Giti Tyres Big Test: The Best...of the Rest
So, what do you reckon the single best-selling model of New Zealand's best-selling truck make - Isuzu - is?
The 530-horsepower GIGA maybe - seeing as it's the flagship for the Japanese brand? Or, probably much more likely, one of its ever-popular light-duty N Series range?
Nope. Surprisingly (even Isuzu Trucks NZ general manager Colin Muir raised an eyebrow when he checked the figures) the best of the best turns out to be a bit of a sleeper - the CYZ460 version of the GIGA range took out that honour in 2017 (from the 2016 incumbent, the little 4x4 NPS).
The 460 is a one-model, one-spec truck, available only with an Eaton Roadranger 18-speed manual gearbox, steel suspension, heavy-duty front axle and a driveline retarder. And it's aimed squarely at the tipper market.
Isuzu has been NZ's best-selling heavy-duty truck make for 18 years, taking over that mantle from Fuso/Mitsubishi. Last year, it remained a clear No.1, selling 1262 trucks (with a 4.5-tonne-plus GVM)....but did have its market share cut from 29.96% in 2016 to 24.23%.
Pirelli Trevor Test
I start my test drive of gameon 2's Isuzu CYZ460 on a farm development site across the Waikato River from Rangiriri, in the northern Waikato.
Our task is to move a 22-tonne excavator north to a factory in Manukau City.
All up weight will be around 42 tonnes, so it will be a good test for the Isuzu's relatively-modest horsepower.
The CYZ460 is, as the name suggests, a 460hp version of this popular Isuzu model. The engine produces its peak power at 1800rpm and 2254Nm of torque at 1300rpm.
That torque rating is the same as the more powerful 530hp model's, so it'll be interesting to see how the 460 goes.
We pull out of the farm site over a long access track and I immediately feel the truck pulling easily, and upshift the 18-speed Roadranger at around 1500rpm, keeping the revs nicely in the green band.
The gearshift is smooth and the 'box falls into the gears easily; the clutch pedal is nice and light - in fact very light - so it takes a few gearchanges to get a good feel for it.