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It is often the case that anyone interested in cars will at some stage have drawn up a list of models they plan on driving at a certain point. Usually, this includes endless examples of Italian exotica, American brute force, German luxury, Japanese tech wizardry or even the world’s fastest production car.

Granted, the majority of these are also on my list, but so are some oddities like as the Mercedes G-class, Ford Transit, forbidden fruit such as the Toyota 4Runner and Chevrolet Suburban, and the vehicle you are about to read to about.

The Isuzu KB is South Africa’s third best-selling one-ton bakkie, and one that has amidst such as loyal following, that you can instantly recognise one approaching thanks to a distinctive diesel clatter that is unlikely to be confused for one of its rivals.

Although I have had my fair share of KB’s in the past, the arrival of a metallic blue 250 D-TEQ Extended Cab LE some 12 months ago rated as the absolute highlight, partly due to the fact that it was on my list of vehicles to drive, and because it managed to leave a massive smile on my face each time I floored the loud pedal or tried to execute the perfect gear change.

Having not driven a bakkie since the end of last year, I was therefore in for quite a surprise when a similarly coloured 300 D-TEQ LX Double Cab 4x4 arrived for testing.

Its signature hue aside, there is no doubt that the KB remains one of the most muscular bakkies on the market with its macho stance, chrome grille and oversized ISUZU badge, menacing looking headlights and protruding sidesteps. Our test model also sported an aftermarket coloured coded canopy with roof rails and a prominent spoiler, which helped enhance its appeal that little more.

Developed on the same platform and sharing most of its hardware with the Chevrolet TrailBlazer, the KB’s dual-cockpit interior layout borrows heavily from its SUV sibling with the most prominent feature being the rotary climate control dial on the centre console.

While not the softest kind, the interior plastics felt unashamedly rugged and well put together with the ambiance being lifted somewhat by the satin silver trimmings down the centre console and on the steering wheel, doors and gearknob.

Often a trait that can make or break a double cab, room in the back was nothing short of excellent as I could perform the sit-behind-myself test without complaining of a lack in leg or headroom.

As with the Extended Cab, the Double Cab is awash with storage areas with the most notable being the box between the front seats, cubby on top of the facia, a split glovebox and coin trays below the outer air vents, which also doubles up as two of the six cupholders offered.

Being the range topping model, standard spec is inclusive and includes a six-speaker sound system with Bluetooth, USB and Aux input, 17-inch all-terrain alloy wheels, electric windows all around, cruise control, rear parking sensors, auto lock/unlock doors, electric driver’s seat, six airbags as well as ABS with EBD and BAS.

There is however no doubt that star of the show lurks underneath the bonnet. Yes, the 3.0-litre D-TEQ’s 130 kW and 380 N.m of torque is not exactly class leading, but what makes it stand out, is the way it goes about delivering that grunt.

Flooring the throttle is rewarded by a surge of low down torque accompanied by a whoosh noise from the turbocharger which could become addicted after a short drive. Although Isuzu claims a combined fuel consumption figure of 7.9 L/100 km, I suspect my fondness for the turbo noise and mostly town driving, was to blame for coming nowhere that number.

Likewise, the five-speed manual gearbox is of the long throw kind and requires a firm hand to change up, but it feels mechanical and comes with a clutch that is more like stepping on a marshmallow than a piece of earth.

Time and various other factors sadly meant I could not test the KB’s off-road prowess properly, but having been given taster during parent company General Motors’ More Than A Test Drive track/off-road day earlier this year, there is no doubt that little would be able to stop it when the going get rough.

As with the Extended Cab, my week long tenure with Isuzu’s flagship KB Double Cab will probably go down as one of the this year’s highlights. It never once put a foot and regardless of what mood I might have been in, it always made a me smile, a similar effect it no doubt has on the 1 000 people buying derivatives month-after-month.