2013 Isuzu MU-X First Drive and Review | Avtomodels.com

8 May 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on 2013 Isuzu MU-X First Drive and Review | Avtomodels.com
Isuzu MU

2013 Isuzu MU-X First Drive and Review

Isuzu left no stone unturned in wheeling-out the MU-X #8211; its first global SUV #8211; staging a massive international media launch at home in Bangkok, Thailand and CarShowroom.com.au was there. We toured the impressive, new Gateway plant, 90-minutes drive from the CBD and we put the MU-X through its paces at Isuzu’s equally impressive 4WD test track.

2013 Isuzu MU-X First Drive and Review

The Japanese giant is right to be confident priced from $40,500 and on-sale in Australia in December, the seven-seat Isuzu MU-X boasts an impressive arsenal and can stand toe-to-toe with any rival in the large SUV segment. Facts are lots of buyers in this league tow large trailers so tick a 3.0-tonne towing capacity for the MU-X, lots of buyers in this segment look for tough off-road ability and we put the MU-X through some challenges which would test cars three times its price and some buyers look for a little luxury so the range-topping LS-T model includes leather seats and a rear-seat DVD entertainment system amongst its extras.

Well known for its trucks (Isuzu has been a truck market sales leader in Australia for 25 years) the company started in 1916 and is actually Japan’s oldest vehicle manufacturer. As well as the MU-X, Isuzu produces its sibling (D-Max pickup), trucks, buses and stationary diesel engines (for construction, generators etc).

Isuzu MU-X Overview

Isuzu MU-X is related to Holden’s Colorado 7 but differences are significant not the least of which is Isuzu’s own exterior styling and, with a nod to serious off-road enthusiasts and heavy-duty fleet customers (such as mining companies), Isuzu MU-X is available with a manual transmission).

2013 Isuzu MU-X First Drive and Review

Isuzu MU-X is available in two-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive and three model grades entry-level LS-M, mid-grade LS-U and range-topping LS-T. Amongst its extras, Isuzu MU-X LS-U adds 17-inch alloy wheels, front fog-lights, chrome grille and exterior mirrors plus aluminium side-steps, while LS-T gets all that plus leather-trimmed interior, climate-control air-conditioning, touch-screen satellite navigation and a fold-down roof-mounted rear DVD system.

Another version is under development tailored for the specific use and OHS requirements of the mining industry.

The full lineup is:

4#215;2 LS-M automatic $40,500

4#215;2 LS-U automatic $42,000

4#215;4 LS-M manual $45,600

4#215;4 LS-M automatic $47,800

4#215;4 LS-U manual $47,100

4#215;4 LS-U automatic $49,300

4#215;4 LS-T automatic $53,500.

Isuzu MU-X Engine

Isuzu is actually one of the world’s leading diesel engine manufacturers, including GM’s German subsidiary Opel amongst its customers.

The all-new Isuzu MU-X employs the latest version of the familiar 3.0-litre, DOHC, four-cylinder turbo-diesel with 130kW of power at 3600rpm and peak torque of 380Nm between 1800rpm and 2800rpm a flat torque curve a key to its quiet operation at cruising and excellent off-road prowess.

2013 Isuzu MU-X First Drive and Review

Common-rail fuel injection comes from DENSO and, in an update over the engine used in the Isuzu D-MAX pickup, the engine in the MU-X is a new overhead camshaft design with stainless steel drive belts.

Like the D-MAX, Isuzu MU-X drives via either a five-speed manual or five-speed automatic (ratios are slightly different to the those in the pickup).

No six-speed? Isuzu says the abundant torque and flat torque curve of the 3.0litre turbo-diesel (1800rpm at 100km/h) makes the extra ratio redundant.

Combined cycle fuel consumption for the five-speed manual is listed at 8.2l/100kms and 8.4l/100kms (automatic).

Towing capacity is an impressive 3.0-tonnes and the maximum tow ball mass load is 300kgs both vital for those who tow large caravans, horse floats and boat trailers. Development of the towing kit was done in-house by ICL, Isuzu’s accessory development arm, and is very smart engineering to suit the MU-X’s five-link rear suspension.

And, reflecting its 4WD capability, unlike some rivals which run plastic protector plates, the Isuzu MU-X is equipped with solid steel protectors for the front, sump and transfer case.

Isuzu MU-X The Interior

Unlike some of our international colleagues at the Isuzu MU-X media launch in Bangkok, CarShowroom.com.au was quick to climb into the third-row seat to check it out. Glad we did too ‘cause there’s good news for families the tumble-fold function for row two seats made for easy access and once there, leg-room was ample and certainly superior to many rivals.

2013 Isuzu MU-X First Drive and Review

Naturally there’s lots of the excellent D-MAX design inside the MU-X we like the instrumentation with stylish pointer needles and the circular layout for the climate control functions pays dividends with easy operation. We also like Isuzu’s stylish steering wheel design (leather-wrapped in LST).

