Isuzu is pinning its hopes on the Fury special edition to maintain the sales momentum of its D-max pick-up through introducing the model to a younger generation of customers.
The manufacturer has steadily grown sales of its pick-ups over the last six years – a period that includes the introduction of the D-max to replace the Rodeo in 2012 – and expects to hit the 6000 mark for 2015, up from 5,500 last year.
With a market share of 15% in the first three-quarters of 2015, according to Isuzu’s figures, the D-max sits fourth in the pick-up table behind the Toyota Hilux, Mitsubishi L200 and Ford Ranger, which it marginally outsold in 2014.
But with nearly all Isuzu’s rivals launching new or revised models before the next generation D-max arrives in early 2017, with a new Euro6 engine, according to UK boss William Brown, the D-max has its work cut out to hold on to its position.
The Fury, which is only offered as a double cab 4x4, is priced from £19,999 (all prices listed exclude VAT) for the six-speed manual, rising to £20,999 for the five-speed auto. Prices then step up to £21,324 for the manual featuring Black and Red Fury interior trim and peak at £22,324 for the auto with the same sportier interior finish.
These price points are designed to attract more youthful, urban buyers who shy away from the circa £26,000 price tag attached to the flagship Blade but continue Isuzu’s strategy of broadening its customer base beyond its traditional stronghold within the farming and rural lifestyle communities.
As Brown puts it: “We are confident the Fury will further widen the appeal of the D-max, which already has one of the widest choices of model of any pick-up in the UK.
“The Fury has been designed for those seeking an affordable pick-up with standout appeal. It’s certainly a head turner and, alongside the Blade and the rest of the D-max range, will meet the growing demand for a stylish vehicle that can be used for both work and recreation.”
Isuzu is to produce 600 Fury models for the UK until the end of 2016 with 200 coming with the Black and Red interior trim.
We drove the Fury with manual transmission and the sporty leather interior trim that adds £1325 to the asking price. We also got the Pioneer multi-media and sat nav system for £930 and a roll and lock load bay cover for £1,122.50.
Like the rest of the D-max line-up, the Fury is powered by the 2.5-litre 163hp twin-turbo common rail diesel engine developing maximum torque of 400Nm between 1400 and 2000rpm. It has a payload capacity of 1072kg, which falls short of the 1136kg that the D-max 4x4 single cab can shoulder but it does offer the 3.5t towing capability that is the best in the sector alongside the Ranger and Nissan Navara.
The new Mitsubishi L200 has a payload of 1045kg and a towing limit of 3100kg while new Navara offers up to 1062 in double cab bodystyle.
Ford says its facelifted double cab Ranger will retain a payload of 1152kg.
Isuzu quotes a commendable 38.7mpg fuel consumption on the combined cycle with CO2 emissions of 192g/km but these once class-leading figures have now been overtaken by the new market entrants – Nissan, for example, claims its Navara can achieve up to 44.1 mpg with CO2 of 169g/km.
The Fury can be switched from 2WD to high 4WD at speeds of up to 62mph and for challenging off-road conditions low 4WD mode can be engaged when stationary. As befitting a vehicle with a workhorse heritage, it is in its element when heading off the beaten track.
But the Fury impresses on-road too, it may lack the refinement and sophistication of rivals that can borrow from their passenger car ranges but it is none too shabby for all that. The red and black leather cabin would do a boy racer proud and handling is surprisingly decent. The height-adjustable steering is sharp enough to inspire confidence on winding rural roads and, despite there being rather too much play in the spindly gear lever, once you’ve got used to it the changes are snappy enough.
|Isuzu D-max Fury Special Edition 2.5 163hp|
|Price (ex VAT) £21,324|
|Price range (ex VAT) £14,999-£26,999|
|Insurance group 9A|
|Service intervals 12,000mls|
|Load length 1552mm|
|Load width 1110mm/1530mm|
|Load bay height 465mm|
|Gross payload 1072kg|
|Engine size/power 2499cc/163hp|
|On sale September|
|Combined fuel economy 38.7mpg|
A good edition to the D-max line-up that weds some style to its undoubted workhorse credentials