When Isuzu rolled out the all-new D-Max, we were all pretty impressed with the standard list of features and equipment. Then came the technology – wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, along with inbuilt satellite navigation.
We had the chance to spend some time with the 2021 Isuzu D-Max and wanted to do a deep dive on the infotainment system to give you a better understanding of how it works, and whether it’s any good.
This review will focus on the infotainment system fitted standard to the Isuzu D-Max X-Terrain and other models in the D-Max range.
It consists of a high-definition 9.0-inch colour infotainment touchscreen that has 1280 x 800 pixels with a density of 167 pixels per inch.
Beneath the main screen are a set of shortcut buttons for home, navigation, the music menu, a back button, volume, advancing between tracks/stations and a map display button.
The main home screen is split into two sections with navigation on one side and the current audio source on the other. Atop the screen are indicators for Bluetooth, phone reception, and the time.
There’s also an inbuilt voice recognition system. It works okay, but you’re better off using your phone’s voice recognition system (Siri or Google Assistant) when paired via Bluetooth or Apple CarPlay/Android Auto.
While Android Auto is wired, Apple CarPlay is wireless. Apple CarPlay also takes up the entire screen, making it look very neat.
On the usability front, Apple CarPlay automatically connects when you get into and start the vehicle. It works well, but can be a little laggy at times when you flick through the menus on the screen. The good news is you can make voice commands via Siri.
Android Auto also takes up the entire screen and is similarly a little laggy when you try and scroll up using the context menus on the screen.
It too is capable of accepting voice commands via the ‘Hey Google’ virtual assistant.
The inbuilt satellite navigation works well, but can be slow when it comes to entering destination addresses and also when trying to manually move around the map screen.
Outside of smartphone mirroring and mapping, the Isuzu D-Max comes with AM/FM and DAB+ radio. Music can also be streamed through Bluetooth and USB.
The Isuzu D-Max X-Terrain model comes with an eight-speaker sound system with dual speakers built into the roof.
Audio quality is good, but not amazing. It’s fine when you consider the type of vehicle and the segment it competes in.
Ahead of the driver is a 4.2-inch display offering trip computer information, and details on the current four-wheel drive mode. It’s also where you can activate and deactivate safety features.
It’s easy enough to use, but it can be fiddly at times if you want to disable features like the lane-keeping assistant, which enables itself every time the vehicle is started.
For the most part, the Isuzu D-Max infotainment system is good. But where it excels is with wireless Apple CarPlay and wired Android Auto.
The base infotainment system can then be used solely for audio, while more advanced functions can be run through smartphone mirroring.
We’d love to see remote connectivity and further refinement of the smartphone mirroring functions, though.
At the moment it can be a little laggy and doesn’t always recognise your inputs, which can get annoying at times.