New design front seats look good and feel good with ‘wrap-around’ bolsters for extra support.

Second-row seats are comfortable and split-fold 60/40 for load versatility. There are three top tethers for child seats and ISOFIX mounts.

Third row seat split-fold 50/50 and, if you fold all the seats flat, the Isuzu MU-X can accommodate cargo up to 1995mm in length.

2013 Isuzu MU-X First Drive and Review

Storage locations are plentiful and on the audio front, all models except LS-T run a six-speaker system with the usual connectivity. Amongst its extras, LS-T adds an eight-speaker system with rear-seat roof-mounted 10-inch DVD screen, reversing camera and satellite navigation complete with live traffic updates and HEMA off-road maps.

Isuzu MU-X Exterior Styling

The previous generation Isuzu MU-X was launched in 2004 and, while it didn’t come to Australia, it has been a massive seller at home in Thailand. Design of the all-new model started in 2007 and from the get-go the stylists knew this was going to be a car for global markets.

It was to be a true family-sized SUV highlighted by ‘Dynamic Flow’ looks (in ‘designer-speak’).

2013 Isuzu MU-X First Drive and Review

As we know, the Isuzu MU-X is closely related to both its D-MAX ute stalemate and the Holden Colorado 7 but in the metal, styling differences are significant. It’s a wedge-shape, like the D-Max #8211; but only the bonnet and front fenders are shared and, unlike the Colorado 7, MU-X’s roofline is extended at the rear, plus Isuzu is straight lines at the rear three-quarter as opposed to the Holden’s bulging rear hips.

And, further differentiating Isuzu’s all-new seven-seat SUV from its pickup buddy are new headlights, new tail-lights and new alloy wheels.

Isuzu MU

Isuzu MU-X On The Road

The chassis of the all-new Isuzu MU-X is significantly different to the closely-related D-MAX pickup. Obviously the rear-suspension is markedly changed (a sophisticated five-link independent design over the leaf-spring pickup), but not so obvious is the ladder frame which is a different design with unique crossmembers and in fact, the seven-seat SUV is 250mm shorter in the wheelbase than its pickup stalemate.

2013 Isuzu MU-X First Drive and Review

Isuzu calls the front suspension an “independent high ride with coil springs, gas shock absorbers, upper and lower wishbones and stabiliser bar”.

And, unlike the D-Max (drum brakes), Isuzu equips the MU-X with 318mm discs.

Let’s talk off-road agility for a sec. Isuzu MU-X provides ground clearance of 220-230mm, an approach angle of 29.4-degrees (LS-M) or 30 degrees and a departure angle of 24.4-degrees (LS-M) or 25.1-degrees.

So Isuzu has its own 4WD adventure park and it’s ‘epic’ #8211; designed to fully highlight the abilities of its vehicles. The hill has climb and descent which both challenge gravity by being more than 40-degrees.

Incredibly, coaxed by an Isuzu representative. we left our MU-X LS-T automatic to both climb and come-down the hill idling! Now that’s the approved technique (4WD Low, first gear and feet off everything) for descents but to do it climbing was very impressive. Then we did it again with a manual LS-U model.

Isuzu MU-X’s wheel articulation over some high humps also got a green tick as did its stability while traversing severe side slopes and manoeuvrability thanks to its very small (for a full-size seven-seat SUV) turning circle of 11.6-metres.

Isuzu MU-X Challenges

We would like a reversing camera as standard on all models the Isuzu MU-X is very much a family car.

Isuzu MU-X Verdict

We got some insightful ‘seat-time’ in the Isuzu MU-X in Thailand enticing indeed and we look forward to putting this good-looking seven-seater over some Aussie roads to get a feel for things like road noise on local bitumen etc. But, unlike the movie The Hangover II (a scene of which was shot at the roof-top bar of the hotel used by Isuzu!) our Bangkok experience was very positive and left no doubt the Isuzu MU-X has what it takes to capture large sales numbers in the large SUV segment.

2013 Isuzu MU-X First Drive and Review

Sharp prices, seven seats, outstanding towing capacity and off-road ability are enough to guarantee that already.

Isuzu MU-X The Competition

Word is Holden has reacted immediately to the announcement of Isuzu MU-X details with changes to the Colorado 7.

Like the Isuzu MU-X, Mitsubishi’s Challenger is ute-based (the Triton in this case). Starting at $42,490 the Challenger is certainly ‘challenged’ by the MU-X’s value position.

Ford’s Territory is a CarShowroom.com.au favourite, but starting price for the turbo-diesel is $43,240.

2013 Isuzu MU-X First Drive and Review

Of course word on the street is Ford is to join the ute-based-serious off-road- seven-seat brigade with the all-new Ranger-based Everest which CarShowroom.com.au has actually seen in the metal undergoing testing at the Anglesea Proving Ground.


Great off-road; hefty 3.0-tonne towing capacity; useful seven-seat layout; nice looks inside and out.

Isuzu MU
Isuzu MU
Isuzu MU
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