Isuzu's New TF Pickup Means Business

Isuzu TF Pickup Sport


  • Isuzu's new one tonne Pickup range on sale in June
  • Comprises Single or Crew Cab with choice of two or four-wheel drive
  • Replaces Isuzu-built Vauxhall Brava but with major improvements
  • Massive torque increase from 118 lb ft to 166.7 lb ft
  • Massive power increase from 76 PS to 100.6 PS
  • Proven 2.5 litre Diesel Turbo engine now has intercooler
  • Car-like Extra Urban fuel economy of 45.6 mpg for 4x2 models
  • Braked towing weight grows from 1,450 kg to 2,000 kg
  • Other improvements over Brava include heavy-duty shock-absorbers, limited-slip differential on 4x4, extra rustproofing and enhanced noise insulation
  • Luxury-spec 5-seat '4Sport' model will target 'lifestyle' Mitsubishi L200
  • Prices from £10,795 for the TF 4x2 single cab to £16,495 for the '4Sport' (On-The-Road but excluding VAT)

On sale in June, Isuzu's new TF Pickup aims to make a major impact in both the business and leisure market thanks to its strong yet frugal new diesel engine, rugged build, proven reliability, comfortable cab and generous equipment.

The new Isuzu TF range of 4x2 and 4x4 Single and four-door Crew Cabs replaces the highly-respected Vauxhall Brava. It will be sold via Isuzu (UK) Limited's 95-plus dealer network which has built up such a loyal following among Trooper off-roader customers.

Isuzu is one of Japan's biggest truck makers and a world leader in the design and manufacture of diesel engines.

Far from merely being a rebadged Vauxhall, the new TF features a massive power and torque increase, enhanced refinement, uprated suspension, revised gearing, a standard limited-slip differential on 4x4 models and improved rustproofing.

In addition, there will be a luxury-spec four-door, five-seat leisure version called '4Sport' - aimed to compete head-to-head with equivalent Mitsubishi and Nissan models. Significantly, even the '4Sport' has a payload exceeding 1,000 kg. This means registered businesses can reclaim the V.A.T.

Key visual differences compared to the Vauxhall include new colours with two-tone for the '4Sport', bold 'ISUZU' lettering on the rear deck body sides, tailgate and grille and a bonnet air-intake to feed the new intercooler.

New TF Really Measures Up

Cargo dimensions are among the best on the market with, for example, a maximum loadfloor length of 2,300 mm for the Single and 1,510 mm for the four-door Crew Cab with identical maximum loadfloor widths of 1,530 mm.

Highly competitive payloads are 1,075 kg for both the TF 4x2 and 4x4 Single Cab and 1,015 kg for the 4x2 and 4x4 Crew Cab. The leisure-spec '4Sport' offers a slightly higher 1,018 kg payload because of its lighter alloy wheels.

The TF Pickup's ground clearance is a generous 190 mm (7.5 ins) in 4x2 form and a particularly useful 230 mm (9.1 ins) in 4x4 specification.

Isuzu TF Pickup prices are: 4x2 Single Cab - £10,795; 4x4 Single Cab - £13,495 4x2 Crew Cab - £12,495; 4x4 Crew Cab - £14,995 and 4x4 '4Sport' - £16,495 (all On-The-Road but excluding VAT)

Beefy Diesel Exceeds Expectations

Revised for the new TF, Isuzu's beefy 2.5 litre diesel engine is sure to exceed the expectations of even the most demanding operator, while its main road performance and fuel economy would not embarrass a passenger car.

Compared to the 2001 Model Year Vauxhall Brava, the TF's power increases from 76 PS to 100.6 PS at the same relaxed 3,800 rpm. More significantly still, maximum torque or pulling power rockets from 118 lb ft to 166.7 lb ft at the same 2,000 rpm as before.

This power and torque boost combines with revised gearing to give much enhanced flexibility, resulting in fewer gear-changes, while extra soundproofing also aids refinement.

Performance and towing ability are also significantly improved. The maximum braked towing limit for all models is now 2,000 kg instead of 1,450 kg.

