There is no denying that the Isuzu Mu-X is an extremely dependable family hauler and business workhorse. However, the current model’s underpinnings are shared with the Chevrolet Trailblazer which makes it a bit of a veteran compared to its rivals. But the Japanese automaker has already called it quits with GM and judging from what we saw during the latest Mu-X’s launch in Thailand, we think that Isuzu has an SUV formula that will win over many customers.
One thing that the all-new Mu-X does right is the styling. The new car’s design is a big departure from the previous generation’s understated looks. Isuzu elevated the road presence of its SUV’s newest iteration with sculpted body panels accented by muscular fender flares. The headlights and taillights are now slimmer with the former getting distinct arrow-shaped LED accents. In the Thai market’s top-spec Ultimate trim level, the Mu-X gets 20-inch alloys with lesser variants sporting 18- and 17-inch wheels.
Just like the exterior, the cabin gets a massive makeover. The dashboard now has swooping edges which give the interior a premium feel. Materials appear to be a combination of piano-black panels and soft-touch materials. Again, the range-topping Ultimate gets the spotlight with features like a power tailgate, stitched-leather upholstery, dual-zone climate control, and a 9-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, to name a few.
What Isuzu has gone bonkers with the all-new Mu-X is the technology. From what we can gather from the launch video, the car comes equipped with a slew of driver aids which include blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, rear cross-traffic alert, autonomous braking, pedal-misapplication alert, and a network of parking sensors. Interestingly, the car comes with a system that automatically triggers the brakes immediately after a collision, something that should give consumers more peace of mind. Combined with six airbags, antilock brakes, stability control, hill-start assist, and hill-descent control, the latest Mu-X is one vehicle that can slug it out with tech-laden rivals such as the Mitsubishi Montero Sport.
The all-new Mu-X can be had with one of two turbocharged Blue Power mills. The smaller 1.9-liter four-cylinder is the little engine that could with 150hp and 350 Nm. The 3.0-liter motor, on the other hand, gets a significant performance upgrade with power and torque figures bumped up to 190hp and 450 Nm, respectively. Four-wheel-drive models appear to have a driver-selectable off-road mode, likely offering a choice of terrain presets.
We have reason to believe that Mazda had something to do with the all-new Mu-X. After all, the mechanically identical D-Max has a Kodo twin in the BT-50, suggesting that the Hiroshima-based carmaker may soon have a pickup-based seven-seat SUV of its own. But going back to the Mu-X, we firmly believe that Isuzu has hit a home run here and we can’t wait for the automaker’s Philippine distributor to finally bring this vehicle over to our shores.