Isuzu the Japanese manufacturers are world famous for their capability to churn out some thoroughbred modern day SUVs with a heavy dose of old school charm. Isuzu targets a genre of off-road junkies who also want to use their cars for both serious mud plunging as well as a full-fledged highway cruiser.
The MU-X, recently launched by the Isuzu is also built and brought into the Indian market sticking to this strategy.
The car gets a similar looking face as that of its stablemate, the D-Max V-Cross with subtle changes. The car gets enough muscle and they have achieved it without using any plastic cladding on the side panels. The alloys wheels are 17-inchers with a Diamond cut petal shape. The design language is very much straight and simple which follows the traditional SUV lines. The end result is a butch looking and rugged SUV with a dash of modern styling. Isuzu ensured a pure SUV style philosophy and the design conveys car’s intended purpose well.
The dashboard design and layout is similar to the V-Cross. However, the car gets an all-black theme for the dashboard and the overall interiors. The seats and door trims are finished in leather. The round center console houses the display for AC and AC controls. The ergonomics are not perfect and it will take a while to adjust. The car gets a touchscreen infotainment system but is devoid of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.
Other features include:
- Dual airbags
- Keyless entry and ignition
- Climate control
- 8-speaker sound system
- Electrically adjustable driver seat
- Cruise control
The MU-X is a 7-seater.The car offers a large cabin with enough legroom at the front and rear. However, the middle row is not slide-able. Space at the third row is pretty useable, but limit the use for children or for short trips if you want adults to be seated there.
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Engine and Performance
The MU-X is powered by Isuzu’s 4JJ1 3.0-liter turbocharged diesel unit that generates a peak power of 175hp and a peak torque of 380Nm @ 1800-2800 rpm. The engine has a lag free and crisp throttle response. However, it’s a slow revving engine which doesn’t like to be revved hard and the engine becomes pretty noisy at higher revs. However, the five-speed automatic gearbox compliments the engine with its super quick downshifts and compensate for the slow revving nature of the engine (we did tell you the car exudes old-world charm in all realms). The car breaches the 100 kmph mark in 11.6 seconds. The car is happy cruising at 130-140 kmph on a super-fast highway. Also, you get 4X4 shift-on-fly for off-roading.
Handling and Ride
The springs on the MUX are wounded slightly firm. With that, Isuzu could avoid the bouncing effect, which plagues many tough SUVs. However, the car gets a fair amount of body-roll. The car negotiates corners with definite predictability and poise. MU-X is built on a traditional ladder-on-frame chassis. Tires are 225/65 R17 Bridgestone Dueller road tires which can survive occasional off-road as well. The car tackles off-road pretty well and can be credited as one of the best off-road luxury SUV in this side of INR 35 lakh. The car gets ABS, Electronic Stability Control, Hill-start Assist, Traction Control and Dual-airbags.
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