Isuzu D-Max Fury review

In 'Fury' special edition guise, Isuzu's D-Max pick-up gets an injection of racing attitude. The experts at caranddriving.com check it out.

Ten Second Review

Inspired by Isuzu's BCCC Rally vehicle, the D-max Fury adds a layer of attitude to the company's range of affordable four wheel drive pick-ups. Based on the Eiger trim, but with £2,000 worth of additional kit, the D-Max Fury costs around £20,0000 - just £500 more than the Eiger.

Background

Isuzu has been steadily growing its presence in the UK, with a range of reasonably priced pick-up trucks catering to specific niches in the commercial world. Previously known as the Rodeo in the UK, the D-max has become one of the top selling pick-up models around the world, thanks to a combination of handsome looks, tough build quality and competitive pricing. These qualities led professional rally driver Jason Sharpe to choose the D-Max for the British Cross-Country Championship and the aggressive redesign of his rally car, nick-named "The Fury", inspired a road-going version based on the company's popular D-Max Eiger model. Exclusive to the UK, the special edition D-Max Fury is bold, bright and built to last with unique paint, a sporty interior and a five-year/ 125,000 mile warranty. There are now up to 10 variants to choose from in the D-Max range alone, giving Isuzu customers an unprecedented choice.

Driving Experience

The D-Max Fury is a performance oriented pick-up for use on road, off-road and at work. The 2.5-litre twin turbo diesel engine is a solid power-plant that is more than capable of putting in the long shifts required of these workhorses, while remaining pliant enough to provide efficient every day transport when not charging through forests, or towing heavy loads. When the going gets rough, you can turn a dial on the centre console to select four-wheel drive, and when things start to get really bumpy, a further click to select 'low range' will help you get out of trouble. In this environment the suspension absorbs the worst of the terrain but gives enough feedback to help you negotiate the landscape. As you'd expect, the D-max Fury comes into its own when put to work. It's a highly capable pick-up and ideal as a support truck or practical fleet vehicle. It is unlikely you'll ever reach the top speed of 112mph here in the UK, unless you also are thinking of taking it racing.

Design and Build

As a double cab pick-up, there is comfortable seating for five adults, with impressive legroom for both front and rear row passengers. The interior is trimmed in a two-tone black and red leather finish, with the 'Fury' name design integrated into the head-restraints. While the black plastic dashboard trim betrays the low-cost nature of this car, it is finished nicely with silver highlights and red Isuzu badges. Outside, this special edition comes in Magma Red, a colour exclusive to the Fury model, with contrasting black details like the wing mirrors, roll-bar, and bumpers, plus a grey finish for the side-steps and grille. LED spotlights and a silver under-body protection plate hark back to the rally car that inspired the design. For those who tow commercially, the magic number to look out for is the towing capacity of 3,500kg. There are surprisingly few vehicles on the market with this capability, and it allows far greater flexibility of use. Behind the cabin, the load area can be left open, covered with an aluminium checker-plate surface, or enclosed with a full leisure canopy to maximise storage space. The manual D-Max Fury can carry a payload up to 1,072kg.

Market and Model

The D-Max Fury stands out as a great example of value for money. Based on Isuzu's Eiger trim, the Fury manages to squeeze an additional £2,000 worth of equipment into just a £500 premium over the model on which it's based. Keeping the price below £20,000 (or £21,000 for the automatic) makes this a strong purchase proposition for individuals, small businesses and large fleets. The choice of pick-ups in Isuzu's range is extraordinarily wide, but the tough looks of the Fury make it ideal for those who want to make their presence felt on the road. The style of the D-Max Fury puts it head-to-head with the likes of the Mitsubishi L200 and Ford Ranger, both competent and popular vehicles. The look of the Fury, the excellent warranty, and the extensive equipment list will all be deciding factors in choosing the Isuzu. The equipment list includes many features more commonly found in family saloons, such as iPod connectivity, Bluetooth and USB ports. A leather steering wheel, heated windscreen and cup-holders, make the D-Max Fury a pleasant place to be. To help with parking, the view from a rear facing camera is displayed on the rear-view mirror while reverse gear is selected.

Practicalities and Costs

Despite its size, and sporty pretensions, the Isuzu D-Max Fury is relatively cost-effective to run. The hard-working twin-turbo diesel engine returns a healthy combined cycle average of 38.7mpg. Crucially though, the pick-up's CO2 emissions are 220g/km, meaning it falls just within the £290 tax band, narrowly avoiding the hefty £490 annual rate. With a 125,000 mile/ five-year warranty, the D-Max Fury should carry out a whole load of work before it begins to incur extra costs. This dependability will help keep residual prices stable and with a recommended service schedule of 24 months/ 12,000 miles, the commercial user is able to concentrate on running their business, rather than worry about running their vehicle. If the purchase price is still too big to swallow in one go, Isuzu offers a contract hire scheme at £215 + VAT per month over a three year period. On the practical side, the load bay dimensions are 1,552mm long by 1,530mm wide with a flat-folding tailgate. Adding a Leisure Canopy increases the secure volume of the whole load area. The rear loading area can be further customised with cross bars, sport rails, cycle carriers and a style bar on which LED spotlights can be mounted.

Summary

The Isuzu D-Max Fury is a tough, practical pick-up with a unique character reflecting its rally championship pedigree and versatile style. As comfortable charging through forests as working for the council, the D-Max Fury reflects the personality of the driver and gives a shot of adrenalin to an otherwise industrial range. By incorporating the Fury theme inside and out, Isuzu have injected a luxurious flavour to their best-selling work horse. An excellent choice for the dynamic business owner on a tight budget, the D-Max Fury manages to bring together the style of a premium SUV, the practicality of a pick-up and the comfort of a saloon into one car for less than £21,000. With its renowned dependability backed-up by a 125,000 mile/ five-year warranty, an accommodating service schedule and a frugal engine, the Isuzu D-Max Fury will for some represent a credible alternative to the ubiquitous white van, or even the family estate.