The good news is that Isuzu has released a brand new generation of the MU-X, with the addition of a heap of mechanical, equipment and safety-tech upgrades.
The bad news, though, is that the new generation has also brought some pretty sizable price increases, with prices standing nearly $10,000 more than the first generation.
This begs the question of whether or not the upgrade justifies the price increases, and how the MU-X stands up against its competitors like the Toyota Fortuner, Mitsubishi Pajero Sport and the Ford Everest.
Let’s find out.
Starting Price: $48,900
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Isuzu MU-X LS-M (4x2) Specifications
|Transmission||6 SP AUTO SEQUENTIAL|
|Engine configuration||DUAL OVERHEAD CAM / 16 valves|
|Engine RPM||3600 / 2000|
|Fuel tank size||65.0|
|Fuel usage specs||8.0 / 0.0|
|ANCAP security rating||5|
For more details and other variants, check Isuzu MU-X car page.
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How Much Does It Cost?
The Isuzu MU-X lineup kicks off from $48,900 for the entry-level MU-X LS-M 4x2, while the LS-M 4x4 is priced at $54,900. Moving to the mid-range MU-X LS-U 4x2 brings the price to $55,400, while the LS-U 4x4 is priced at $61,400.
Finally, the range topping MU-X LS-T 4x2 is priced at $61,400, while the flagship LS-T 4x4 is priced at $67,400.
Keep in mind that these prices are subject to change, and do not include on-road costs.
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What Features Does the Isuzu MU-X Have?
Isuzu’s entry-level MU-X LS-M comes riding on a set of 17-inch alloys wrapped in Dunlop all-terrain rubber, and receives Bi-LED headlights with LED daytime running lamps, automatic wipers, keyless entry & start, adaptive cruise control, a reversing camera with rear-mounted parking sensors, cloth upholstery and a 7.0-inch infotainment system with DAB+, Apple CarPlay & Android Auto.
Stepping up to the MU-X LS-U adds a set of 18-inch alloys with Bridgestone all-terrain rubber, LED fog and tail lights, powered boot lift, front-mounted parking sensors, roof rails, dual-zone climate control, a leather steering wheel and gear lever, chrome front grille, electric lumbar support and an upgraded 9.0-inch infotainment system with sat-nav paired with a more powerful eight-speaker sound system.
Opting for Isuzu’s flagship MU-X LS-T adds a set of 20-inch alloys, quilted leather upholstery, heated front seats, LED ambient lighting, carpeted floors, remote engine start and upgraded interior finishings.
17-inch alloys with Dunlop all-terrain tyres
Adaptive cruise control
LED daytime running lamps
Keyless entry & start
Reversing camera with rear-mounted parking sensors
7.0-inch infotainment system with DAB+, Apple CarPlay & Android Auto
18-inch alloys with Bridgestone rubber (LS-U)
Powered boot lift (LS-U)
Dual-zone climate control (LS-U)
Leather steering wheel and gear lever (LS-U)
Front parking sensors (LS-U)
9.0-inch infotainment system with sat-nav (LS-U)
20-inch alloys (LS-T)
Quilted leather upholstery (LS-T)
LED ambient lighting (LS-T)
Heated front seats (LS-T)
Interior upgrades (LS-T)
Isuzu MU-X Colours
The Isuzu MU-X range is available in a choice of eight colours, including Mercury Silver, Moonstone White, Obsidian Grey, Mineral White, Magnetic Red, Basalt Black, Jasper Brown and Cobalt Blue.
Is it Comfortable to Drive?
For all its off-road capabilities, at its heart, the Isuzu MU-X retains all the smooth, comfortable and user-friendly hallmarks that have made it a go-to option for Australian families.
Underneath the skin, the MU-X continues to share its platform, engine and hardware with the D-MAX ute, which means there’s a heap of pulling power underneath the bonnet, all of which is packaged in a tough but surprisingly comfortable package when you’re bumbling around town.
In terms of engine performance, there’s one engine across the range, a 3.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel unit that produces 140kW of power and 450Nm of torque, with power sent to the wheels via a six-speed automatic.
This engine offers up some modest performance when driving around town, allowing you to overtake with confidence while remaining smooth and comfortable on a daily commute. The lightweight steering rack helps navigate tight spaces and carparks with confidence, making the MU-X a user-friendly SUV to drive around town.
The MU-X’s hardcore underpinnings make it feel sturdy on the open road, soaking up the brunt of rough road surfaces and offering a smooth and comfortable ride quality that is perfect for long-distance road trips.
Is it Practical and Spacious?