The secret to the TF's power hike is the fitment of an intercooler to the well-proven 2,499 cc diesel-turbo engine. This proven four-cylinder overhead-valve unit also has an oil-cooler for extra durability.

Also standard is an integral 'Quick On Start' cold starting aid plus exhaust gas recirculation and an oxidising catalytic converter to keep emissions to a minimum. The new Isuzu TF Pickup meets Euro3 regulations.

More Frugal Than A Freelander

And its well-proven direct-injection fuel system is more efficient compared with indirect-injection, improving fuel economy by around 25 per cent.

For example, both 4x2 Single and Crew Cabs boast a remarkable 45.6 mpg on the Extra Urban Cycle with 32.5 mpg on the Urban Cycle and 39.8 mpg Combined.

To put this into context, the TF 4x2's 39.8 mpg precisely matches a 1.4 litre petrol-engined Vauxhall Astra hatchback and is 2.6 mpg better than a diesel-engined Land Rover Freelander TD4.

Even the taller and heavier 4x4 Single and Crew Cab produce car-like economy figures of 40.4 mpg Extra Urban, 29.7 mpg Urban and 35.8 mpg Combined - the latter the same as for a petrol-engined 2.0 litre Peugeot 307 hatchback, for example.

Slick-Shifting Transmission Built To Deliver

Whether in rear-wheel drive (4x2) or four-wheel drive (4x4) formats, all Isuzu TF Pickup models have a slick-shifting five-speed gearbox with a floor-mounted lever which falls easily to hand.

Four-wheel drive models boast a two-speed transfer box - again via a floor-mounted lever providing a particularly short-throw. Often called 'shift-on-the-fly', four-wheel drive can be selected on the move.

New on 4x4 versions of the TF is a rear limited-slip differential which provides extra off-road capability.

Also revised are the internal gear ratios for both 4x2 and 4x4 models compared with the 2001 MY Vauxhall Brava. In addition, the engine's considerable power and torque increase has allowed a higher final drive and revised gearing, enhancing both economy and refinement.

The 240 mm clutch is 15 mm larger than the 2001 MY Brava and features hydraulic operation, reducing maintenance costs.

Rugged Yet Refined Suspension

Rugged yet refined best describes the new Isuzu TF Pickup's suspension system which features uprated gas-filled front and rear double-acting shock-absorbers compared to its Vauxhall Brava predecessor.

Virtually standard fare for a one-tonne pick-up is a live rear axle suspended by semi-elliptic steel leaf springs. This layout is liked by hard-working contractors because of its simplicity, durablity and ability to absorb punishing payloads.

The TF Pickup's front suspension is similar to the Isuzu Trooper, comprising independent wishbones using torsion bars and an anti-roll bar to reduce body roll.

Its recirculating ball steering system is both power-assisted and has a variable ratio. This gives good straight-line stability even when fully laden. The TF's steering is also commendably light - especially appreciated during builder's yard-type manoeuvring.

Favoured by light truck and 4x4 engineers, recirculating ball balances acceptable precision with much better resistance to 'kick-back' during off-roading compared to a rack-and-pinion system.

Brakes And Tyres Up To The Job

The Isuzu TF Pickup has a braking system especially designed for demanding commercial use and features large 257 mm ventilated front disc brakes with either 254 mm rear drum brakes for the 4x2 or 295 mm for the 4x4 models.

The dual-circuit braking system has a 229 mm (9 ins) servo unit and - most importantly - features a load-sensing proportioning valve. This helps avoid lock-up whether the TF is lightly loaded or carrying its maximum cargo limit.

Both 4x2 versions of the Single and Crew Cab have 5.5JJ x 14 ins steel wheels with 195 R14 tyres, while the 4x4 models feature 205/80 R16 tyres on 6JJ x 16 steel wheels. The range-topping '4Sport' benefits from 10-spoke alloy wheels. All Isuzu TF Pickups have Yokohama tyres.

Tough As a Truck Yet Finished Like A Car

Isuzu's decades of expertise in building and selling pick-ups really shows in the TF which combines the toughness of a truck with the paint finish of a passenger car.

Not only does Isuzu produce over 250,000 pick-ups per year but it distributes them in over 140 countries. It is also one of the world's leading medium truck and diesel engine manufacturers.

