The gearbox has quite a long throw, and peak torque is delivered between 1400rpm and 2000rpm, which means that at lower speeds you’ll be shifting around the ratios pretty regularly once the engine runs out of punch past 2000rpm. But it’s easy enough to haul up to motorway speeds, and once you work it up to the sixth ratio it’s fine when cruising.
However, while its dynamic ability may be slightly wanting, its practicality matches, and in some cases betters, that of its rivals. It’s a capable towing vehicle that can haul up to 3.5 tonnes, and it holds its own off the beaten track.
It seems almost farcical to think of this as an ‘urban’ car, though, as its bulk means it's not the easiest thing to navigate around a city. Instead, out on the open fields, or towing heavy loads through tricky terrain, the Fury rewards with a practical drive and a load bay that’s greater than that of rivals such as the Mitsubishi L200. Another handy feature is the reversing camera that appears in the rear view mirror.
Refined, it is not, however. Even under gentle acceleration the diesel is incredibly boomy, while plenty of wind noise is whipped up around the door mirrors at motorway speeds. But while it may not be the quietest cabin by any stretch of the imagination, it is at least a comfortable one.
The seats are supportive and you get a nice high vantage point and there’s adequate room in the back, but it’s a pretty bumpy ride over most surfaces. It’s fairly cheap-feeling inside, too. The optional leather helps give it a slightly more uprated feel, but the plastics are all hard to the touch and the infotainment system is not particularly intuitive.
Handling is quite good, with weighty steering that copes well at higher speeds (if a little heavy handed around town), but it’s not up to the standard of some other pick-ups, such as the Nissan Navara NP300, whose handling has started to match that of some larger SUVs.
Should I buy one?
There’s some charm to the Isuzu and it’s a practical beast, but it does feel a little way behind the rest of the pack, largely because of its interior and handling. It’s usefully cheaper than its rivals, though, which makes it a good alternative to the more upmarket Mitsubishi L200 and Nissan Navara NP300, both of which are several thousand pounds dearer. It's also worth bearing in mind the tempting propsect of the D-Max as a company car choice because, as it's a pick-up, you can save thousands in VAT, making it cheaper than many SUV rivals.
Buyers genuinely considering the D-Max are likely to hold practicality as a paramount importance, but may not be so fussed with the cosmetic flourishes that the Fury offers. In this case, some may be better off saving some cash and looking at the entry-level models instead. If you do want a Fury, there are only 300 being made, so you'd better be quick.
Isuzu D-Max Fury
Location Goodwood; On sale Now; Price £23,943; Engine 4 cyls in line, 2499cc, twin-turbo, diesel; Power 161bhp at 3600rpm; Torque 295Ib ft at 1400-2000rpm; Kerb weight 1978kg; Gearbox 6-spd manual; 0-62mph 13.0sec (est); Top speed 112mph; Economy 38.7mpg (combined); CO2/tax band 192g/km, 36%