The oft underrated Isuzu mu-X moves into its second generation and launches locally with a new 3,0-litre diesel engine offering more power and torque, while the car sports significantly uprated technology.
“The new mu-X is a massive step-up for Isuzu. It represents a shift in how customers will view vehicles in this segment in terms of ride quality, luxury, and technology. The new mu-X will not only attract more buyers in this segment but is likely to attract buyers from other segments as well,” says Craig Uren, Senior Vice President Isuzu Sales and Marketing.
The new mu-X is one of the safest vehicles on the road with a 5-star ANCAP rating. The safety rating is driven by Isuzu’s innovative safety systems such as the addition of a centre crash bag between the driver and the front passenger. The mu-X also benefits from the use of high tensile steel in key parts of the body structure, making it stronger for better occupant protection and driving performance while being lighter than the outgoing model.
The side profile of the mu-X is dominated by a signature line running from front to rear, linking the arrow motif headlamps with the rear light 3D winglets, while body coloured door handles and chrome window moulding complement the side character line. Exterior rear-view mirrors have power adjusting and folding with heated function on LSE and Onyx models.
The rear end sees new tailgate badging and the rear lights and indicators are combined in a winglet design with precise LED details.
The standard 20-inch wheels fitted to the top of the range Onyx model are based on an ice axe motif, while LSE models are fitted with 18-inch alloy wheels based upon a jet engine’s turbine blades with nine spokes.
Inside, a new Multi Information Display (MID) provides detailed easy to use menus which control most of the vehicle’s systems. The speedometer and rev counter faces feature a three-dimensional design, while the circumference chrome ring has crystal-like scale divisions reminiscent of high-end watches.
A smaller, sporty leather wrapped steering wheel and the gear selector are shaped to fit comfortably in the driver’s hands. Chrome highlights on centre console controls and door function switches add a solid look and feel to the interior.
Onyx and LSE models have a new seat design with 8-way power adjustable driver’s seat, including power lumber support adjustment in Onyx models. Top of the range models feature heated front seats and 4-way power adjustment for the passenger seat.
An improved driving position, increased range of seat height adjustment and a steering column with telescopic and tilt function makes finding a comfortable driving position easier for drivers of all sizes.
Access to the second and third row seats has been improved by moving the B-pillar forward by 25 mm allowing for a larger rear door opening.
The mu-X has legroom of 915 mm for second row occupants. The second-row seats are 30 mm wider than the seats in the outgoing model.
Roomier third row seats recline by an additional 10 degrees and all seven seating positions have seatbelt monitoring with a visual warning displayed in the driver’s instrument panel. ISOFIX points are available for up to three child seats depending on the model.
Onyx and LSE models have dual zone climate control with two separate HVAC units to provide individual temperature for each of the front seat occupants. Buttons for the air-conditioner are designed and positioned for simplified use.
The new mu-X has a new infotainment system has 9-inch or 7-inch touch screen display units depending on the model. The system has intuitive screen functions along with steering wheel mounted controls for audio and telephone functions, including voice input. Onyx and LSE models have 8 speakers, while the LS has 6 speakers.
The mu-X offers a total 3 568 litres of luggage space available depending on the position of the seats. When all the seats are occupied, the mu-X has sizeable capacity of 311 litres which is shaped to accommodate a golf bag.
The front suspension has been redesigned with a high mounted upper control arm to minimise body roll when cornering by increasing the vehicle’s roll centre. Handling is further improved with the revision of the camber angle allowing more tyre grounding during cornering by minimising camber changes with suspension movement.
At the rear, the roll centre has been moved up closer to the vehicle’s centre of mass to reduce the vehicle’s roll angle. This minimises body roll and ensures driver confidence with stable, predictable vehicle behaviour when cornering.
The Onyx model has new 20-inch wheels with 265/50R20 tyres, 18-inch alloy wheels on the LSE model are paired with 265/60R18 tyres and LS models are equipped with a combination 17-inch alloy wheels and 255/65R17 tyres.
Ground clearance has been increased by 5 mm to 235 mm. Approach angle is 30 degrees, with a ramp angle of 24,0 degrees, and 26,0 degrees departure angle. Wading depth has increased to 800 mm.
All models are fitted with rear axle differential lock (Diff-Lock) for improved off-road performance and the new 4×4 transfer case has a new actuator which delivers one of the quickest engagement times of 0,61 seconds compared to the 1,94 seconds of the previous model.
A new feature for the 4×4 models is the “Rough Terrain Mode”, which can be engaged via a separate button on the centre console. Rough Terrain Mode increases effectiveness of the Traction Control System on loose surfaces with undulations where one or two wheels diagonally across from each other lose grip.
Power has increased to 140 kW at 3 600 r/min, while torque is now 450 Nm between 1 600 r/min and 2 600 r/min and claimed fuel consumption is 7,6 l/100 km with driving range is increased with the fitment of a larger 80 litre fuel tank, up from 65 litres.
New fuel injector design and increased fuel injection pressure are to thank for the improvement in fuel consumption and lower emissions. In addition, the fuel supply pump now uses 20% less engine power when operating.
In a first for the segment, the new Isuzu mu-X is fitted with a far side centre crash bag, which is deployed from the left-hand side of the driver’s seat. The bag is designed to prevent or reduce injuries caused by the driver and passenger smashing into each other during a collision or roll over.
The Onyx boasts a total of eight crash bags including a driver’s knee bag located below the steering column. LSE and LS models have seven crash bags with a cut-off switch for the front passenger bag.
Model Line-up and pricing
3.0 Ddi mu-X 4×2 LS A/T Price: R 693, 800.00 including VAT
3.0 Ddi mu-X 4×4 LS A/T Price: R771, 600.00 including VAT
3.0 Ddi mu-X 4×2 LSE A/T Price: R 763,300.00 including VAT
3.0 Ddi mu-X 4×4 Onyx A/T Price: R 860, 500.00 including VAT
All models are covered by the Isuzu Complete Care package with class leading warranty of 5 years or 120 000 km.