Strong engine pulls D-Max quite swiftly
Workhorse materials but too difficult to get comfortable
Decent enough rosta of safety kit
Built to last
Loads of space for five occupants and well sized loadbay
Most essentials included
The D-Max is surprisingly swift, thanks to its 2.5-litre diesel engine which has lots of pulling power. It's pretty noisy but at least there's a sixth gear for faster runs which calms things down and helps boost fuel economy. This is a vehicle designed to carry heavy weights and when the loadbay is empty the ride becomes bouncy and loses some grip so you'll need to be judicious with the accelerator to avoid the back end becoming unsettled.
The materials are hard and no-nonsense, which is good news for a vehicle that's likely to be something of a workhorse. Unfortunately it's quite hard to find a comfortable driving position, especially since the steering wheel has only limited adjustment options.
The Double Cab model has a decent amount of space for five passengers and the cabin feels light and airy. The loadbay isn't as wide as a Volkswagen Amarok's but it can still cope with an impressive one-ton load and tow a braked trailer of up to three tons.
There's a decent, if not lavish, amount of kit as standard, including switches on the leather steering wheel to operate the stereo and cruise control, plus an iPod connector, Bluetooth and air-con. It might be a pick-up but the D-Max still has Isofix points on its outer rear seats, although it's not possible to deactivate the front passenger airbag so you won't be able to fit a rear-facing child seat here.
The interior feels rock solid and built to last a battering. The mechanicals are just as robust so you should get years of fuss-free motoring from the D-Max. The D-Max comes with stability control, emergency brake-assist and six airbags including curtain airbags that extend to the rear seats, plus a four-star crash test rating from Euro NCAP but a Ford Ranger has seven airbags and a better rating. Decent security measures are also standard.
If your family takes part in outdoor sports or camping, then a pick-up is a good way to transport equipment without ruining your car's interior. The D-Max is surprisingly light on fuel, returning 38.2mpg, and comes with an impressive five-year, 125,000-mile warranty.