Isuzu ’s F Series is one of the most versatile ranges of trucks available on today’s market. The vehicles have a good reputation regarding their reliability and they also receive good marks when it comes to fuel efficiency.
The F Series shares the same cabin with the stronger FX model, but compared with its bigger brother it has a more serene and subdued character. The Isuzu F Series is available with a choice of four engine outputs ranging from 200 hp to 300 hp and GVM (gross vehicle mass) ratings between 10400 kg - 16.500 kg. Specialist F-Series models include full-time 4 X 4 and 6 X 2 freight carriers, a 6 X 4 refuse compactor and truck tractors.
Despite the fact that the Isuzu F Series shares the same cabin with the bigger FX, there are a few exterior details that differentiate the two models. The most striking details are the lower ground clearance and the headlights which are placed higher, flanking the grille and have the same design language as the ones from the smaller N Series range.
The grille however is identical with all models in the company’s lineup. Above the grille is embossed the ISUZU logo which received a chrome treatment to look more upscale. The front bumper is slightly bigger than the one of the N Series, but despite being larger, it shares the same design line and is fitted with a twin air intake flanked by two rectangular fog lamps.
The doors are fitted with large grab handles and big windows which have a sloped bottom line to improve the side visibility.
Access inside is made pretty easy, as the truck has a relatively low ground clearance and wide, 90 degrees door openings. Judging by today’s truck standards the interior design of the Isuzu F Series is dated and dull, and is fitted with hard rock materials. The built quality however is good and the fittings are well made. The Controls are also well positioned and we don’t have any complains about the overall ergonomy either.
The central console features a convenient touch screen navigation display which also hosts different other functions such as radio or camera views. The instrument cluster is pretty modern and its big gauges can be easy read without being distractive. Besides the conventional gauges, there is also integrated a small rectangular display which shows fuel consumption, speed warnings, engine hours, service intervals and other useful information.
We also like the standard jump seats, which come with a host of useful adjustments and features such as three-point seatbelt, adjustable vertical shock-absorbers, integrated heat restraint and dual-stage air lumbar with lateral support. Moreover, for enhanced comfort the steering wheel features tilt and telescopic adjustments.
As most trucks in the segment, the Isuzu F Series’s all-round visibility is top notch, thanks to the generous windshield and the big door mirrors. If needed, the truck can be equipped with three optional rear view cameras for improved visibility.
Isuzu’s cabin is also fitted with all sorts of useful storage places which include a spacious glove box, dash mounted cup holders, door pockets, overhead consoles and a useful fold down storage box mounted between seats.
Engines and performance
The Isuzu F Series is offered with the company’s SiTEC Series III diesel engines which come with a wide range of outputs including 200hp, 235hp, 260hp and 300 hp versions. The engines can be mated on either manual or automated 6 speed transmissions, which are specially tuned for commercial purposes.
The diesel engines are combined with a bunch of new technologies to offer maximum performances and lower fuel consumptions. Among the most important features there are a high-pressure common-rail fuel injection, overhead camshafts with four valves per cylinder, advanced cooled Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR), Diesel Particulate Diffuser (DPD) and a Variable Geometry System (VGS) turbocharger.
Thanks to this long list of features the Isuzu F Series’s engines are able to reach maximum torque levels between 1000-1500 rpms which maximizes the truck’s towing abilities and also minimizes the gear changes making the vehicle easier to drive.
Isuzu F Series Engines Specifications
|Engine||hp @ rpm||Nm @ rpm|
|SiTEC||200 @ 2600||637 @ 1000 - 1500|
|SiTEC||235 @ 2400||706 @ 1000 - 1500|
|SiTEC||260 @ 2400||761 @ 1000 -1500|
|SiTEC||300 @ 2400||981 @ 1000 - 1500|
Ride and handling
At the front, the Isuzu F Series is equipped with multi leaf springs suspensions with double acting shock absorbers, while at the back it gets a solid multi leaf spring configuration. Regardless of being full loaded or without any weight at the back, the ride is firm without being harsh, while the handling is also confidence inspiring.
The standard power assisted steering is of recirculating ball type, with good feedback levels and graduation offering good maneuverability at both low and high speeds. We also like the Isuzu F Series’s steering wheel dimensions which are smaller than what you’ll usually get in this segment and despite being slightly thinner it offers a good grip.
There are also a few common sense standard safety features available for the Isuzu F Series which include equipments like ABS, Anti-Skid Regulator (ASR), Hill Start Aid (HSA) and driver airbag.
In conclusion, the drivetrain is well polished, the upgraded engine doesn’t leave you wanting for more acceleration and the ride won’t make you bones crack while driving over some harsh terrains. It’s true that we would’ve liked a more modern cabin, but that’s something that is less important in the medium duty trucks segment. For what it has to offer, the F Series delivers an experience and a reliability that can be fairly compared with the top contenders in its class.
Overall we like the Isuzu F Series. It’s a flexible and versatile vehicle that is ready to get the job done without whining. While we admit that it has its small weak points, the F Series offers a good value for its money.