Much more impeccably stylish than your average-looking bear, er, workhorse, the Isuzu Traviz has more than good looks to offer but on a previous article which pitted the brawnier Traviz against the much compact but top-caliber hauler, Mitsubishi L-300, performance results were somewhat troubling for the former as it was being hailed as a light-duty truck destined for small and medium-sized enterprises (SME’s) much like the latter, hence, the unlikely but amiable rivalry between these two indefatigable work-fleets.
FYI though, the Travis was originally manufactured on Indonesian soil in 2018 and known there locally as Isuzu “Traga”, which means “extra spacious” in the Indonesian tongue, so there.
To get back on track, based on those same performance results, it appears that Traviz had not fared better against the L-300.
Performance-wise, perhaps the Isuzu Traviz just doesn't measure up against a force of nature much like the L-300, a decades-old road veteran that has been in the cargo business far longer than any newbie work fleet currently operating in the local market.
Therefore, in an unofficially classic sense, perhaps the Isuzu Travis had somehow portrayed the role here of an “underdog” in a somewhat typical story about car superiority, however, the public or car buyers have always the last say about what car brands they would rather choose to buy so let’s leave it at that.
But the main thing here is that the article tries to narrow down specific key features that seem to stand out from the Isuzu Traviz and one of these particulars, we believe, is that singularly awkward presence of a snorkel-like device that can be found factory-retrofitted at the backside, particularly of the Traviz L variant as a sort of anti-flooding measure against flooding as Philippine roads are wickedly prone to this dilemma, especially during the rainy season.
However, more on that later as this article highlights other “specialized” features unique to Traviz’s body configuration.
CAB AND CHASSIS PLATFORM
Isuzu Philippines Corporation’s (IPC) full-fledged credo of providing“reliable products” coupled with practical “business solutions” continues unabated as the company offers two unique body configurations of the Traviz variants.
The first version is the Traviz S (short wheelbase) which comes in at 2250mm while the Traviz L (long wheelbase) has 2400mm, a crucial factor in terms of customization not readily apparent in the likes of the Mitsubishi L-300 which comes in with a pre-set body configuration upon post-production.
The beauty of having two wheelbase options is that vehicles that have this distinct element can be easily reconfigured to utility, aluminum, cab, and chassis, dropside truck, as well as a refrigerated van, and when it comes to hauling ass, pardon the expression, the Traviz S can easily carry 1,660 kilograms of goods while the Traviz L licks off 1,665 kilograms of weight in a breeze.
An overall 1.6-ton of payload capacity can easily be managed thanks to this unique chassis configuration and when retrofitted with a UV (utility van) body, dimensions for the Traviz L come in at 4,600 mm long (4,450 mm for Traviz S), 1,695 mm wide, and 1,955 mm high.
With this configuration, especially inside the cabin hold of the “L” variant, it can seat up to 8 people on either side, 16 passengers in all, excluding the 3 people squeezed in on the front.
On a special note, IPC had the uncanny foresight to also reconfigure the former thereby classifying it as a Class-1 vehicle which served well the local government's PUV modernization program.
Meanwhile, a double-wishbone manages the front suspension of the Traviz while the rear setup has a semi-elliptical leaf spring-type suspension moreover, a ventilated disc delivers braking power at the front while the rear consists of leading and trailing drum brakes.
What’s more, the Traviz has a turning radius of 4.5 meters and is by far, the shortest in its class thus, affording easy maneuverability, especially in tight corners while negotiating heavy loads inevitably confirming ownership satisfaction in the goods and transportation sector.
Lately, IPC engineers have made some fine-tuning on Traviz’s engine with the result that instead of a distributor-type injection system installed under the hood, the 4JA1 upgraded power plant is now a Euro 4-rated 4JA1 2.5-liter Direct Injection Common Rail Blue Power diesel engine delivering 78hp of power and 176Nm of torque while anchored to a 5-speed manual transmission. The engine, by the way, was replicated from the Isuzu Crosswind AUV that was discontinued because of unmet emission standards.
Even though the engine was re-tooled, however, the Traviz doesn't qualify as some sort of speed demon on the runway but still, acceleration levels are pretty much decent enough as Traviz was optimized more for its hauling capacity than mere speed but economy-wise, however, the Traviz does crimp-on fuel expenses based on an official AAP-verified DOE-style fuel economy run test led by Isuzu which yielded on average, 23.4 kilometers per liter.
A commanding yet modernly stylish fascia meets the eye but the unusual shape of the halogen headlamps and the iconic presence of a “6-hole” grille, a signature motif lifted from the likes of other Isuzu car brands like D-Max and mu-X accounts much for the rugged good looks of the Traviz not to mention the uniquely-sculpted windshield that is tapered somewhat roundly at the edges giving off a rather mild impression of a magnified windshield of a Greyhound bus seen at close quarters.
Adding to these external features are a manually-adjustable rearview mirror, centrally-mounted fuel tank, integrated radio antenna, and adjustable headlights.
What’s more, passenger and driver windows were given a wide and longer berth for better road and traffic visibility.
Cabin architecture does look utilitarian enough as one gets inside but surprisingly, it is more comfortable and spacious, equipped with just the right touch of amenities meant justifiably for a working fleet.
A thicker urethane steering wheel provides a firmer grip while ample legroom sustains maneuverability, especially in busy road traffic.
The brake pedal is reasonably good on stop-go momentum yet the clutch feels incredibly light for a mammoth-sized vehicle such as Traviz.
Overall, controls are easy to handle plus the shifter and handbrake interface is ideally placed for ease of operation.
Other comfort amenities include power steering, optional AC/unit, adjustable seats, and cup/bottle holders while dashboard features include a tachometer, electronic multi-tripmeter, fabric upholstery, digital clock, and digital odometer.
Traviz also has FM/AM/radio, Bluetooth connectivity, USB and auxiliary ports, and built-in front speakers for entertainment.
Traviz has not a lot to offer when it comes to safety features which are understandably typical for a mid-sized LCV as carmakers equipped it with only a meager nest of standards such as three-point seat belts, driver airbag, seat belt warning device, parking sensors, crash sensor, front impact beams, side-impact beams, door ajar warning, engine check warning, and brake assist which maximizes braking efficiency.
However, when it comes to repairs and maintenance, Traviz is easy to manage on the long haul as the truck is duly serviceable by local mechanics.
What’s more, the top-spec Traviz L comes in with a price of Php 992,000 while the standard Traviz S is pegged at Php 962,000.
The Isuzu Traviz is one highly-specialized cargo hauler/people mover which allegedly drives more like a van than an NHR or medium-duty truck; reputably lives up to its name as a valued “Transport” for “Trading” that “Transcend” “Business” hence, foreshortened eponymously to mean as “Traviz”.