Isuzu has introduced its first new model since General Motors' departure from the South African market: it's a 7-seater Adventure SUV named the MU-X, which is a rival to the Toyota Fortuner, Ford Everest and Mitsubishi Pajero Sport.
When General Motors SA announced it was shutting up shop, everyone was worried that the brands in its portfolio would disappear from the market. Fortunately, Isuzu, which was not affiliated with GM outside of South Africa anyway, has stuck around and is launching products independently. The MU-X is a well-specced bakkie-based SUV (it shares its underpinnings with the KB range) and Isuzu claims it offers superb all-round capability.
Engine and Transmission
The new Isuzu MU-X is powered by a 3.0-litre 4-cylinder turbodiesel engine with peak outputs of 130 kW and 380 Nm, giving it enough oomph to tow trailers and caravans. Speaking of towing, the MU-X has a braked tow rating of 3 000 kg; it's available with a choice of either 4x2 rear-wheel drive or part-time 4x4 drive, the latter of which features Isuzu's Terrain Command 4x4 system with electronically selected 2-High, 4-High and 4-Low modes. Both derivatives have an automatic transmission.
In terms of off-road capability, the Isuzu MU-X has a ground clearance of 230 mm, a 24-degree approach angle and departure angle of 25.1-degrees. There's extensive underbody protection, including a sturdy steel guard (for the sump and transfer case) for added peace of mind.
The Isuzu MU-X comes in 2 flavours; 3.0 4X2 AT6 and 3.0 4x4 AT6. At the front, there are LED daytime running lights, along with Bi-LED projector headlamps with auto-levelling functionality. The vehicle rides on 18-inch alloy wheels.
Inside, the newcomer offers seating for 7 occupants and the centre and rear rows of seats can be folded flat to free up utility space. It boasts a 9-inch touchscreen infotainment unit that includes an 8-speaker audio system with DVD/MP3-compatible CD player, Bluetooth connectivity and audio streaming, as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality. Satellite navigation is standard, plus front and rear USB slots are provided, in conjunction with an auxiliary iPod and HDMI ports.
A climate control system is standard, while rear seat occupants are catered for with their own cooling vents. A trip computer featuring fuel economy, range, odometer and trip meter readouts, plus maintenance data is included. The seats are wrapped in leather, while the driver's seat is 6-way electrically adjustable. The leather-trimmed steering wheel features controls for phone, audio and cruise control. A reverse-view camera is also fitted, while rear parking sensors are optionally available.
Isuzu claims its new MU-X is particularly practical as well: there is a multitude of storage compartments located strategically around the cabin, including dual glove boxes, an upper dash storage binnacle and cup holders for all three rows of seats.
The new Isuzu is equipped with all-disc ABS with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) and Emergency Brake Assist (EBA). Electronic Stability Control (ESC) helps the driver maintain control of the vehicle, while the Traction Control System (TCS) prevents wheel spin and slippage. Hill Start Assist (HSA) provides an electronic brake control that automatically engages to prevent vehicle rolling back. There's also Hill Descent Control (HDC) which can be engaged in low-range mode.
Six airbags are included in the list of standard passive safety features: there are dual front, side and full-length curtain airbags, linked to front seat pre-tensioner seatbelts. The front bucket-type seats are designed to prevent whiplash in a rear impact, while adjustable headrests are provided for all seven seats.
Isuzu SA says its new MU-X can be personalised with an array of accessories specifically designed for the newcomer. There's the choice of an additional storage box is available for the mu-X located beneath the luggage area floor. This unit has three useful compartments to safely place items out of sight. A tow bar is also an option worth considering as is the stainless-steel nudge bar. A bonnet guard and scuff plate at the rear can also be specified.
Isuzu MU-X Price in South Africa
Accordingly, the Isuzu mu-X comes standard with Isuzu Complete Care, comprising a five-year/120 000km bumper-to-bumper warranty and Isuzu Roadside Assistance, a five-year/unlimited km anti-corrosion warranty and a five-year/90 000km Service Plan. Service intervals are every 15 000km/12 months. Extended cover can also be purchased for Roadside Assistance, Service Plans and Maintenance Plans
Isuzu MU-X 3.0 4X2 AT6 R 568 000
Isuzu MU-X 3.0 4x4 AT6 R 629 100