Ready to rumble
Isuzu’s 7-seater mu-X SUV has officially launched in South Africa.
The mu-X picks up where the Chevrolet Trailblazer left off, and goes head-to-head against established rivals like the Toyota Fortuner, Ford Everest, and the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport. Despite being on sale in Eastern markets since 2013, with the demise of GMSA, the mu-X finally makes its way to Mzansi.
The Fortuner rival is available as either a 4x2 or 4x4, whilst only one engine option exists. While its ‘predecessor’ made use of a 2.8-litre turbodiesel that produced 144kw and 500nm, the mu-X is powered by a 3.0-litre turbodiesel mill that produces 130kw and 380nm, whilst being paired to a 6-speed automatic transmission which has a sequential sport mode.
The four-wheel drive version relies on Isuzu's easy to use Terrain Command 4x4 system with electronically selected two and four-wheel drive high-range modes, or 4x4 low-range for more challenging off-road driving.
The mu-X is based on the hugely successful KB-bakkie, so it’s only right that shares much of its niceties with the big pickup. Specification levels are good, and include LED daytime running lights and Bi-LED projector headlamps, aluminium side-steps, stylish 18-inch alloy wheels, privacy glass and LED tail lights.
The interior – much like the Trailblazer – is a spacious affair – with seating for seven. The dash is dominated by a 9-inch infotainment screen that incorporates satellite navigation, audio and communication systems that includes a DVD and MP3-compatible CD player, Bluetooth connectivity and audio streaming, as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality. There’s keyless-go, cruise control, climate control, leather seating, as well as electric adjustments for the driver’s seat too.
The SUV is packed with an extensive range of active safety features, including ABS brakes with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) and Emergency Brake Assist (EBA). This is complemented by Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Traction Control System (TCS), Hill Start Assist (HSA) and Hill Descent Control (HDC) which can be engaged in low-range 4x4 mode.
And as expected a massive range of accessories and cosmetic enhancements are available for the mu-X. With Chevrolet pulling out of SA, Isuzu wants customers to know that they are committed to their customers, and are offering a 5-year/120 000km bumper-to-bumper warranty and Isuzu Roadside Assistance, a 5-year/unlimited km anti-corrosion warranty and a 5-year/90 000km Service Plan.
The mu-X 3.0 4×2 model is priced at R568 000 (for reference, the 4x2 Toyota Fortuner 2,8GD-6 costs R583 800 and the Ford Everest 3.2 XLT is R584 400), while the flagship mu-X 3.0 4x4 is priced at R629 100 (whereas the Toyota Fortuner 2.8GD-6 4x4 auto costs R646 800 and the Ford Everest 3.2 4WD XLT is at R655 000).
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