All these safety systems can be configured in the settings menu on the dash, meaning you can turn the ones you do not like off, but we found we were happy with them all switched on.
The reversing camera and the Rear Cross Traffic alert is another great feature, which is present on many modern cars. It gave warnings regularly as the car was backed out of parking spots, indicating passing traffic which could not be seen because of other parked cars.
The LSU and X-Terrain versions also have a 9-inch entertainment screen with apple CarPlay that works with a cable and also wirelessly. The sound system pumps out great audio through the eight speakers in this model. There is also built in satellite navigation, but realistically, most drivers much prefer Google Maps that can be accessed through Apple CarPlay.
This model also has dual zone air conditioning, which delivers plenty of air to all passengers, including those sitting in the back. Speaking of which, whilst it is tight in the back seat for adults, the rear seating space is perfect for children and teenagers and compares well with most utes in this category.
We would have loved to take the D-Max off road, but unfortunately didn’t have the opportunity. However, the specification sheet indicates that the wading depth has been increased to 800mm (from 600mm) with the design of the engine location and diff breathers.
The change from 2WD to 4WD is also extremely easy, with a quick turn of a dial in the centre console, which can be operated up to speeds of 100kmh. There is also a diff lock that we believe should be standard on every 4WD. In the D-Max, the lockable diff is a magnetic based lock that will make four wheel driving much easier in rugged terrain. We just wish we could have had the chance to get it dirty.
The towing capacity is 3500kg with a braked load, but our test vehicle didn’t come with a tow bar so unfortunately, we didn’t get to test its towing capability, but we have no doubt it will tow with ease. The towing capacity is the same for all model variants.
What is our conclusion?
The new D-Max is a pleasure to drive. The road feel and handling capability are excellent this off-road Ute should go to the top of your test-drive list if you are in the market for a 4WD Ute.
The six-speed automatic gearbox is smooth through gear changes and overall, the D-Max is extremely quiet and very refined. Our only criticism of the drivability is it is a bit firm in the suspension and you notice how stiff it is on an uneven or bumpy road. But other than that, we could not fault it.
We think this new D-Max is going to upset the balance in the 4WD Ute market. We highly recommend taking one for a test drive, and we are sure you will be extremely impressed.