The ladder-frame chassis is immensely strong and resistant to flexing, while galvanised steel is used in corrosion-prone areas.

The body itself enjoys electro-coating with zinc-rich primer, followed by several stages of undercoat and chip-resisting primers. Two-coat metallic paint finishes also benefit from a final coat of clear lacquer for depth and durability.

And as a final measure against severe use - such as during off-roading and operation on construction sites - all TF Pickups receive extra UK-applied rustproofing. This includes the underbody coated in heavy-duty wax plus cavity- injection of crucial box-sections.

Just like the Isuzu Trooper off-roader, the new TF Pickup is protected by a six-year anti-perforation warranty and a three year/60,000 mile bumper-to-bumper mechanical warranty.

TF Pickup owners also enjoy full membership of Isuzu Assistance which provides three years' worth of 'at home', roadside and European repair and recovery.

Thanks to engineering improvements and the use of a high-quality oil, the new TF's maintenance intervals are more than doubled compared to the 2001 Model Year Vauxhall Brava at 12,000 miles or 12 months.

Features And Equipment

Surprisingly high levels of safety and comfort are provided by all versions of the TF Pickup. A driver's airbag is standard - plus a passenger airbag on the '4Sport' - while all doors have side-impact protection door beams. The steering wheel is also height-adjustable as are the two head-restraints for the Single Cab and four for the Crew Cab. A further safety aid are headlamps which feature in-cab electric adjustment.

All base models also come with side protection mouldings, a laminated windscreen, tinted glass, velour cloth seat trim, a single-disc CD and radio, rev-counter, digital clock, four-speed fan with air-recirculation and side window demist and lockable glovebox and fuel-filler flap.

In addition, Crew Cab models have a heated rear window and four inertia-reel seatbelts with a lap belt for the centre rear.

Car-Like Comforts For Leisure-Spec '4Sport'

On top of all this impressive standard equipment, the new '4Sport' adds:

  • Alloy wheels
  • Colour-keyed radiator grille
  • Two-tone paint with either Viking Silver or Light Silver lower body treatment
  • Bright-effect door mirrors and door handles
  • Air-conditioning
  • Passenger airbag
  • Passenger floor carpet
  • Cloth-trimmed door inserts
  • Electrically-adjustable door mirrors
  • Central-locking
  • Four electric windows
  • Map lamps
  • Leather-covered steering wheel and gear-knobs
  • Radio/CD player with multi-disc compatibility and four speakers


Type Longitudinal 4-cylinder in-line intercooled turbo-

diesel with oil cooler.
Valve gear OHV
Capacity cc 2499
Bore x stroke mm 93.0 x 92.0
Compression ratio 18.5:1
Fuel system Direct-injection, distributor-type injection pump. Integral cold-start aid.
Emission control Oxidising catalytic converter, exhaust gas recirculation.
Fuel tank capacity 4x2- 16.5 (75) 4x4 - 13.9 (63)
gal (litres)
Max power PS (kW) (bhp) 100.6 (74) (99.2)
at rpm 3,800
Max torque lb ft (Nm) 166.7 (226)
at rpm 2,000
Type Rear-wheel drive or selectable (on-the-move) four-

wheel drive with two-speed transfer box. Hydraulic 240 mm (9.5 ins) clutch. Five-speed manual gearbox.
4x2 4x4
Ratios 1st 3.767 3.767
2nd 2.248 2.248
3rd 1.404 1.404
4th 1.000 1.000
5th 0.809 0.809
Final rear drive 3.909 4.300
mph/1,000 rpm 4x2 4x4
1st 5.09 5.15
2nd 8.57 8.63
3rd 13.66 13.85
4th 19.25 19.44
5th 23.78 24.03
Front Independent torsion bar, double wishbones with gas-

filled, double-acting shock absorbers, anti-roll bar.
Rear Semi-elliptic, steel leaf springs, live axle, gas-filled.

