THE Isuzu D-Max Fury looks a tough customer and it is.
Forming part of Isuzu's premiumr ange of D-Max 4x4s it provides a competent and impressive choice in the expanding market of double cab highly specified pick-ups that many prefer to an SUV.
As with Mitsubishi's method of giving its pick-ups brave and macho names, Isuzu chose to call its offering Fury and it certainly carries the name well with its Magma Red paintwork.
In common with its Eiger stablemate, the Fury features iPod, USB and Bluetooth connectivity, daytime running lights, and colour-coded bumpers.
In addition to its distinctive paintwork, Fury adds 17-inch grey alloy wheels, black door and tailgate handles, side steps, red upholstery stitching and rear parking camera.
And there is a lot of scope to customise, my test vehicle being fitted with an optional and stylish Armadillo roller cover, constructed from ultra-strong aluminium. This completely secures the load area with a dual-action locking mechanism, offering outstanding protection for tools, equipment or valuables.
Certainly an easy item to operate with a cord pull supplied to close it, meaning you don't have to scramble over the tailgate to reach the cover.
The double cab is particularly roomy for a pick-up and with its 2.5-litre twin turbo common-rail diesel engine there is power aplenty - certainly enough to satisfy anyone switching from a premium hatch or saloon.
The engine proves itself well with 163ps on tap coupled with an impressive 400Nm of torque.
Because this is such a gutsy vehicle it certainly will not produce sky high economy figures, but 38.7mpg on the combined cycle is about right for its type.
Like many of its kind, the D-Max Fury goes the extra mile to deliver a fine blend of rugged ability and performance and comfort making it just as suitable for a family outing as scrambling up a hillside to deliver a load of animal feed in bad weather.
It's priced from £21,324 excluding VAT.
The six-speed manual gearbox is remarkably refined for what is basically a commercial vehicle and all combine to make a surprisingly enjoyable drive.
The rear loadspace is cavernous, and with the Armadillo cover transforms into a secure mega-boot, sufficient to swallow up all the luggage of a large family.
What has proved attractive to customers is a five-year/125,000 mile warranty which makes a lot of sense to those who are fed up with those of the three year type.
The Isuzu D-Max pick-up underwent one of the most comprehensive development programmes in the company's history.
Succeeding the hugely-popular Rodeo, the D-Max is the most efficient and most refined Isuzu pick-up ever produced, while retaining the legendary toughness for which the brand has become renowned the world over.