The all-new Isuzu MU-X is the real-life ugly duckling turned swan story

The all-new Isuzu MU-X SUV has been officially unveiled today in Thailand. Just like it’s predecessor, the new SUV is based on the latest Isuzu D-Max pick-up truck – now in its third generation, but fitted with a passenger cab body that accommodates three rows of seating.

In terms of appearance, the all-new MU-X tastefully tones down the striking front-end of the pick-up truck to give it a slightly sleeker, more streetwise look. The LED headlights have been slimmed down and given a unique DRL signature, while the grille has also been made smaller and classier – the aggressive “fangs” from the pick-up truck are reduced to what we’ll probably call “baby teeth”.

The front fascia also reminds us significantly of Mazda’s SUVs, especially how the surrounding trim on the grille extends into the headlights itself. It wouldn’t surprise us if Mazda did actually contribute to the design, since the pick-up truck also forms the base of the new Mazda BT-50!

Down the sides, the glasshouse of all-new Isuzu MU-X has been completely redesigned with a thinner black plastic-cladded C pillar, while the D pillar at the rear is now thicker and body-coloured; the two separated by a stylised window ‘cut-out’, giving the entire side a clean and modern look thanks to the almost unbroken window line.

The character lines, stamped creases, and prominent rear haunches also help improve the overall premium impression of the SUV, moving the model away from the utilitarian image it had.

The difference is less stark inside, with the dashboard mostly resembling that of the new Isuzu D-Max. The MU-X does however get a completely-redesigned centre console, fit with an electric parking brake and leather knee pads for the extra touch of luxuriousness.

Equipment wise, the all-new Isuzu MU-X is available with an electric-powered tailgate, a seven- or nine-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, analogue instrument cluster with 4.2-inch multi-info display, eight-way powered driver’s seat, dual-zone climate control with PM2.5 filter, as well as ambient lighting.

The SUV is also offered with an advanced driver assistance system on the higher-end variants, which includes features such as forward collision warning with autonomous emergency braking, blind spot monitor, rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning, automatic high beam, multi-collision brake, parking assist, and a pedal misapplication system.

While the MU-X borrows the ladder frame chassis from its pick-up truck counterpart, it seperates itself as a passenger-focused vehicle thanks to the more comfortable independent double-wishbone front and five-link coil springs rear suspension, in place of the leaf spring set-up on the pick-up truck.

The all-new Isuzu MU-X is available with two engine options, both taken from the D-Max pick-up truck – a 1.9-litre four-cylinder turbo unit which makes 150 hp and 350 Nm, as well as a 3.0-litre four-pot turbodiesel which makes 190 hp and 450 Nm of torque. Most variants on sale in Thailand are two-wheel drive and paired to a six-speed automatic gearbox with paddle shifters, although the 1.9L Luxury variant is available with a manual transmission, while the 3.0L Ultimate 4WD is the only variant available with all-wheel drive.



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