From £15,7496
Before the D-Max gets a refresh next year, Isuzu has released the special edition UK-only Fury version of its pick-up

Our Verdict

Isuzu D-Max

The Isuzu D-Max is starting to show its age; after a drive in the range-topping Blade version, is it still competitive?

Doug Revolta Autocar
20 November 2015

What is it?

A UK-only limited-edition version of Isuzu’s pick-up. The D-Max is the Japanese manufacturer’s only offering in the UK, but there are a few different variations available.

The double-cab Fury slips into the D-Max range below the range-topping Blade special edition, which was released in 2014. Isuzu says the Fury offers the visual appeal of the Blade at a lower price bracket, hoping to entice younger ‘urban’ buyers.

So before the D-Max gets a refresh next year, the Fury represents a bit of a swansong for this generation. Only 300 are being built and all come with 17in alloys, a distinctive Magma Red paint finish and the same 2.5-litre diesel engine shared with the rest of the range. We tested the Fury in six-speed manual guise.

What's it like?

It’s got a fairly gutsy engine but it’s not particularly quick in a sprint. The twin-turbo diesel at its core produces 161bhp and 295lb ft and is the same powerplant found in the manufacturer’s British Cross Country Championship car of the same name. But it’s far better suited to navigating through tricky low-speed off-road terrain than it is to straight-line dashes. Many of its rivals are lighter, too, in turn making them faster.

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%

Join the debate

Comments
2

20 November 2015
It's a working vehicle designed for a tough life and over 200k miles. How it is put together and how it will last is much more important. This obsession with soft touch plastic is becoming a joke.

22 November 2015
i can vouch for these cars, one of the most popular pick ups on Kenya's roads. that says something

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Volvo V90
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The Volvo V90 is a big estate ploughing its own furrow. We’re about to see if it is refreshing or misguided
  • Kia Stonic
    First Drive
    18 October 2017
    Handsome entrant into the bulging small crossover market has a strong engine and agile handling, but isn’t as comfortable or complete as rivals
  • Hyundai Kona
    First Drive
    18 October 2017
    Hyundai's funky-looking Kona crossover with a peppy three-cylinder engine makes all the right noises for the car to be a success in a crowded segment
  • Citroën C3 Aircross
    First Drive
    17 October 2017
    The Citroen C3 Aircross has got funky looks and a charming interior, but it's another small SUV, and another dynamic miss. Numb steering is just one thing keeping it from class best
  • Skoda-Karoq 2.0 TDI 4x4
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Diesel version of Skoda’s junior SUV is unobtrusive and undemanding, but we’d still go for the silkier petrol version of the Karoq