By John McCredie
After taking the D-Max LSU for a drive last week, this week we are having a drive of the top of the range D-Max X-Terrain.
The X-Terrain features coloured guard flares and matching coloured grille. It also has a nicely matched and sleek Aero bar on the back with a roller tooneau cover. The tub also comes lined, but as we’d find out after our off road trip, the roller cover and rear doors are not dust proof and on a dusty road, your gear is going to need a clean once you reach your destination.
There’s also a walk away door lock system with remote engine start and keyless start button. We didn’t try the remote engine start, but It’s probably a feature you’ll only use on the hottest of days when you can start the car AND the air-con before getting in.
The wheels on the X-Terrain and also the LSU are 18” with Disc Brakes on the front and Drum brakes on the rear.
Under the bonnet and just like the LSU we previously drove, the new engine in the D-Max is a 3 litre common rail, direct fuel injected 4 cylinder intercooled turbo diesel. It has 140kw of power and 450Nm of torque with maximum torque achieved at just 1600 rpm.
The other big difference between the LSU and X-Terrain is the leather seats that are in this model, and, unlike the LSU, all the seat adjustments are electric. The seating positioning and the seats themselves are nice and comfortable and we really enjoyed driving this car on the bitumen.
Speaking of driving it on the bitumen, just like the LSU we drove last week, the X-Terrain handles well and felt very stable pushing it through the corners. We are in a 6 speed auto and from 3rd gear up, the torque converter in the gearbox locks up to help with fuel economy.
My first impressions of this ute was that it was quiet with no noticeable vibrations, but now I’ve had an opportunity to take it on a longer drive, you can feel engine vibrations in certain rev ranges and when you push the revs up higher, the engine noise is more noticeable than when we did our tests of the LSU around the Sydney Suburbs.
Cruising along on a country road in the X-Terrain is a pleasure and with all the creature comforts in the cabin, it would be a great vehicle to take on a long trip.
For our off-road journey, we’ve come west of Sydney to the forests surrounding the Lost City. This area suffered from the recent bush fires and quite a bit of the bush in this area is still suffering from the affects.
The first thing I noticed when we hit the dirt road was how stiff the suspension is. You tend to feel every bump in the road and in some cases, we did experience a bit of bump steer. We did have an empty load and so you can expect the suspension to act differently once you throw some luggage and a bit camping gear in the back of the ute. These vehicles are designed to carry a load, so it’s not surprising they’re not ideal empty, but we have driven other new utes, like the Triton that in my opinion are better in this area.