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 4x2 MU-X models consume 8.2 litres per 100km on the combined cycle, while 4x4 versions are slightly thirstier at 8.4L/100km.
There entry-level LS-M and the $42,000 mid-spec LS-U are the only 4x2 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 4x4 drivetrain is managed by an intelligent traction control system with electronic stability control.
All 4x4 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.
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:
4x2 LS-M auto - $40,500
4x2 LS-U auto - $42,000
4x4 LS-M man - $45,600
4x4 LS-M auto - $47,800
4x4 LS-U man - $47,100
4x4 LS-U auto - $49,300
4x4 LS-T auto - $53,500