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ISUZU NPR REVIEW

ISUZU NPR

IS IT TIME FOR AN UPGRADE?

First we did a walk-around of the truck. This being my first one-on-one interaction with a low-cab forward, and an Isuzu NPR at that, I needed to see all the features: the retractable side view mirrors, the blinkers that light up the road in the direction you’re turning, and the 85-degree door opening. I wanted to see it all.

From what I gathered, the Isuzu NPR is a medium-duty truck built to be reliable, easy to drive, and easy to maintain. If your fleet is currently full of light-duty vehicles that barely get the job done, maybe it’s time to upgrade to the medium-duty segment for higher capability and fewer maintenance intervals.

MECHANICS’ EXPERIENCE

No matter how great a truck is when it’s running, significant downtime keeps you from making money, so finding a truck that is easy to maintain is important. As with all low-cab forwards, the cab of the truck tilts forward, allowing full access of the engine. But for quick checks and preventive service, a removable grille and panel allow for quick and easy access to fluids and other components.

The Isuzu NPR runs off a General Motors 6-L Vortec engine offering 297 hp and 372 lb-ft of torque, so your mechanics aren’t working on an engine that’s unfamiliar or overly engineered.

With the cab tilt, mechanics can even work on the truck comfortably, sitting on the front wheels of the truck as they perform service to the engine. And with an oil change interval of 7,500 miles and an engine design life of 200,000 miles, what could make a mechanic’s job any easier?

DRIVERS’ EXPERIENCE

There’s a reason Isuzu NPRs have been the no. 1 selling low-cab forward trucks since 1986. Along with simple maintenance, this truck is easy to operate, starting with its visibility.

In the cab of the NPR there is only 8 ft of distance between a driver’s eyes and the ground in front of them. The side view mirrors allow drivers to see down the sides of the truck and in the lanes beside them, and the large windshield and windows give drivers a commanding view as well.

In addition to great visibility, the NPR features an ease of maneuverability unseen with conventional trucks. The truck features a 49.5-degree wheel cut, dividing those 20-point turns into much smaller numbers.

The NPR’s ease of maneuverability and visibility make this a truck that’s perfect for urban delivery. Your delivery drivers will enjoy features such as large grab handles for easy entry and egress, self-cleaning steps, and that 85-degree door opening that makes those constant delivery trips less of a hassle. Another advantage of the NPR for your drivers is the standard removable heavy-duty floor mat that protects the NPR’s flooring from muddy boots or a spill from a driver’s water bottle or thermos.

Your drivers will also enjoy a fully adjustable driver’s seat, four cup holders (including two big gulp-sized holders), power windows and doors, cruise control, and Bluetooth and USB capabilities—all standard! 

The NPR also doubles as a driver’s workspace with plenty of in-cab storage, a foldable middle seat that functions as a work surface, and outlets to power mobile devices. Rest assured, if your drivers aren’t used to a medium-duty truck, they’ll learn to love the NPR in no time!

MY TAKEAWAY

Since I began working as an editor of a work truck magazine, I started noticing work trucks all over the roads where I live and work. One of the trucks I often see is the Isuzu NPR, therefore I knew I had to experience it for myself eventually. 

Even during the walk around I could see why owners of work truck fleets would opt for this truck over others. But after I hopped into the driver’s seat, I understood why it’s been America’s favorite low-cab forward for more than 30 years.

As the owner of a work truck fleet, your vehicles are not your business. Your vehicles just get your business, employees, and equipment from the office to the jobsite. If your fleet consists of light- and medium-duty vehicles, your drivers aren’t likely just drivers; they are your delivery men and women, your service technicians, your landscapers, etc. That’s why you need a vehicle that is easy to drive, easy to maintain, and incredibly reliable.

Coming from someone whose daily ride is a tiny coupe, I found the NPR easy to drive around city lots and streets. It’s got the power to handle your equipment with ease and dependability while looking sharp enough to carry the name of your business with pride.

If you’re running your light-duty vehicles into the ground with the intentions of having a vehicle any employee can drive, maybe it’s time to step up into the medium-duty market with a truck that is easy to maneuver  and made for your application. Take the leap into a medium-duty vehicle with the NPR—you’re sure to find it worth it.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jade Brasher is the editor of Modern WorkTruck Solutions magazine. A graduate of The University of Alabama, Jade resides in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and enjoys writing about her town, travel, and of course, work trucks. Reach her at jade@mwsmag.com. Find out more about the Isuzu NPR, visit www.isuzucv.com

MODERN WORKTRUCK SOLUTIONS:
OCTOBER 2019 ISSUE

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