There’s a new SUV in town, this time from a brand that’s making a comeback to the scene it once dominated with the Trooper in the late 90s. As you can tell, the MU-X, short for Multi-Utility-X, is a seven-seater SUV built based on the D-Max, but it’s tuned to provide the best combination of on- and off-road performance.
The MU-X first broke its cover in 2013 at the Tokyo Motor Show, and it shares the same ladder frame chassis as the outgoing D-Max. The duo launched today will be powered by the familiar 2.5-litre VGS engine, although the more powerful 3.0-litre turbodiesel is only being offered in Thailand. Whether or not that will make its way here remains to be seen.
|Name||Isuzu MU-X 4×2||Isuzu MU-X 4×4|
|Engine||2,499cc; DOHC commonrail diesel with Variable Geometry Turbo|
|Transmission||5-speed automatic with Sequential Shift|
|Max Power||134 hp @ 3,400 rpm|
|Max Torque||320 Nm @ 1,800 to 2,800 rpm|
|Price with GST and insurance||RM151,944.56||RM164,969.84|
It comes with hydraulic shocks and rides on independent double wishbones with coil springs and a stabiliser bar at the front, whereas the rear gets a multilink suspension with coil springs instead of the D-Max’s elliptical leaf springs. Isuzu says this gives passengers better comfort without compromising the car’s off-road capabilities.
There’s no denying that the MU-X bears great resemblance to the D-Max. But there are telling visuals differentiating the two, namely the fog lamps placement and lower grille. Like the D-Max, this people carrier also gets halogen projector headlights, although the 4×4 benefits from a pair of LED daytime running lights built into the fog lamp binnacle. It also gets an additional rear spoiler and fancier exhaust tip.
Other features include chromed side mirrors with signal indicators, 16-inch wheels on the 4×2 and 17-inch on the 4×4. The smaller wheel get wrapped with 245/70 R16 whereas the larger wheels get wrapped with 255/65 R17 rubbers. No keyless entry or push-start features here, though.
Step inside the MU-X and you’ll realise that the finishing differs from the truck it’s based on. Here, although broadly similar, features a two-tone black and silver finish. Standard on both 4×2 and 4×4 are leather seats, including a 6-way electric powered driver-only seats. When heat becomes unbearable, sitting anywhere in the MU-X will be a breeze because there are separate air vents for the second, even the third row seats. There’s a standalone condenser and blower speed as well.
The base 4×2 variant gets manual air conditioning, whereas the 4×4 gets a single-zone auto air conditioning. The latter also features a rear DVD monitor and a Blaupunkt touchscreen multimedia head unit (Android powered) that mirrors your phone. It’s also WiFi, USB, Bluetooth enabled, and will feed visuals from the reverse camera. GPS navigation comes with the unit, too. Both variants get six-speakers as standard.
Now, we already know that this SUV accommodates seven. However, the second and third row seats are very flexible and there are up to seven, if not more ways you can adjust luggage space by adjusting rear seats. Make no mistake, the MU-X has one cavernous cabin; so big in fact, there are 12 cup holders to be found all around the cabin.
There’s not much unfamiliarity in this department. The MU-X gets the D-Max sourced 4JK1-TCX 2.5-litre inline-four cylinder diesel with Variable Valve Geometry Turbo (VGS) technology that makes a respectable 134 hp at 3,400 rpm and 320 Nm of torque from 1,800 to 2,800 rpm. Transmission choice is a five-speed automatic with manual shift mode.
To refresh your memory, the engine is the same unit powering our D-Max, and is capable of covering over 1,800 km on a single tank of fuel as proven by Isuzu themselves. That said, the fuel tank’s size in the MU-X is smaller by 11 litres at 65 litres.
In the 4×4 variant, you get Isuzu’s 4WD Terrain Command system built just next to the parking brake lever. Drivers can choose between 2H or 4H at speeds up to 100 km/h, but when desired and needed, a complete stop is required before switching it into 4L prior to some serious off-roading.
The safety kit includes dual front airbags, ABS with EBD, Brake Assist, Electronic Stability Control, Traction Control and Isofix mount for the second row seats. The 4×2 gets two reverse sensors at the back, while the 4×4 gets four. User convenience feature includes cruise control and is only fitted to the 4×4 variant. This kit is topped off with just two SRS airbags.
The MU-X is given an introductory price of RM151,944.56 and RM164,969.84 for the 4×2 and 4×4 respectively. Both prices are OTR with insurance and GST inclusive. Like the D-Max, it comes with a 3-year or 100,000km warranty programme, whichever occurs first. There are four colours to choose from – Titanium Silver, Cosmic Black, Splash White and their signature colour Uluru Brown.
Isuzu MU-X Official Launch
Isuzu MU-X Preview