Road Report
Towing a tonne on a tank
Isuzu UTE’s D-MAX diesel ute has towed a trailered five-plus metre fibreglass power boat weighing over 1000kg nearly 1000km from the outback to the ocean and onto the city without refuelling.
Eco-futurist and tree farmer Hans Tholstrup drove a top spec D-MAX LS 4x2 manual five-seat, four-door crew ute 967km from south-west Queensland’s Cunnamulla to Coolangatta then up to Cannon Hill in inner suburban Brisbane on its standard tank of diesel.
Along much of the route except for the last 100km up to Brisbane, Tholstrup battled 25-to-35km/h head and nose winds as the weather wound up to dump the major February floods on central Queensland.
The D-MAX’s calculated average fuel use was 7.85 litres/100km based on its nominal fuel tank volume of 76 litres. This is less than the most frugal D-MAX model’s best ADR 81/02 figure of 7.9 l/100km ¯which excludes any towing, and likewise much less than the no-tow 8.4l/100km ADR figure for the heavier LS manual. Fuellings at the start and finish of the Run were supervised and verified by RACQ representatives.
Tholstrup had previously stretched an unhitched D-MAX SX 4x2 crew ute 1,716.3 kilometres on a single tank driving from far north Queensland’s gulf country down south past Innamincka in South Australia. That drive — which included 175 km of harsh outback gravel—returned an average consumption of 4.428 litres/100km—the economy of an electric-petrol hybrid or a small diesel car.
This tow test was designed as a more real world economy test and has again proved Isuzu’s claim that D-MAX is the ‘frugal freighter’ of the one-tonne conventional-cab ute class, whilst still packing the punch to tow or tote a load with ease and comfort.
Note: In these runs, Tholstrup, an expert in economy driving, drove for maximum economy at mostly less than posted speeds over mostly low-traffic roads. At all times during the Run, the full size alloy spare wheel was carried and the door mirrors were in their normal position
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