Latest Isuzu mu-X is actually quite good
We all know that the Toyota Fortuner, like its Hilux sibling, is at the top of the sales charts within its segment. It does however face stiff competition from the likes of the Ford Everest and now the new, long awaited Isuzu mu-X has entered the ring. We spent some time with this newcomer to see what it is like and truth be told, it's actually quite good. Here are our thoughts.
Like the Fortuner, this new mu-X is based on the latest Isuzu D-Max bakkie and follows the success of the outgoing model. The second-generation mu-X boasts bold new styling, a larger and quieter cabin, luxurious materials, and next generation driver assistance and safety features.
The new mu-X debuts Isuzu’s new look for its passenger vehicles, an expression of the brand’s bold identity and pursuit of luxury and exclusivity. Viewed from the front, the mu-X communicates bold new styling which is evidenced by the execution of the new front grille and intricate detail of the arrow shaped Bi-LED headlamps.These new headlamps follow an arrow signature design motif with long sharp outlines which further add to the overall high-quality upmarket appearance.
The rear end combines an advanced look with an elegant yet solid stance. New tailgate badging harmonises with the new mu-X’s design language and presents a keen and elegant look. The rear lights and indicators are combined in a winglet design with precise LED details which give a sense of depth when seen from behind. Our test unit was the flagship Onyx model which comes with 20-inch wheels that add to the overall visual appeal of the mu-X
The new Isuzu mu-X has an opulent and elegant cabin atmosphere with room for seven adults. The three-dimensional layout has a solid and elegant design with impressive materials. Elegant lines are finished with layered soft touch materials which are designed to appeal to all senses.
The mu-X Onyx has a new 9 inch infotainment system that offers intuitive touch functions along with steering wheel mounted controls for audio and telephone operation. Apple CarPlay (wireless) and Android Auto are standard applications along with Bluetooth and audio streaming, Wi-Fi, integrated mobile handsfree and rear-view camera.
Further interior enhancements have been made to overall comfort. Interior noise levels have been reduced through door sealing structure improvement on the A-Pillar surrounding to improve wind noise. In addition, increased body stiffness and additional noise insulation have contributed to considerably lower cabin noise levels.
Safety is also a priority and as such, Isuzu's Intelligent Driver Assistance System (IDAS) makes a debut in the technologically packed range topping ONYX model seen here. IDAS is a suite of passive and active safety systems which continuously monitor driving conditions and act autonomously to avoid a crash or minimise accident damage. IDAS functions through a windshield mounted stereo camera which monitors the road ahead of the vehicle and can detect and recognise vehicles, pedestrians, bicycles, obstacles, lane markings, illustrations, and more.
The mu-X also features a newer version of its 3.0-litre turbo diesel power plant. The new motor is matched to a smooth shifting 6 speed automatic gearbox. Isuzu engineers have paid particular attention to the engine’s performance in three key areas, namely fuel consumption, power, and engine noise. Power is now 140kW and 450Nm which might be slightly lower than its competitors however it does not seem to lack in pace, considering the type of vehicle it is.
Out on the road the mu-X remained composed, comfortable and with an average fuel consumption of around 8.0l/100km, ready for the open road. Under the skin is that tired and tested Isuzu build quality. The new mu-X should be on your list when shopping in this competitive segment.