Following the write-up we did early last month covering the launch of the 2013 Isuzu KB range I received an invite from the guys at Reeds directly to my inbox to come and try out the KB at the Isuzu Open Day held on the 10th of May. The invite dared me to “…come and experience the all-new Isuzu KB like never before…” and who was I to refuse such a handsome offer?
An added cherry on the cake was that the decided venue for this open day was at the De Grendel Wine Farm, just a few short minutes up the road from me. With trusty little camera in hand I set off to go see if the hype was matched ‘on the pitch’, as such.
It was the perfect day for a visit to a wine farm, although visitors were treated to a totally different kind of vintage than the average cellar may provide. With a clear view of Table Mountain I passed under the giant Isuzu inflatable archway and felt as though I was at the starting line to some amazing race. As I headed for some parking I eyed the plethora of vehicles on display from a joint GM venture that saw everything from Chevy Sparks to the new Opel Astra OPC on display on the grass mounds just outside the restaurant. Pretty, shiny things!
That, however, was not why I had come. I had come to see the more beastly offerings in action and as I plodded somewhat aimlessly out of the parking area, these offerings came rolling by. A set of various KB bakkies as well as a few Chevy Trailblazers passed by me on their way out to the different tracks on offer, leaving me asking myself only one thing: “Where do I go to hitch the next ride?”
As if summoned, Mr Jonathan Cerqueira, from Reeds Tygervalley, appeared before me with a helpful grin and ushered me to the registration table, where snacks and drinks and little take-home goodies were made available to visitors. I signed in, got my arm band, sneaked in a quick cup of coffee and headed on back up with him to await the vehicles coming in from the 4×4 track. There was also a tar and gravel track on offer but I was really just there to sink my teeth into the more meaty availabilities of loose dirt and inclines.
Having registered, I had the opportunity to drive the vehicles but what I really wanted was to just kick back, snap a few pics and pretty much have someone else do all the gruntwork of driving. I was in luck, as I found two very willing participants, both prospective buyers of a new KB, so I felt (and rightly so) that catching a ride down with them would be an appropriate way to gain a buyer’s perspective at the same time.
My two new drivers were both engineers of some kind, so they were wanting to try all the little bells and whistles as we edged along behind the cavalcade of soon-to-be 4x4ers, swopping stories of what it was we did and what interested us in general about the new KB. In the back seat with me was the elder engineer’s wife, who was involved in property somehow. In the space of a few short minutes I came to realise the potency of 4x4ing as a social activity more than any other as we entertained ourselves in the moments leading to the track.
All pleasantries aside, we now got down to the nitty gritty and my entrepid engineers were quick to fiddle with all manner of buttons and bobs as they toyed with the diff lock and various 4×4 settings. All the while I snapped some pics and when we got onto the more heavy duty section of the track it was video time! It was actually way more fun just sitting in the back as we slid around corners, raced through the figure of eight loop and traversed sandy inclines. Overall the KB handled like a smooth-sailing schooner and left us wanting more. So we took more. We swopped the drivers and went for another loop!
After our little McRae-esque escapade we sauntered gently back to the inflated Isuzu archway as we joined the cavalcade and looked around for our podium on which to celebrate. There wasn’t one, of course. We all knew the win in our hearts though! The new Isuzu KB handled and we definitely got what my invite had promised a week earlier – to experience it as we’d never done before. A big thanks goes out to the guys at Reeds for putting on a good show and we wish them luck with their new range!