The 2016.5 Isuzu MU-X has arrived in Australia, and, yes, '2016.5' is an unusual model year designation.

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The updated model doesn’t gain the same cosmetic adjustments as the Isuzu D-Max ute, but it does get the brand’s newly developed 3.0-litre turbo diesel four-cylinder engine. In fact, Australia is the first in the world to get an MU-X with the new drivetrain.

It has seen the power figure stay the same at 130kW but Isuzu claims the delivery is improved, and torque has risen by 50Nm to 430Nm. There are two new gearboxes – a six-speed manual developed by Isuzu, and a six-speed auto from transmission experts Aisin.

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As with the D-Max, the MU-X gains hill descent control across the range, and the LS-M model now gets a 7.0-inch touchscreen media system while the LS-U and LS-T variants score an 8.0-inch touchscreen media system with in-built satellite navigation.

There are also three USB ports now, and the LS-M gains a rear-view camera and eight-speaker sound system (was six speakers).

All MU-X models are said to benefit from improvements to the body insulation, with “less noise from the engine bay and outside, and less vibration and harshness”.

Given that Isuzu has labelled this the 2016.5 update, it could well be that a facelifted model with the revised cosmetics may appear at a later date.

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Prices are up across the range to offset the cost of the new drivetrain. All models remain with seven seats.

2016.5 Isuzu MU-X pricing

(Prices exclude on-road costs, changes in brackets)

4x2

LS-M auto – $41,800 (+$1300)

LS-U auto – $43,800 ($+1300)

LS-T auto – $47,500 (+$1300)

4x4

LS-M manual – $47,000 (+$1300)

LS-M auto – $49,100 (+$1300)

LS-U manual – $49,000 (+$1300)

LS-U auto – $51,100 (+1300)

LS-T auto – $54,800 (+$1300)