The Isuzu D-Max interior has had a big update, aesthetically it was a much more pleasant environment to be in than the previous model D-Max I tested and Isuzu has made the interior more like its sister SUV the M-UX.
The updated interior was very nice but I still find it shocking that ISOFix has not been added in the rear seats, especially as the MU-X has three sets of ISOFix points on the second row! Come on Isuzu, there are families using these vehicles 😉
You may not think the Isuzu D-Max would be an obvious choice for a family car! With five seats, the huge tray carrying capacity, great off-road ability AND the fact the D-Max’s main competitors the Ford Ranger and Toyota Hilux being the top-selling cars in Australia two years running (and counting), it’s pretty obvious that practicality and versatility are what’s making utes very popular as family cars.
The second big improvement with the D-Max is the drive and the ride, Isuzu have changed the suspension and it was SO much better than the previous model, especially for a BabyDrive. The previous model felt like you were driving off-road when you were just popping to the shops, pitching and rocking as you turn corners or go up and down the smallest of kerbs. The child seats seemed to move around considerably because of it, causing a lot of protesting from their small occupants!
This was not the case in the new D-Max, the ride was fantastic! Much smoother than previously with none of the pitching and rolling or child seat movement.
The D-Max was a bit tall for me. At 162cm, I had to hop up on the side steps just to do up Tulsi's child seat restraints, which on a day to day basis was impractical for reaching other things in and out of the cab also.
The D-Max does have my favourite end of dashboard cup holders, which I love for convenience while driving but also because it keeps hot drinks out of the central console where little hands can reach through. Although none of the cup holders would hold my large refillable water bottle, which is frustrating in a vehicle of this size!
Storage throughout the D-Max was quite poor, there are a few extra storage compartments in the dash but none are big enough to hold an iPad.
In the back, there is NO ISOFIX!!! Which is crazy! There are three top tethers, they are metal bars on the ute body, behind the seat back. Connecting the top tethers is extremely difficult like it is in all utes because you have such a small space to work in, connecting all the child seats and then tightening top tethers is difficult and using the seatbelts because there are no ISOFix adds another element of difficulty.
Three child seats do fit well across that rear row and there were no seat belt clips underneath seat bases.
I loved the simplicity of the previous model D-Max’s dash and controls. This update has a much more aesthetically pleasing dashboard and cab environment but the controls are still nice and simple.
The air-con, media and steering wheel mounted controls were so simple and uncomplicated. Just what was needed and nothing more.
I find now as a mother, less is more and keeping things simple makes life so much easier!
I sometimes find myself thinking: why do I need five different screen colour options, when I can’t find the button to mute the ‘beeeeeeeping’ that is waking up my baby!!
Bringing me to the lack of ‘beeeeeeeeeeping’ in this Isuzu D-Max. Beautiful and quiet!
Reversing was peaceful with the absence of any sensors, there were no flashing lights or sirens blaring and the tight turning circle and reversing camera made it easy to manoeuvre confidently.
On a serious note, the D-Max does come with just a reversing camera. There are no sensors, lane departure warnings, blind spot warnings, it is featureless in that sense compared to some of its rivals. That is how it feels in a BabyDrive sense. It isn’t a vehicle designed to cross over into the family car category. It is as its name suggests, a utility vehicle. It would be my vehicle of choice to cross the Simpson Desert but I wouldn’t choose it to do my weekly shopping!