Reach—Revolutionary New Commercial Van Powered by Isuzu—Scheduled for Mid-Summer Production

Innovative Body Design by Utilimaster and Fuel-Efficient Isuzu Diesel Powertrain Combine for a New Level of Utility and Economy in a Commercial Van

Isuzu - Utilimaster Reach Commercial Van (Photo: Business Wire)

NTEA 2011 Work Truck Show

ANAHEIM, Calif.--()--Isuzu Commercial Truck of America, Inc., distributor of America’s best-selling low-cab-forward trucks, and Utilimaster, Inc., a category leading manufacturer of specialty chassis and vehicles, today unveiled the Reach™, their game-changing commercial van, at the National Truck Equipment Association’s 2011 Work Truck Show in Indianapolis.

The commercial van—with a body designed by Utilimaster Corporation atop a rugged Isuzu NPR ECO-MAX chassis and powered by Isuzu’s legendary 3.0-liter diesel engine—will achieve 35 percent better fuel economy than a traditional commercial van application while offering the functionality of a custom-built work truck along with the styling and ergonomics of a cargo van. The Reach will offer exceptional fuel mileage and will meet the latest EPA emissions standards, while still providing true commercial truck capability and delivering a dramatically lower cost of ownership than traditional walk-in vans.

Production is scheduled to begin this summer.

“The Reach is the ideal walk-in van for today’s market because its Isuzu powertrain offers incredible fuel efficiency and proven durability, and its frame, suspension, steering and braking systems are true commercial grade, not just beefed passenger van components,” said Shaun Skinner, executive vice president and general manager of Isuzu Commercial Truck of America. “Today’s fleet and vocational buyers are looking for low cost of ownership, and the Reach lives up to its name—it reaches a new standard in low cost of ownership that no other commercial van can match.”

John Marshall, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Utilimaster, added, “There is no compromise with the Reach. Buyers won’t sacrifice practicality for fuel economy and long-term dependability. Utilimaster has worked extensively to design a body that offers significantly more interior height and width than other commercial vans, and it will have multiple design options to maximize utility and driver productivity. We believe the Reach will truly revolutionize the commercial van market.”

Isuzu Chassis and Powertrain

The story of the Reach is one of both experience and innovation, beginning with its proven Isuzu chassis. The stripped chassis’s engine has been relocated to minimize engine protrusion into the cab, facilitating driver movement in and out of the front seat for improved productivity. Likewise, the driver seat position and numerous component locations have been revised to accommodate the walk-in van body. Otherwise, it is the same 12,000-lb. GVWR Isuzu NPR ECO-MAX chassis that has been tested and proven around the world for ruggedness and reliability. More than 200,000 Isuzu N-Series trucks are produced and sold annually globally. Of the more than 400,000 Isuzu-built diesel trucks sold in North America since 1986, more than 81 percent are still registered and in service today—a testament to the chassis’s strength and dependability.

Powering the Reach is Isuzu’s state-of-the-art, biodiesel fuel compatible 4JJ1-TC 3.0-liter turbocharged engine generating 150 horsepower, mated to a Aisin medium-duty six-speed automatic transmission with double overdrive, lock-up torque converter and power take-off (PTO) function. In independent testing, this powertrain achieved a whopping 35 percent better mileage than traditional commercial vans. This impressive fuel economy does not come at the expense of long-term durability; the engine has class-leading B10 durability ratings of 310,000 miles, meaning that 90% will reach that mileage before requiring an overhaul.

Like Isuzu’s N-Series trucks, the Reach meets the most stringent emissions standards in the world. The 4JJ1-TC engine employs selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology, which injects Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) into the hot exhaust stream to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by over 85 percent. As a result, the Reach is:

  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 2010 compliant
  • California Air Resources Board (CARB) OBD II compliant

Combining efficiency, performance and durability with clean-diesel technology, the Reach offers both low cost of ownership and environmental friendliness—the ideal combination for our times.

