PORT ELIZABETH – As an important new offering from Isuzu Motors South Africa, and a new contender in the burgeoning sport utility vehicle (SUV) segment, the seven-seater Isuzu mu-X matches a proud heritage to outstanding performance, distinctive style and an extremely comfortable yet flexible interior.
The mu-X offers superb all-round capabilities that make it ideally suited to active modern family lifestyles. This is backed up by the confidence provided by an impressive range of active and passive safety features – including a full complement of driving aids for on and off-road use. This is sure to make the mu-X a very popular addition to the Isuzu line-up in South Africa.
Isuzu Motors is a global leader in the production of commercial diesel engines for the light, medium and heavy commercial vehicle markets, and has produced over 25-million engines to date.
Under the stylish bonnet of the mu-X is the renowned engine that distils everything Isuzu has learnt over the last 100 years, providing the ideal balance between power, torque and fuel economy. Isuzu’s legendary 3.0-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel engine has built up an enviable reputation for performance, reliability, efficiency and low running costs.
It is equipped with a high-pressure common rail fuel injection system for superior fuel economy, matched to a large intercooler for optimal thermo-cooling capacity and a variable geometry turbocharger that helps generate substantial low-end torque and top-end power, while achieving low emissions. Delivering 130 kW of power matched to a peak torque output of 380 Nm at 2 000 r/min, this power unit is suited to a wide variety of roles, from relaxed cruising with the family to towing a trailer or caravan, and conquering challenging off-road terrain.
The mu-X is exclusively available with a six-speed automatic transmission that makes the best use of the engine’s torquey nature to deliver seamless comfort and ease-of-use, regardless of the driving conditions. The Rev-Tronic gearbox boasts a sequential sport mode that enables the driver to control the gear selection. The mu-X is rated for an impressive 3 000 kg maximum towing capacity, enabling it to pull hefty loads with ease.
The Isuzu mu-X is available in a choice of rear-wheel drive or part-time four-wheel drive models – the latter featuring Isuzu’s easy to use Terrain Command 4x4 system with electronically selected 2-High, 4-High and 4-Low modes, the latter designed for off-road adventure.
Off-road capability is enhanced with a ground clearance of 230 mm, a 24-degree approach angle and departure angle of 25.1-degrees. The extensive underbody protection includes a sturdy steel guard for the sump and transfer case for added peace of mind.
The mu-X is equipped with a specially developed high-ride coil spring and gas shock suspension, including a five-link set-up at the rear, which balances firmness with suppleness, offering a comfortable ride without compromising handling or rugged off-road performance.
As a highly capable new entrant to the popular SUV segment, the mu-X exudes a refined yet robust character that embodies the familiar DNA of the Isuzu brand, matched to the upmarket and sophisticated appeal of a stylish seven-seater.
One of the central design features of the mu-X is its distinctive shoulder line incorporated in the doors. The Isuzu designers used inspiration from Japanese culture and integrated the elegant curve of a traditional sword known as a ‘Katana’ into the side profile, which gives the SUV a sense of refinement and precision. Its eye-catching visual appeal makes it look equally at home in the city as it does venturing well off the beaten track.
Framing the bold chromed Isuzu front grille are striking headlight clusters that incorporate LED daytime running lights, along with Bi-LED projector headlamps with auto-levelling functionality as standard on both models. This is complemented by low-mounted fog lights that provide additional visibility in difficult weather conditions.
The integrated aluminium side-steps enhance the tough exterior look of the mu-X, while facilitating easy ingress and egress for front and rear occupants. Smart double-spoke 18-inch alloy wheels further enhance the dynamic design, as does the sharp styling of the LED rear combination lamps, once-piece tailgate with integrated rear spoiler, and lower rear valance in contrasting grey.
Darkened glass is used for the rear side, quarter and tailgate windows, adding comfort, privacy and security for passengers and items located at the rear.
