It might have been around for a while but the Isuzu D-Max is still picking up awards and recently just won the Best Workhorse Pick-Up at the 2017 Trade Van Driver Awards.

While it is up against the Nissan Navara, the Mitsubihi L200 and the Toyota Hilux this is the truck you really don’t want to mess about with on the toughness stakes.

It is a work horse which is hardy, gutsy with a certain robustness and as well as just that little bit of class, while having a low cost of ownership figures.

The D-Max is the only vehicle that Isuzu sell in the UK and prices start at under £16,000 with the top of the range slotting in at under £30,000.

You only get one engine and that’s a new 1.9 litre turbo diesel which produces 164 PS and 360Nm of torque. The engine builds upon D-Max’s workhorse character and retains the 3.5 tonne towing capacity and one tonne payload whilst providing a quieter, more refined and economical driving experience.

The engine may be smaller than the older model but is much improved and more efficient. Top speed is just over the 110 mph mark.

It's pretty good on the economy front and you should have no problem in getting 40 miles to the gallon. The CO2 emissions are from163kg to 202kg depending whether you are in four wheel mode or not.

There are five variations which are the manly sounding Utility, Eiger, Yukon, Utah and Blade with a range of single, extended and double cab variants available. Single cab vehicles are Utility only, while extended cab is available as Utility and Yukon versions.

The extended cab model gets a side-access panel on both sides to make it easier to get at the extra space inside the cab, while the double cab has the normal four-door layout with a rear bench seat.

The range is priced from £15,749 CVOTR for the Utility model up to £27,999 CVOTR for the range-topping Blade model.

While other manufacturers are focusing on double cabs Isuzu gives you every possible bodystyle combination with the D-Max, from single cab to extended and double cab models. It's also available with 4x2 and 4x4 drivetrains, plus a low-range gearbox that's useful for off-roading.

The load bay in the single cab model measures at 2,305mm by 1,570mm, with a payload capacity of 1,282kg (or 1,196kg on the 4x4 model Isuzu also offers a wide range of load covers and hardtop backs for the D-Max range, for both extended-cab and double-cab models. A tow bar receiver hitch with electrics is available, plus roof bars and frames and cargo rails to hold loads in place in the bed.

There's even a bed extender available that fits in the rear of the load bed to allow longer loads to be carried.

All D-Max models come with ABS brakes, electronic stability control (ESC) and traction control as standard, which is par for the course in the pick-up market. The front bumper and bonnet have been re-designed for better crash protection, too.

In the cab, even the basic Utility trim models have dual front, side and curtain airbags, and height-adjustable seatbelts for maximum occupant protection. Four-wheel-drive models have the benefit of 4x4 selection on the move for added security in slippery conditions, and hill start assist and descent control is standard on all cars as well.

The Utility model is pretty basic but that’s what it says on the can. After all no-one wants nail varnish with the D-Max although the top of the range is a tad OTT.

The D-Max comes with a five-year / 125,000-mile warranty, and was the first pick-up in the UK to be offered with such a comprehensive peace-of-mind package. Running costs are low because of the 12,000-mile or 24-month services, five years’ recovery and European cover, a three-year paint warranty, and a six-year anti-corrosion warranty.

Isuzu and the Welsh Rugby Union have signed a shirt partnership deal which means Warren Gatland’s Wales will wear Isuzu’s logo on their jersey for the next four years.

Isuzu will take pride of place on the chests of Wales’ international stars for the first time this autumn, as Gatland’s side faces Australia, Georgia, New Zealand and South Africa in the Under Armour Series at Principality Stadium.

In addition; the multi-million-pound partnership sees Isuzu extend their support to the senior Wales women’s side, which will also carry the logos on their playing kit until 2021, and the supply of Isuzu D-Max vehicles to the WRU’s community department which reaches out across Wales.

“We are delighted to welcome a company of the size, stature and international renown of Isuzu,” said WRU chief executive Martyn Phillips. “In terms of the Isuzu partnership alone, this is the biggest national jersey partnership in the history of our national game. The partnership also gives Isuzu a raft of marketing and media rights which will increase brand awareness and connection to rugby supporters.

“This partnership is the first of its kind for us and it has long been our objective to make the Isuzu brand better known,” said Isuzu Said MD Paul Tunnicliffe: “Rugby is an intrinsic part of Welsh life, and we are delighted to become associated with an institution which shares our values of dependability, toughness and commitment.”