Stepping inside the cabin, the MU-X presents the driver and front passenger with a significantly refreshed interior design over the replacement, and a heap of headroom that adds to the overall spaciousness of the package.
There’s nothing groundbreaking inside the MU-X, but it has well and truly caught up with its major competitors in terms of the design and packaging of the interior, which is comfortable, spacious and offers a great view out and around the cabin. The driving position is completely adjustable, with higher-spec variants even receiving lumbar support for drivers looking to soothe any back pain.
Practical elements in the front of the cabin include a set of cup holders, a two-tiered glovebox, a compact storage area inside the folding armrest, a tray for smartphones behind the gear lever, a sunglasses holder and the usual set of door bins on either side of the cabin.
Move to the second row of the cabin and you’ll find a reclining bench seat for added flexibility, while there’s enough legroom for adults sitting behind the driving position of a tall driver. That means you won’t be hearing any complaints from the second row, which also benefits from its own set of air vents, USB chargers and cupholders.
The second row features ISOFIX anchors on each of the outboard seats, while there’s three top tether mounts to help you fit up to three child seats cross the second row of the MU-X.
The third row has also been redesigned to offer more space, which is surprisingly able to accommodate an adult, and is perfectly suited to a pair of kids in the third row, making the MU-X a genuine seven-seater.
Finally, boot space is rated at 311L with all the seats standing, which is a pretty impressive amount while accommodating seven people, while cargo storage increases to 1,119L with the third row folded, and up to 2,138L with the second row folded, too.
Is the Isuzu MU-X Good for Towing and Off-Road Driving?
The MU-X has become a fan favourite for those touring Australia and towing large objects. The good news here is that Isuzu has actually increased its already impressive towing abilities, with its braked towing capacity increasing from 3,000 to 3,500kg across the range.
Gross vehicle mass (GVM) stands at 2,700kg in entry-level and mid-spec variants, while the flagship is rated at 2,800kg. Gross combination mass (GCM) for the Isuzu MU-X range now stands at 5,900kg, marking a 250kg increase for entry and mid-spec variants.
As a result, the Isuzu MU-X is a great option for those looking to tow a caravan or a boat thanks to its substantial towing and gross combination mass figures.
In terms of off-road driving, Isuzu has given the MU-X a significant overhaul over its predecessor to make it even more competent off-road. For the first time, there’s a rear differential lock, on top of the low-range transfer case.
Ground clearance stands at 235mm, with a wading depth standing at 800m, while the approach and departure angles are rated at 29.2 and 26.4 degrees respectively. All up, these give the MU-X some serious performance when the sealed roads stop, and for the money, the MU-X remains an impressive adventure-ready SUV.
Is it Safe?
The Isuzu MU-X has been awarded ANCAP’s maximum five-star safety rating, and comes equipped with a huge amount of safety equipment as standard across the range.
This includes autonomous emergency braking, post-collision braking, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warnings, wrong-pedal braking, lane keep and lane departure warnings, rear cross-traffic alerts, a reversing camera with rear-mounted parking sensors and a trailer sway control system.
Is it Fuel Efficient?
With one engine across the entire MU-X range, fuel economy depends on whether you’re opting for the 4x2 or the 4x4 variant. Officially, the 4x2 MU-X range is rated at 7.8L per 100km on a combined cycle, while 4x4 variants are rated at 8.3L per 100km.
Our Verdict: Is the Isuzu MU-X Worth it?
While a price increase of nearly $10,000 is no small issue, the latest generation MU-X takes such a dramatic leap forward for the platform that we can’t help but forgive Isuzu for its updated prices.
The MU-X was quick to carve itself out a fierce reputation within the segment, and the latest MU-X is a comprehensive update to an already established favourite within the segment. It’s far from a refresh, instead, it’s a top-to-bottom revision of an already impressive platform that is more capable, comfortable and feature-packed than ever before.
If you’re looking to save some money, consider the entry-level or mid-spec variant with your choice of a 4x2 or 4x4 system, depending on your needs, and skip the interior upgrades that the flagship receives.
Five Specs You Need to Know
Five-star ANCAP safety rating
3,500kg braked towing capacity across the range
Fuel economy between 7.8 - 8.2L per 100km
Boot volume expands from 311L - 2,138L
Spacious interior with comfortable seven-seat cabin
Increased towing performance up to par with rivals (3,500kg)
Smooth engine and transmission combination
Impressive off-road performance
Substantial price increases across the range
Infotainment system lacks intuitiveness
Safety tech needs more refinement
OnlineAuto Rating: 9/10
Isuzu MU-X Competition
|Mitsubishi Pajero Sport|