Spacious and welcoming cabin
Blending the requirements of practicality and comfort with an overriding impression of luxury, the interior of the mu-X is both welcoming and feature-packed.
Whether it is used to run about, load goods or head for adventure, the flexibility of the seven-seat configuration is one of this Isuzu’s most appealing features with the option of folding the centre and rear rows of seats according to the driver’s requirements.
The modern interior, with its piano black finish and attractive bright silver accents, incorporates a centrally positioned infotainment system as one of its most noteworthy features. This multi-function unit boasts a nine-inch colour touchscreen display that provides access to the imbedded satellite navigation and audio system, Bluetooth connectivity and audio streaming, as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality. Front and rear USB slots are provided, in conjunction with an auxiliary iPod input and HDMI port.
As part of the “Sky Sound” system, a total of eight speakers are mounted in the dashboard, front and rear doors and the roof, thus providing an engaging sound experience for all occupants.
An electronic climate control system is standard, accessed via the circular cluster of controls in the centre drop-down centre of the dashboard. Rear seat occupants are catered for with their own cooling vents, ensuring high levels of comfort on short or long-distance trips.
In addition to the normal dials built into the instrument cluster, an electroluminescent multi-information display gives the driver a clear view of essential information such as fuel economy, range, odometer and trip meter readouts, plus maintenance data.
The interior is appointed in luxurious leather trim for the seats, with the driver’s seat offering six-way electric adjustment. The leather-trimmed steering wheel includes easily accessed remote fingertip controls for the audio and phone functions, as well as the cruise control.
The central locking system boasts passive keyless entry and start, along with touch sensor opening and push-button locking functions built into the chrome door handles, contributing to day-to-day convenience, as does the 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.
Safety and security
The Isuzu mu-X is packed with an extensive range of active and passive safety features. To assist the driver in avoiding a collision, it is equipped with an all-disc ABS braking system 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 roll-back when pulling off on steep gradients of more than 5.7 degrees.
Designed specifically as an enhancement for off-road driving, Hill Descent Control (HDC) can be engaged in low-range 4x4 mode, applying the brakes independently to ensure a smooth, controlled descent – thus giving the driver added confidence and safety when negotiating difficult downhill terrain.
Six airbags are included in the list of standard passive safety features for impact protection in the event of a collision, comprising 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.
Beneath the sleek bodywork, the mu-X is built around a high-tensile steel passenger safety cell that offers outstanding strength and rigidity. The vehicle’s large chassis rail cross-section provides exceptional energy absorption in the event of a frontal impact, while anti-intrusion bars in the doors provide increased protection in a side impact.
Pedestrian safety is an important consideration too, and the mu-X is fitted with an impact-absorbing bonnet to reduce the chance of injury to pedestrians in a collision.
For tricky parking and reverse manoeuvres, a rear-facing camera is linked to the nine-inch full colour display, with the option of adding audible sensors for the rear park assist system as an aftermarket accessory. Vehicle security is taken care of with a factory-fitted immobiliser and alarm system.
The stylish all-new mu-X can be personalised with a range of accessories specifically developed for Isuzu’s new seven-seater SUV.
Already designed to be a highly practical family vehicle, 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.
Most buyers in this lifestyle-oriented segment tow a trailer, caravan or make use of a bicycle rack, and the optional tow bar is sure to be a popular addition to suit these requirements. A polished stainless-steel nudge bar can be fitted to beef up the mu-X’s frontal appearance, while a bonnet guard protects the paintwork against stone chipping. There’s also a scuff plate for the rear bumper to prevent damage when loading or offloading goods.
A weather guard kit provides additional comfort and convenience by deflecting the wind from partially opened front and rear windows.
Cosmetic enhancements offered for the front of the mu-X include a spoiler set for the lower section of the bumper and chromed rings for the fog lights. The rear the mu-X can be adorned with a chrome panel surrounding the number plate housing.
Isuzu is committed to giving its customers exceptional ownership peace of mind. 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.