double-acting shock absorbers.
4x2 4x4
WHEELS 5.5JJ x 14 ins (steel) 6JJx 16 ins (steel)
(alloy on '4Sport')
TYRES 195 R 14 ins 205/80 R 16 ins
STEERING Variable-ratio recirculating ball, power-assisted
Turns lock-to-lock 3.5 (4x2) 3.8 (4x4).
BRAKES 4x2 4x4
Front Ventilated 257 mm discs - both versions
Rear 254 mm drums 295 mm drums
Dual circuit, 229 mm (9 ins) servo, load-sensing proportioning valve.
Battery 80Ah maintenance-free
Alternator 50 amp

Crew Cab

Overall length, in (mm) 4980 (196.1) 4980 (196.1)
width inc. mirrors 1915 (75.4) 1915 (75.4)
height 4x2 - 1595 (62.8) 4x2 - 1610 (63.4)
4x4 - 1695 (66.7) 4x4 - 1710 (67.3)
Wheelbase 3025 (119.1) 3025 (119.1)
Track, front 4x2 - 1445 (56.9) 4x2 - 1445 (56.9)
4x4 - 1390 (54.7) 4x4 - 1390 (54.7)
rear 4x2 - 1400 (55.1) 4x2 - 1400 (55.1)
4x4 - 1400 (55.1) 4x4 - 1400 (55.1)
Ground clearance 4x2 - 190 (7.5) 4x4 - 230 (9.1)
Turning circle kerb to kerb m (ft) 4x2 - 11.8 (38.7) 4x4 - 12.2 (40.0)
HEIGHT=21> Payload, kg (lb) HEIGHT=21> 1075 (2370) HEIGHT=21> 1015 (2238)
'4Sport' - 1018 (2244)
Kerb weight, kg (lb) 4x2 - 1475 (3252) 4x2 - 1535 (3384)
4x4 - 1675 (3693) 4x4 - 1735 (3825)

'4Sport' - 1732 (3818)
Gross weight kg (lb) 4x2 - 2550 (5622) 4x4 - 2750 (6063)
Towing braked kg (lb) All versions - 2000 (4409)
Towing unbraked kg (lb) All versions - 750 (1653)
Gross combination weight kg (lb) 4x2 - 4550 (10031) 4x4 - 4650 (10251)
Maximum nose weight kg (lb) All versions - 80 (176)
Max approach angle 4x2 - 25 Deg 4x4 - 33 Deg
Max departure angle 4x2 - 24 Deg 4x4 - 27 Deg
Max ramp angle 4x2 - 15 Deg 4x4 - 20 Deg
Max tilt angle 4x2 - 49 Deg 4x4 - 47 Deg
Max wading depth mm (ins) 4x4 - 300 (11.8)
Single Cab Crew Cab
Load floor length mm (ins) 2,300 (90.6) 1,510 (59.5)
Load floor width mm (ins) 1,530 (60.2) 1,530 (60.2)
Load floor height mm (ins) 670 (26.4) 740 (29.1)
Load floor depth mm (ins) 430 (16.9) 430 (16.9)
Width between wheel arches 1,070 (42.1) 1,070 (42.1)
mm (ins)

Department of Transport fuel consumption figures, mpg (litres/100 km)

4x2 4x4
Urban 32.5 (8.7) 29.7 (9.5)
Extra Urban 45.6 (6.2) 40.4 (7.0)
Combined 39.8 (7.1) 35.8 (7.9)
CO2 emissions g/km 188 209
WARRANTY 36 month, 60,000 mile warranty (whichever comes first) 36 month membership of Isuzu Assistance, a comprehensive home and roadside repair and recovery package valid throughout the UK and Europe and administered by Mondial Assistance
PERFORMANCE (Manufacturer's figures)
4x2 4x4
Maximum speed, mph 87 84
*Acceleration 0-62 mph 24.1 sec 26.5 sec

(* Figures taken with full payload)

Published 12 April 2002 Melanie Carter

The information contained this Isuzu news article may have changed since publication on the 12 April 2002. Our car specifications, reviews, and prices may only apply to the UK market. You may wish to check with the manufacturer or your local Isuzu dealer, before making a purchasing decision. E.&.O.E. You may NOT reproduce our car news in full or part, in any format without our written permission. © 2019