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Driven: 2022 Isuzu D-Max Arctic Trucks AT35. Image by Isuzu.

Driven: 2022 Isuzu D-Max Arctic Trucks AT35
The AT35 is the most rugged, most outrageous iteration of the D-Max, upgraded by everyone’s favourite Icelandic modifiers, Arctic Trucks.


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2022 Isuzu D-Max Arctic Trucks AT35

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For many tradespeople and farmers, the Isuzu D-Max has become the no-nonsense pick-up of choice, thanks to its rugged durability, capability and economy. But there's an even more rugged, even more capable version on offer, and it's called the AT35. Built in collaboration with madcap Icelandic company Arctic Trucks, it's billed as an all-conquering, go-anywhere vehicle. But is it really as good as Isuzu claims?

Test Car Specifications

Model: 2022 Isuzu D-Max Arctic Trucks AT35 Auto
Price: From £49,499 plus VAT
Engine: 1.9-litre turbocharged four-cylinder diesel
Transmission: six-speed automatic, selectable four-wheel drive
Power: 164hp
Torque: 360Nm
Emissions: 241g/km
Economy: 30.7mpg
0-62mph: 13 seconds
Top speed: 112mph
Payload: 1,045kg
Max towing capacity: 3,500kg


The D-Max AT35 manages to look both exactly like a normal D-Max and nothing like a normal D-Max all at once. The most noticeable addition is the attribute that gives the vehicle its name. The AT35 branding comes from the 35-inch tyres that surround the 17-inch alloy wheels, and Isuzu has had to fit wheel arch extensions to cover them. Extended-profile side steps, strengthened Arctic Trucks mud flaps and a versatile two-inch rear multifunction receiver hitch are also included, enabling customers to fit tow balls, winches and rear-mounted steps.


Pick-up truck cabins aren't known for their plushness, and Isuzus are no exception. Because the D-Max sits at the budget end of the market, you might expect the AT35 to feel Spartan inside, but it's surprisingly luxurious. Mock leather adorns the dashboard for a softer feel, and though there are some cheap plastics knocking about, everything feels as rugged as you'd hope from such a vehicle. There's even a touchscreen infotainment system, and though it feels elderly compared with the systems fitted to cars, it isn't too bad for a budget pick-up truck. The only problem is the AT35 isn't all that cheap...


Pick-up trucks exist to be practical, but not necessarily in the same way as passenger cars. So although the D-Max comes with a massive load bed capable of carrying more than a tonne, there's no boot per se. That means you need a cover for the load bed to make it even remotely useful everyday, and that adds extra expense. What you do get, however, is sufficient space for rear-seat passengers, and that means the AT35 can double as family transport when it isn't conquering all before it.


Despite its modifications, the AT35 has exactly the same engine as the standard D-Max, which means there's a 1.9-litre diesel engine under the bonnet. And if that sounds small for a pick-up, that's because it is. But it produces a sufficient 165hp, which is enough for a 13-second lope from 0-62mph. That's just about enough to keep pace with the traffic when joining a motorway, but the AT35 is noisy when pushed. There's quite a lot of roar from the engine at any speed, but it produces a pained scream when you put your foot down, and that discourages any kind of attempt at performance. Economy, though, is slightly better despite the fat tyres and heavy mods. Topping 30mpg in one of these is pretty good going.

Ride & Handling

The AT35 is not designed for road holding, so it's no surprise to find it wanting in most areas. For a pick-up truck, it doesn't ride too badly, but it feels wayward and floaty at any speed, while body control is very limited. It wallows about like a stricken oil tanker. But this is a vehicle designed for off-roading, and there you'll find it utterly unstoppable. The balloon tyres and raised ride height give it much more capability than a standard D-Max, so it really will traverse everything in its path. To paraphrase the odious Land Rover bumper stickers, other cars can go fast, but this can go anywhere. The difference is, in the case of the AT35, that's almost true.


AT35 prices start at £47,999 plus VAT for the basic manual version, while the automatic model we tested comes in at £49,499. That makes it pretty costly, even for those who don't need to pay the tax, but at least it comes with all the usual company vehicle tax advantages of other pick-up trucks. The catch is, the same goes for other, less expensive trucks that are much better to drive on the road and more powerful and comfortable to boot. Even the fabulous Ford Ranger Raptor is slightly cheaper.


Most people have absolutely no need for an AT35, but that has absolutely no bearing on whether people will want one. The AT35 is its own, brilliant brand of cool, and we'll spend our days hankering after one anyway. For all its flaws, it's a truck you can't help but love.

James Fossdyke - 13 Dec 2022    - Isuzu road tests
- D-Max images

2022 Isuzu D-Max Arctic Trucks AT35. Image by Isuzu.2022 Isuzu D-Max Arctic Trucks AT35. Image by Isuzu.2022 Isuzu D-Max Arctic Trucks AT35. Image by Isuzu.2022 Isuzu D-Max Arctic Trucks AT35. Image by Isuzu.2022 Isuzu D-Max Arctic Trucks AT35. Image by Isuzu.

2022 Isuzu D-Max Arctic Trucks AT35. Image by Isuzu.2022 Isuzu D-Max Arctic Trucks AT35. Image by Isuzu.2022 Isuzu D-Max Arctic Trucks AT35. Image by Isuzu.2022 Isuzu D-Max Arctic Trucks AT35. Image by Isuzu.


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