niro, the Ford Ranger Raptor, and the Suzuki Ignis...and that's just the tip of the iceberg!
However, we've also got a car show to go to at the London Olympia, as well as a restoration in the Classic Car and Restoration Show at the Birmingham NEC.
Currently, Annabelle and I are both working on videos - I am putting together a video comparing the J and the K Astra, as well as a review for the 330e, a review for the Musso, and 30 years of premium luxury, watch the video above, where we compare the BMW 330e with the Mercedes W124 - it is quite staggering how advanced our Mercedes was for the time! Both retail for around £48,000.
What is coming up this month? Well, our aim is to put a blog out probably twice a month, just to keep you updated on what we're doing. If you want to watch most of our content, why not go to YouTube and search Planet Auto and you'll find our latest videos.
We have live broadcasts, cinematics, previews, walkabouts around the latest vehicles including the VW ID Buzz, and don't forget we also do put up some content with classic cars: for example the Peel P50.
We're also going to be uploading a video of the Frisky and lots more show content will be unveiled over the coming weeks.
Our YouTube subscribers are flying, with 4,593 subscribers and it goes up daily...we are getting well over 500,000 minutes watched a month, which is around 138,000 views...everything is increasing, it really is!
Watch out for work on our Mk2 Golf, and our 230CE project is well underway.
We've also got something coming up at Santa Pod as well with the Civic - more on that later..
There you go, that's January and February for you!
Planet Auto l The place for the latest car news, car reviews, luxury supercars and highend classics - We feature the finest marques in the world including the Youtube and Instagram famous vehicles including Lamborghini, Ferrari, Bentley, Rolls Royce and Range Rover to name a few. Why not step into their owners lives and find where to see these great cars with our own car show calendar.