UPDATE, September 29: The 2021 Isuzu MU-X has now been revealed through a series of patent application images. Story here.
The 2021 Isuzu MU-X will be among the safest and most advanced vehicles in the ute-derived four-wheel-drive class when it goes on sale in the second half of 2021 or the first half of 2022.
While Isuzu remains tight-lipped about timing and details for the successor to one of Australia’s top-selling seven-seater four-wheel-drives – and the image above is a computer illustration of how it might look – we have managed to piece together what we can expect, based on the just-released D-Max ute.
"Currently MU-X is selling quite good in the market ... and market feedback is quite good at this moment. But for the next generation MU-X ... we are unable to comment about that," said Isuzu Ute Australia's Koichiro Yoshida.
However, given the common architecture between the current D-Max and MU-X, CarAdvice believes the next-generation Isuzu MU-X will likely adopt the new 3.0-litre turbo diesel (140kW/450Nm) from the all-new D-Max, as well as its updated six-speed auto and most of the advanced technology.
The next MU-X will also likely be available with a rear differential lock for the first time (to bring it in line with the Toyota Fortuner, Ford Everest and Mitsubishi Pajero Sport, all of which are available with rear differential locks), and larger front brakes to reduce fade and shorten stopping distances.
Both the rear diff lock and bigger front brakes are part of the hardware upgrades for the 2021 D-Max ute, and should easily carryover to the MU-X.
The new MU-X will also likely gain the full suite of advanced safety technology that has been rolled out on every model in the 2021 Isuzu D-Max range, which should catapult it to the top of the class once these features are added.
Highlights include twin-camera autonomous emergency braking (with detection for cyclists, pedestrians and at intersections), blind-zone warning, rear cross-traffic alert, radar cruise control and speed sign recognition (with automatic slowdown function and stop-start traffic crawl).
Top end models will also have remote engine start as well as a sensor key.
Bi-LED low and high beam headlights are expected to be fitted across most models in the range, as per the new D-Max ute.
The exact timing of the 2021 Isuzu MU-X is yet to be announced, however if history is a guide it should arrive in Australian showrooms in late 2021 or early 2022, pending any unforeseen delays.
The current generation Isuzu MU-X went on sale in Australia in November 2013, about 18 months after the then-new Isuzu D-Max.
Using that timing as a guide, the 2021 Isuzu MU-X should be about 18 months away.
Isuzu Australia remains tight-lipped about the timing of the new model because in the interim it still has to sell the current model, which is starting to show its age against newer competition.
Despite its lack of features compared to newer competition, the Isuzu MU-X remains one of the top-sellers in its class.
For the past five-and-a-half years, the Isuzu MU-X has consistently outsold rivals such as the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport, Ford Everest and Toyota Fortuner, despite those models being newer and better equipped. And it has been the top-selling ute-derived four-wheel-drive wagon since 2013.