isuzu d maxAn utility spec Isuzu D-Max double cab was the overall winner in the LCV section of this year’s MPG Marathon by returning an impressive 51.2mpg. Driven by VansA2Z editor Neil McIntee and Parkers van editor, CJ Hubbard, the pick-up covered 322 miles during the two-day event and required 28.6 litres (6.3 gallons) for the team from the RAC to fill it back to the brim.

The official combined cycle figure for the recently revised D-Max is 40.4mpg, meaning that it demonstrated a 26.8 per cent improvement during the Marathon. There were a few furrowed brows when Isuzu announced that it was replacing the 2.5-litre diesel with a new 1.9-litre powerplant, but this result is testimony to just how efficient the new diesel unit is in the real world.

The MPG Marathon is not an out-and-out fuel economy event. Strict time limits are set between all the waypoints so that competitors don’t simply drive very slowly. In general this means driving at, or close to, the given speed limit.

What impressed the most during the event was the torque delivery of the D-Max’s 1.9-litre diesel. It was happy to respond from as low as 1,200rpm in sixth gear with 1,400rpm being the sweet spot. The driving team decided to take the real-world option of using a TomTom set to calculate the most eco-friendly routes between waypoints and in conjunction with the engine this turned out to be a winning combination.