KEEP ON ROLLING: AS THE 4x4 MARKET EXPANDS, THERE’S A MODEL FOR EVERYONE
The SUV sector continues to grow, fuelled by increasing innovation and clear customer demand. But which type suits you?
THE endless march of SUVS and 4x4s keeps on rolling – in fact the market has continued to grow as more and more manufacturers add new models.
From large, proper off-roaders to ‘crossover’ saloons to compact SUVS, the choice can appear endless these days.
It can seem strange but it is often the very features that 4x4s evolved to help them out of muddy tracks that have endeared them to family buyers in our towns and cities.
Particularly appealing is the high driving position, loads of interior space and ingenious cubby holes, and other design features that make them very usable.
There is basically a 4X4/SUV to suit everyone these days: whether that be large, small, new, approved or used.
4x4s haven’t always had an entirely free ride. Particularly in the early days of popularity, they were mocked as giant gas-guzzlers. Much of this was based around size, whether it’s in terms of the actual size or engine capacity.
Like much politics, it didn’t reflect the complicated reality of the sector.
Nowadays, if you want a huge off-roader with pathetic urban fuel economy it is possible to get one, but most people don’t, and that’s why the majority of SUVS sold now are from the compact sector.
These compact SUV ‘soft-roaders’ typically take-up no more space on the road than the average family saloon and have modest engines.
Most are more comfortable on tarmac than with any serious mud-plugging, but generally they do have at least some off-road ability particularly if they are four wheel drive rather than 2WD.
Some SUVS have become very efficient, using hybrid and even electric technology, and all have all the mod cons of their normal sister car, often with some extras added.
WHICH TYPE IS FOR YOU? The market is quite complex and is increasingly defying simple classifications.
However can be broken down into some fairly general segments, and within each segment you will find the usual range from budget to luxury choices.
The smallest type of SUVS, these are essentially based on superminis like the Peugeot 208, which spawned the Peugeot 2008 crossover. Other examples would be the Suzuki Ignis, Kia Stonic, and Hyundai Kona – but all manufacturers offer them.
Mid-sized SUVS: Again, another class of car that has expanded massively and all manufacturers offer models in this very popular class, based upon traditional family saloons. Examples include the Skoda Karoq, Seat Ateca, Subaru XV, Nissan Qashqai, Kia Sportage and Vauxhall Grandland X. Only a few, like the Land Rover Evoque, have serious off-road ability.
Large Suvs/4x4s: There’s no shortages of these either, with the Volkswagen Touareg, Mitsubishi Shogun, BMW X5, Mercedes M- Class, and several Range Rover models all coming to mind. From this level up, you’ll start to notice that off-road capability is greatly improved and most vehicles are well able to tackle whatever nature can throw at them.
Luxury Suvs/4x4s: The Porsche Cayenne, Maserati Levante, Lamborghini Urus – take your pick. Some like the Cayenne and Levante are affordable for reasonably wealthy people, others, like the Urus, are into the supercar segment.
Pick-up trucks: The biggest vehicles to come under the 4x4 umbrella are pick-up trucks, which technically come under the ‘ light truck’ legal classification – which can be handy for business use as there can be savings. Big names here include the Volkswagen Amarok, Isuzu D-max, Mitsubishi L200, Ford Ranger, and Nissan Navara. Big pick-ups like these are kings of the rough stuff, but the good news is that cabins have become increasingly comfortable and car-like.
ISUZU have unveiled the new Limited Edition D-max Fury early in Northern Ireland for the peak January market, and expect this latest new model to sell out in record time. With improved equipment levels and an even higher standard specification than the previous best selling Fury first introduced two years ago, this latest limited edition will surely delight the lengthy list of customers impatiently awaiting its arrival.
An extremely striking, comfortable and hardworking pick-up with an extensive range of unique features, the Isuzu D-max Fury truly makes a statement. With sporting head-turning Magma Red paint finish exclusive to the Fury, complemented by bold 18” gunmetal grey alloy wheels and radiator grille with red Isuzu badge and stylish door graphics, Fury has a strong roadside presence. The heated folding electric door mirrors and door and tailgate handles are gloss black finish and set this double cab’s bold looks apart from everything else in the market.
The premium custom-designed interior has air conditioning, reversing camera, 7” multifunction colour touchscreen, CD player, and front and rear USB ports to create a fun, capable and luxurious blend of uncompromising and practical style. The standard cloth upholstery with dark grey interior has red overstitching on soft pad armrests and steering wheel, and comes complete with Fury branded carpet mats.
Work or play, Fury has it covered. Newly redesigned rear suspension reduces unsprung weight by 10kgs and ride comfort is noticeably smoother. Trailer sway control is standard fit on new Fury as is hillstart assist and descent control – together they really underline D-max’s class-leading ability to tow 3.5 tonnes all day, every day. Like all D-max models, Fury is available with either 6 speed manual or 6 speed automatic transmission, the auto box is surprisingly adept and “learns” driving styles to maximise fuel economy and efficiency. Isuzu manufacture more diesel engines than any other company globally and not surprisingly such expertise delivers seamless power with no Adblue required, a big plus for all new D-max models and a key maintenance, convenience and cost advantage over less efficient competitors.
Fury also has a distinctive two-tone black and red leather upholstery upgrade option, and a comprehensive range of accessories to truly personalise your pickup. With an outstanding 125,000 mile/5-year warranty (whichever comes first) and 5-year Roadside Assistance in the UK and Europe, Fury is a serious contender. In terms of value for money the standout offer for VAT registered users is the low £899 entry and £239 monthly Contract Hire option over just two years – an incredibly competitive deal which is testament to Isuzu’s class-leading residual values, enhanced by the undoubted additional appeal of a Limited Edition. If you’re in the market for a new pick-up, then don’t miss the Fury – demonstrations are available now at John Barr Cars Crumlin, Eakin Bros Claudy, Western Cars Enniskillen, Gormley Motors Dungannon and Eastwood Motors Lisburn. Be sure to tell your dealer the Belfast Telegraph sent you!