The all-new Isuzu MU-X will launch the Japanese brand into Australia’s popular SUV market when the ute-based seven-seater reaches local showrooms in December.
A cousin of the Holden Colorado 7, the Isuzu MU-X will launch from $40,500 in rear-wheel-drive five-speed manual specification, undercutting the four-wheel-drive six-speed auto-exclusive Holden by almost $6500.
Seven MU-X variants will be offered in total, spanning three trim levels, two transmissions, two drive set-ups and a single diesel engine.
The Isuzu MU-X range is powered by the 3.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine familiar from the D-Max, delivering 130kW of power at 3600rpm and 380Nm of torque from 1800-2800rpm.
Designed to meet Euro 4 emissions standards, Isuzu claims 4×2 MU-X models consume 8.2 litres per 100km on the combined cycle, while 4×4 versions are slightly thirstier at 8.4L/100km.
There entry-level LS-M and the $42,000 mid-spec LS-U are the only 4×2 variants in the line-up.
Both are equipped with a five-speed automatic transmission with sequential shift mode, as well as hill ascent and descent modes.
Standard MU-X LS-M equipment includes 16-inch alloy wheels, reverse parking sensors, a six-speaker audio system with Bluetooth connectivity, 14 cupholders, six airbags, and split-fold second- and third-row seats.
The LS-M is also available with four-wheel drive, either with a five-speed manual ($45,600) or the auto ($47,800).
The mid-spec LS-U adds 17-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, chrome grille and mirrors, and aluminium sidesteps. Four-wheel-drive variants cost $47,100 (manual) and $49,300 (auto).
The range-topping LS-T is priced from $53,500 and comes exclusively with the auto transmission, which features Isuzu’s ‘grade-logic’ technology that claims to prevent over-revving and unnecessary fuel burn.
Commanding a $4200 premium over the comparative LS-U, the MU-X LS-T gains leather upholstery, climate control, touchscreen navigation system with live traffic updates, reversing camera, ceiling-mounted entertainment system with 10-inch DVD monitor for rear-seat passengers, and Bluetooth audio streaming.
The MU-X rides on a traditional but newly developed ladder frame chassis with independent double wishbone suspension up front and a five-link configuration at the rear, allowing for a three-tonne towing capacity across the range. It features 230mm of ground clearance and 30.1-degree approach and 25.1-degree departure angles.
There’s plenty of off-road protection from the front steel skid plate, as well as steel plate guards that protect the sump and transfer case.
Additional safeguards can be found in the high-mounted front lower control arms and other vulnerable parts, such as the ECU and alternator being positioned out of harms way.
The 4×4 drivetrain is managed by an intelligent traction control system with electronic stability control.
All 4×4 MU-X models are also equipped with Isuzu’s Terrain Command 4WD select dial, providing drivers with three modes – 2-High, 4-High and 4-Low.
The MU-X is available in flatSplash White and five metallic colours: Titanium Silver, Black Mica, Fjord Blue, Outback Bronze, Silky White Pearl.
Available in Australia from mid December, the Isuzu MU-X is covered by a five-year/130,000km warranty and five years of roadside assistance, both transferrable to future owners.
Isuzu MU-X manufacturer’s list prices:
4×2 LS-M auto – $40,500
4×2 LS-U auto – $42,000
4×4 LS-M man – $45,600
4×4 LS-M auto – $47,800
4×4 LS-U man – $47,100
4×4 LS-U auto – $49,300
4×4 LS-T auto – $53,500