Utilimaster Commercial Van Features

The Reach will be offered in two wheelbases—134 and 151 inches—and three body lengths—10, 12 and 14 feet. With an interior up to 27 inches higher than a conventional Ford or GM van and 10 inches wider than a Sprinter van, the cargo area can offer 450, 540 or 630 cubic feet of storage, depending on wheelbase and body length selected.

Regardless of size, the Reach’s cab and cargo area were designed with intense focus on:

  • Fuel efficiency through advanced aerodynamics
  • Driver safety and productivity through applied ergonomics
  • Utility through ingenious design
  • Durability and ease of repair through innovative engineering

The dramatic profile of the Reach demonstrates the importance Utilimaster designers placed on aerodynamics. The streamlined shape—11 percent more aerodynamic than comparable vehicles—improves fuel efficiency while it reduces interior noise.

Driver safety and productivity are enhanced by such features as:

  • Available sliding front door (swing-out doors are also available) that requires 15 seconds less to operate than a conventional door
  • Fifty percent wider aisle than competitive vans
  • Sufficient interior height to give even drivers over six feet tall the ability to enter and exit the cab, and access and use the cargo area, in an upright position
  • Available integrated back-up camera
  • Available Keyless, auto-opening bulkhead door
  • Easy-to-access maintenance items

Features that maximize the utility and practicality of the Reach’s body include flat, vertical side walls; available sliding cab doors; and multiple rear-door options.

In addition, a choice of integrated vocational modules will give buyers the opportunity to turn the cargo area into a space virtually customized to their needs.

To achieve maximum durability of the Reach’s body, engineers have employed:

  • Impact-resistant urethane rear and lower exterior panels
  • Rear spring bumper and energy-absorbing side bumpers
  • One-piece molded roof to eliminate leaks

All body panels have been designed for quick removal and replacement so that, if repairs are necessary, the vehicle can easily and quickly be restored to its original condition.

Limitless Potential

“The Reach will have the fit and finish of today’s high-volume cargo vans with the durability and design flexibility demanded of true professional work trucks,” said Skinner. “As a result, this new van will appeal to an enormous segment of the commercial truck market.”

Among the industries and vocations the Reach is expected to appeal to:

  • Package delivery fleets
  • Contractors
  • Cleaning services
  • Plumbers
  • Moving and storage companies
  • Home health care providers
  • Locksmiths
  • Lease/rental agencies
  • Appliance repair and delivery firms
  • Dry cleaners and laundries
  • Heating and air conditioning technicians
  • Electricians
  • Airports
  • Florists
  • Rent-to-own outlets
  • Food distributors
  • And more

In fact, the potential number of markets and applications likely to embrace the Reach is virtually unlimited.

The Reach will be available through the Isuzu nationwide network of 284 dealers.

About Isuzu

Isuzu Motors Limited is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of medium- and heavy-duty trucks. Since building its first truck in 1918, Isuzu has sold over 26 million trucks worldwide. Among its innovations are the first air-cooled diesel engine in 1936, the first two-ton low-cab-forward truck in 1959, and the first direct-injection diesel engine.

Headquartered in Anaheim, California, Isuzu Commercial Truck of America, Inc. (ICTA), is the distributor of Isuzu commercial vehicles in the United States. Isuzu commercial trucks have been the best-selling low-cab-forward trucks in America every year since 1986. For more information, call (866) 441-9638 or visit

About Utilimaster

Established in 1973, Utilimaster ( is a leading manufacturer of walk-in vans and commercial truck bodies for the delivery and service markets. As one of the most respected and trusted manufacturers of commercial vehicles, Utilimaster designs, develops, and manufactures products for specific client applications. Utilimaster services the package delivery, one-way truck rental, linen/uniform rental, utility, and bakery/snack delivery markets. The company serves a diverse customer base by offering customized upfit service as well as a full line of aftermarket parts and accessories. Utilimaster is a subsidiary of Spartan Motors, Inc. (Nasdaq: SPAR).

Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available:


Isuzu Commercial Truck of America, Inc.
Shaun Skinner
Executive Vice President, General Manager
Brian Tabel
Retail Marketing Manager


Isuzu Commercial Truck of America, Inc.
Shaun Skinner
Executive Vice President, General Manager
Brian Tabel
Retail Marketing Manager