Fuso vs Isuzu
Truckers know that the comfort and functionality of a truck is the cornerstone for a successful fleet. Whether you’re saving money at the gas station or settling in to a comfortable set of Air Ride seats, the truck you choose decides if you win or lose. We’ve got all the latest reviews and specs to help you make the right choice as we compare two top rated names: Fuso and Isuzu. Matching diesel against diesel, let’s take a look at the Canter FE160 and the Isuzu NPR-HD.
While both trucks carry a similar build and sleek body, under the hood there are some surprising differences, most notable of which is fuel economy. The Canter FE160 gets 12.28 mpg as opposed to Isuzu’s 11.37. This saves approximately 65 gallons of fuel a year, bringing down fuel costs by $280 annually.
The Canter FE160 is build for endurance, traveling a long and impressive 18,000 miles of road before recommended service interval, as opposed to the 10000 of Isuzu. This means both you and your business can move forward while the competition stays behind, spending twice as much on service costs per year then the FE160 requires. So far? Your average savings per year reach almost $2000, and that’s on fuel and maintenance alone.
Upgraded Model Specs
Fuso’s truck model specs are all new since 2012, while Isuzu’s latest series are largely carry-overs from 2010. However, Isuzu vehicles tend to be lighter then the Fuso models, giving them a slight advantage in certain terrains. Isuzu’s heavier trucks carry a little more weight in the back then Fuso, but the tables turn with Fuso’s lighter trucks, which carry well over 1,000 lbs more in their rear axels capacity then their competition.
Isuzu’s engine lacks an electronic control valve on it’s EGR system, Bosch Piezo fuel injection, and hydraulic Valve lifters. The Fuso engine not only carries all these features, while avoiding the Isuzu’s narrow-peak torque curve. Fuso carries the industry’s widest horsepower and torque curves, as well as precision fuel system and (once again) enhanced fuel economy. Fuso also carries a 140-amp alternator, compared with Isuzu’s 110-amp alternator. Perhaps this is why only 60,000 units have been placed in service over the last three years, whereas the Fuso Canter compact and easy to work with system has been applied to more than 260,000 vehicles throughout the world.
It’s not just Fuso’s engine that helps its fuel economy. Both vehicles have a solid transmission. One major difference being Isuzu’s transmission is the Aisin automatic, whereas Fuso Canter sports an automated manual. The Aisin is a solid transmission system if not slightly outdated, as it must be completely replaced for service repair. In addition, it remains mechanically inefficient in converting torque for coupling and creep.
The Fuso Duonic automated manual combines the efficiency of manual with the convenience of an automatic. Like an automatic, it offers part and creep capabilities, while still allowing you to manually select the desired gear for enhanced control. ECO mode allows the truck to gain higher fuel economy in heavy traffic, allowing this transmission series to match specs for unequalled drivability.
Top Safety Pick
Another concern when selecting a truck is the level of safety a truck offers. When it comes to peace of mind, once again, the Fuso ranked above and beyond Isuzu, making it our top safety pick. The Fuso sports dual caliper front and rear disc brakes as well as a brake override system, which cancels the throttle pedal input when brake pedal is applied. Isuzu carries front and rear drum type service brakes. Additionally, Fuso carries 29% higher frame PSI strength, and even at a standard width of 33.5” it beats out Isuzu’s under-sized frame width of 29.5”. Beyond safety concerns, the small frame makes a limited number of bodies available to Isuzu and a potential for expense when transferring/installing new bodies. The Fuso scores 26% and 33% higher RBM inches then its Isuzu counterpart, and the non-tapered rails provide even and uninterrupted strength. The cab of the Fuso itself tends to carry a better weight rating and longer maximum body length then Isuzu.
Fuso’s three-layer process of painting and surfacing guards against erosion much better then Isuzu’s simple base-paint technology. With an exclusive steel shot blast for electro-deposition coating and a second coat of high-gloss paint added on the frame after final inspection, the Fuso practically glows.
Isuzu’s rear suspension carries cast brackets with reverse spring shackles, rubber bashings that cannot be lubricated and hangers riveted to the frame (increasing labor to remove and replace). Fuso suspension carries box spring hangers plus parabolic helpers and greasable metal bushing with lubrication fittings, providing better handling and longer life. Spring hangers are bolted at patterned hole locations, allowing for quick repair or relocation for wheelbase reduction. Unlike Isuzu, Fuso carries a rear stabilizer bar on select models.
Comfortable Cab Space
Looking at the inside of each cab, we find more surprising differences that seem no longer surprising. Isuzu’s driver’s seat remains tight with the accelerator, making more accessibility but taking a severe dive in comfort. The floor-mounted gearshift impedes movement within cab and intrudes into center passenger space, while the door swings out at 90 degrees, making a wide exit but becoming hazardous to oncoming traffic.
Unlike the Isuzu, Fuso Canter has standard remote door locks for both driver and passenger door unlocking capabilities as well as a key engine immobilizer. The forward swinging hinges open doors at 72 degrees; wide enough for convenient entry/exit without impeding on drivers safety. There is plenty of floor space between seat and pedals as well as advanced instrument panel featuring multi-information display. Fuso Canter’s high-mount circular universal direction vents and large control dials permit operation even with work gloves and unique dash-mounted shifter enhances drive ergonomics without intruding on the passenger space as well as permitting cab traversability.
Suffice to say the Fuso appears to have left its competition in a dusty trail of inefficiency. Perhaps this is due to the Canter FE/FG series being completely reengineered, from it’s shining rims to rear-view mirrors, with an advanced engine, transmission, and emission technology. While Isuzu is an impressive brand, Fuso carries an increased payload capacity, less frequent maintenance, and a better standard warranty. Fuso still caries its 5-year, 175,000-mile power train warranty, which covers the alternator, starter motor, water pump, turbocharger, exhaust and intake manifolds, and injectors. These items come standard for Fuso, yet are not available with an Isuzu even at extra cost. Isuzu will, however, give a 3-year bumper to bumper, 4-year rust-through, and 5-year emissions warranty at extra cost, but all this and 5-year power train warranty once again come standard in the Fuso Canter. It seems Fuso is setting a new standard for medium-duty trucks. Time will tell if Isuzu can keep up.