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Isuzu D-Max 2022 review: X-Terrain

The burnt orange was a hit in my neighbourhood.

I was supposed to go on a road trip this week with the Isuzu D-Max, but lockdown happened and we got stuck in Sydney.

Strangely, I still have use for the ute because I have a perfume business and needed to transport lots of boxes this week, so it still came in handy! 

This is the D-Max X-Terrain which is the top-of-the-range and has 4WD. At the moment, it costs $59,990 drive-away (at time of writing, this is a deal!) and competes with cars like the Toyota HiLux and Mazda BT-50

I’m not your typical audience for a ute, and I’m going to review it from a family perspective so if you’re looking for a more detailed review, head to the CarsGuide website where the lovely Crafty has done a D-Max deep dive

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How does it look?

It looks… like a big, tough ute. Large with square angles. And look, aesthetically while it doesn’t appeal to me, I don’t think it’s meant to.

It’s meant to look tough! Like it could take you on outside the pub if it needed to! And take you across a river! Or up a gravelly hillside. That’s the vibe I’m getting here.

The D-Max is large with square angles. The D-Max is large with square angles.

The inside is decent enough. There are leather accented seats and a leather steering wheel, with a pebble covered dash that certainly lifts things.

It’s not by any means luxe but it looks easy to clean when you climb back in after a muddy camping trip, which you’ll no doubt take in this car. 

It does have some metallic accents throughout the cabin and some high gloss points, too. 

What’s the tech like?

You’ll get a 9.0-inch multimedia display with sat-nav, corded Android Auto and wireless Apple CarPlay, which is pretty great for this category, along with an eight-speaker sound system - it’s not an amazing system but it is good. 

You’ll get a 9.0-inch multimedia display with corded Android Auto and wireless Apple CarPlay. You’ll get a 9.0-inch multimedia display with corded Android Auto and wireless Apple CarPlay.

How easy is it to use every day?

For storage in the cabin there are two cupholders in the front, a spot for keys and a phone, an extra storage spot on top of the dash that looks like it will hold an iPad or a log book. There are bottle holders in each door and a centre storage bin. 

For storage in the cabin there are two cupholders in the front and a spot for keys or a phone. For storage in the cabin there are two cupholders in the front and a spot for keys or a phone.

Opening the tray of the ute is easy enough, it’s got a lockable cover that easily slides over.

Pulling the cover back isn’t as easy, and also loading the tray - you may have to get in depending on how tall you are. 

Also, things like school bags and grocery bags will slide around in the tray as it’s so large. You’ll need to get some straps to tie them down or something else to hold them in place.

Annoying for everyday? If you’re a parent, without an actual need for a tradies ute, then yes, it will be annoying. Basically it’s a bit of extra work every time you pop something in the boot.

Does the space make up for it? Well that’s up to you and your lifestyle and how often you need a giant tray space. If you use it all the time then it’s worth it. If you don’t, then it’s not. 

Opening the tray of the ute is easy enough, it’s got a lockable cover that easily slides over. Opening the tray of the ute is easy enough, it’s got a lockable cover that easily slides over.

How spacious is it?

There are leather accented seats and a leather steering wheel, with a pebble covered dash. There are leather accented seats and a leather steering wheel, with a pebble covered dash.The space in the front is massive. It’s really high off the ground and feels positively airy with loads of leg and headroom in the front even for taller passengers. This is a big person’s car. 

Rear passengers also have a good amount of space and my kids, aged seven and nine, happily used the side step to climb up and in. They also had plenty of room in the back seat, I can fit back here comfortably at 161cm (5'3") and taller adults/teenagers won’t struggle with legroom or headroom. 

Rear passengers also have a good amount of space. Rear passengers also have a good amount of space.

You’ll find a pair of ISOFIX child seat anchor points and two top-tether loops to feed straps through to a centre attachment tether for baby seats.

Now, instead of the boot, you get a giant tray, which is great for deliveries, when you’ve got loads of boxes you want to transport around. And of course for tradies who have to carry tools for their job.

For a mum doing the school run who doesn’t have a business that needs a lot of delivery space, it’s not as convenient as a regular boot. 

How does it drive?

The most surprising thing I found about the D Max X-Terrain is that I actually enjoyed driving it. 

I love being so high up off the road, I love having all the power of a 3.0L engine (though can’t wait 'til there are hybrid/electric utes!).

It doesn’t even sound too loud for a diesel, and of course there’s the quiet confidence that comes with having a proper 4WD. 

It's great having all the power of a 3.0L engine. It's great having all the power of a 3.0L engine.

The turning circle isn’t as huge as I thought it was going to be - it’s not awkward to drive and the steering wheel is light and easy, so parking wasn’t even an issue for me this week. I squeezed into spaces I didn’t think this car would fit in.

There’s also a decent reverse parking camera. And the best bit about driving a ute? Nobody seems to mind where you park it. I could have been doing important road work after all!

How safe is it?

Safety is comprehensive with all the new advanced safey like auto emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, rear cross-traffic alert and lane departure prevention, which is actually quite strong.  

There are eight airbags through the cabin and you’ll get two ISOFIX points and two top tether points for kids car seats. 

The D-Max scored a maximum five ANCAP stars when it was tested in 2020.

How much does it cost to own?

The Isuzu D-Max X-Terrain costs $63,900, before on-road costs, but there’s a deal on at time of writing offering it drive-away for under $60K. 

The official combined fuel figure is 8.0L/100km, and that’s diesel. I averaged 10.4L/100km for the week, which consisted of mainly city driving, with some highways thrown in. There is no electric or hybrid version on offer. 

The Isuzu D-Max X-Terrain costs $63,900, before on-road costs. The Isuzu D-Max X-Terrain costs $63,900, before on-road costs.

It’s covered by Isuzu Ute’s six year/150,000km warranty with 13 months roadside assistance provided. Service your D-Max with a participating Isuzu Ute dealer and that roadside cover will be extended up to a maximum seven years.

Servicing is required every 12 months/15,000 km, and a seven-year capped price servicing program is offered, averaging just over $480 per annual service.


The Wrap

I’m not a giant fan of utes, but as far as utes go, this Isuzu D-Max is a good one. The interior feels good to sit in, it’s super spacious for a family of four, it drives really nicely, and has the latest in safety and technology. 

I gave it a family rating of 7.6 out of 10 and my kids gave it a seven - they’re not huge fans of the colour but liked the tray they could climb in. 

Likes

High on the road
Good driving for a ute
Decent interior for a ute

Dislikes

Loud engine
Extra work tying things down in tray
Opening tray cover can be tricky

Scores

Nedahl:

3.8

The Kids:

3.5

$63,900

Based on new car retail price


Disclaimer: The pricing information shown in the editorial content (Review Prices) is to be used as a guide only and is based on information provided to Carsguide Autotrader Media Solutions Pty Ltd (Carsguide) both by third party sources and the car manufacturer at the time of publication. The Review Prices were correct at the time of publication.  Carsguide does not warrant or represent that the information is accurate, reliable, complete, current or suitable for any particular purpose. You should not use or rely upon this information without conducting an independent assessment and valuation of the vehicle.