I will try my best to provide detailed info on various cars and what is like to live with them, I have already produced a few for Jaguar-car-forums, I will do my best to be unbiased, but it will be hard for some cars. I will re-produce press releases and copy from other motoring news.

Thursday, 30 June 2016

TMW - The Isuzu D-Max Fury 2.5 Twin Turbo, In need of a pick up ? you would be furious with yourself to ignore this one.

Isuzu, the pick-up maker has, as one of its top line models the "Fury", it's not quite top of the range but has some of that models kit removed to make this slightly cheaper vehicle, if you class £21,000 as cheap, the D-Max is the only model that the Japanese brand offers in the UK and on paper it looks like it should be quite good.
So, what do we have, the Fury sits below the range topping Blade, and is a limited edition model, coming in Single cab, and double cab (the one here) and comes in a stunning Magma red colour with black logo's on the side, this alone makes this pick-up stand out from the crown, Isuzu states that they are trying to appeal to a more urban style buyer, I read that as a younger buyer that might not be particularly happy taking their shiny new model off road.
Even though the twin-turbo 2.5 litre diesel engine, which produces 161bhp and 295 lb-ft will happily go off road, especially once the selectable four wheel drive mode has been chosen, however, we never had the opportunity to go "off road" just normal driving, and this is where it both fails and flies, we found that pulling away in second gear is the best bet as first has a very limited ratio, meaning that as soon as you picked first and put your foot down, you had to immediately change up to second, so, second was the new first, and that worked a treat, the engine is very noisy at low revs, but surprisingly once you got up to 70 mph and 80 mph, it was quite smooth and seemed a lot quieter.
Yes the huge bulk of the vehicle means wind noise, like the over sized wing mirrors also do, which were electrically folded on this model, however you soon seem to not notice that and to be honest I have been in far noisier cars, it was happy to plod along mile after mile at high speed, and overtaking was a doddle, the sixth gear really does make that much difference, however, a long incline and you notice the speed drop off, but once on the flat again, it was business as usual.
Getting into the double cab is an easy job, with the side step and grab handles and once you get settled into the black and red leather seats (Optional at £1325.00), the comfort is surprising, and you never feel uncomfortable, even after a long drive, the air con is very powerful, and the old school turn dials for direction of air and speed means you can get as much or as little as you require, but beware, on full pelt, you might get a little frost bite, it works that well.

The interior is full of hard scratchy plastics, ideal if you are a builder/workman, as it will not damage that easily, but when the vast majority of competition now offer interiors very similar to premium SUVs the new D-Max is definitely needed, sooner rather than later, the car has an array of cubby holes, cup holders and three glove boxes, even though they are not huge, you are never left wanting somewhere to store your items.
You are never in need of extra space in the Fury, there is more than enough of that front and rear, this is a huge plus point for the model, the added branded carpet mats give an air of quality, and even with the front seats set back, the rear seat passengers are still more than happy with the space they have, added to this, the fully carpeted load bed (which we were completely unable to get into) after being shown by the delivery driver, would have been a great place to stow things, however with carpeting, the bay would have been rather user unfriendly, once you dump in loads of workmen's kit, it would soon get damaged and dirty.

The Fury comes with a host of kit :-
  • Foldable Mirrors
  • Rear View camera in Rearview Mirror
  • All Round Electric Windows
  • Daytime Running Lights (DRL's)
  • Leather Upholstery (Optional cost)
  • Leather Steering Wheel
  • Leather Gear Stick Gaiter
  • Fury Branded Carpet Mats
  • Front, Side and Curtain Airbags
  • carpeted out load bed
  • Central Locking
  • Satellite navigation
  • 125,000 Mile/Five year Warranty
Just to name a few items, the Fury has a top speed of 112mph, and cruises nicely at the national limit, the 69 litre fuel tank (15 Gallons) gives a nice range, with fuel figures of 

  • Manufacturer Claimed Fuel Figures
  • Urban 31.7mpg
  • Extra Urban 44.1mpg
  • Combined 38.7mpg
  • 192g/km
  • Driving range up to 669 Miles between fill ups (if you behave)
This is not really a vehicle for town driving, it is too big and cumbersome for that, you find yourself worrying about where that long rear end is all the time, and hoping not to side swipe anything, but if you have to take it into a busy town, it will do it, but the steering is quite heavily weighted, so you may well have some big muscles in your arms after a few town trips.
There was only a couple of things I really didn't get on with, the rear view mirror with the camera, during the day, it is nigh on impossible to see it, at dusk or dark, it works perfectly, other times, forget it, why could they not have put the reversing camera on the Sat Nav screen, that would have been a far better option.

Talking of the Sat Nav, it is not quick enough, we purposely chose a route we knew well, and put the Nav on, we had already turned numerous corners/off ramps before the Nav told us to do them, it gives plenty of notice, 800 700, 600, and so on, then it's 300, and we have already turned off, the Nav will make people mis junctions and turn off's, Turn off is the right word, thats what we did, and didn't use it again.

The buttons on the radio are another issue, they are so small and fiddly, consider that this vehicle will be used by farmers, builders, workmen etc, they are not interested in fiddly buttons, they want to hit a button and have it work, not to try and find it first, and then press it, hopefully these will be sorted out ready for the all new models due soon, I really hope so anyway.

The Fury is a very capable towing machine too, with a total Gross Train Weight of 6000kg, towing a horsebox, trailer or similar is easy, and would be an ideal farm/stable vehicle, you can pile the load bed with bales of straw etc, but you will obscure the rear window, which is very helpful and necessary, a rear wiper would be a nice addition though.

So to sum up, the Fury is a great model, let down by silly things, it is good at motorway speeds, but needs to be worked hard at lower end revs, it has a bigger load bay than a number of its competition, and definitely looks far better than nearly all the rest, make it a little more user friendly, sort out the fiddly buttons and rear view camera and you would have a far superior car.

If you can do without the toys, buy the basic models, or if you want a little more luxury go for the Blade, Isuzu are here to stay, and the way the UK's sales are going, it is looking like Pick-Ups are the next big thing, and this brand is perfectly placed to take advantage of a full range of models for tastes, after all, we usually follow the USA with our car sales, SUV's are the current in thing,  and with the Ford F-150 and RAM 1500 pick-ups the two best selling vehicles in the USA, expect that influence to wander over here sooner than you think.

And Finally (As Trevor McDonald used to say)

The Fury has gone back to Isuzu now, and I do miss it, mainly because everyone got out of your way when you were in it, I dont miss the parking issues, with the rear end poking out too far, and getting looks of disgust from other car park users, when the All-New model arrives I would love to have another test on that to see how far forward the model has moved, as I am sure that the powers that be, will want to make this a product that all others are compared too.