All-new Isuzu MU-X unveiled
For the first time in seven years, Isuzu has unveiled an all-new MU-X in its largest market, Thailand, before announcing its launch in other countries. How soon till it is India bound?
Wraps are off the new Isuzu MU-X which is based on the latest, third generation Isuzu D-max pickup truck. Like any traditional SUV, the MU-X is built on a ladder frame chassis with an all-new body and new interiors. Although the older MU-X was as big as the Ford Endeavour and the Toyota Fortuner, it never really went head on against them. It was priced lower and it never really had the plush feel that the other two SUVs offer. From what little we know, it looks like things have changed this time around with the new MU-X.
As was the trend before, instead of applying the same front end as the D-Max, the MU-X now gets its own distinct design. There are some elements of the D-Max present, but overall, one can tell that it is unique. The grille is noticeably smaller, the headlights are now slimmer with LED DRLs and the panel surrounding it is more prominent. The mu-X now has more character lines on the sides. The overall side profile now looks more modern. Even though it doesn’t get wraparound tail lamps like its predecessor, the new horizontal tail lamps definitely look the part.
Under the hood, there are two turbo-diesel options available for the 2021 MU-X. The base engine is the 1.9-litre diesel that produces 147bhp and 350Nm of torque and uses either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic. High-spec versions of the MU-X use an updated version of the 3.0-liter engine which makes more power than before, putting out 187bhp and 450Nm of torque. This is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. 4WD is available with the larger engine option. Speaking of four-wheel-drive, the water wading capacity has now risen from 600 mm to 800 mm. The 4WD variant also gets two types of control modes in the Traction Control System (TCS) based on the road surface condition. Apart from the normal mode used on normal road conditions, there is now a rough terrain mode as well.
On the inside, it looks like Isuzu has upmarket aspirations for the new-generation MU-X. Isuzu also claims that in terms of refinement and cabin noise, the MU-X has improved a lot. The air conditioning controls are now switches instead of dials. Out goes the hand-brake lever and instead, it gets an electric parking brake. To top it off, the new 4.2 inch TFT multi-information display on the instrument cluster is larger than before. It also has keyless entry and start. It has dual-zone climate control with AC vents even for the third row. The second and third rows also get multiple USB charging ports. The whole space looks quite luxurious thanks to the introduction of ambient lighting.
The highlight however is the host of safety and semi-autonomous driving technologies that the MU-X now has. The 2021 MU-X is available with six airbags, along with stability control, hill-start assist, traction control, hill descent control, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, rear-cross traffic alert, blind-spot monitoring, automatic high beam assist and even multi-collision braking.
Since Isuzu has not released any BS6 compliant passenger vehicle yet in India, it is only logical that we will first see the current generation Isuzu D-max with a BS6 engine before we get the new MU-X.