Isuzu’s bakkies are celebrated icons in South Africa, but the brand’s SUVs are not quite as popular.
Since launching locally two years ago, Isuzu’s MU-X has been incapable of significantly impacting the market share of its dominant rival, the Toyota Fortuner. Despite this, MU-X offers something to those gravel travel customers who need seven-seats, but don’t wish to be part of the mass Fortuner movement.
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Attempting to add some sales traction to its SUV as South Africa eases out of lockdown, Isuzu has applied a design update to its MU-X range. It features new grille, which is bolder, framed by bi-LED headlights and fog lights housed in darkened bezels.
Isuzu has applied similar styling updated to the MU-X’s rear, with a colour-coded upper bumper and new taillight illumination pattern.
Inside there has been liberal application of piano-black detailing to many touch surfaces. Although this high-gloss interior finish is appealing in other markets, a dusty environment such as South Africa makes its annoyingly maintenance intensive to keep clean.
Mechanically the MU-X range is still powered by Isuzu’s proven three-litre turbodiesel engine, which boosts 130kW and 380Nm. Customers have an option of 4×2 of 4×4 drivetrains, although there is no longer a manual-shifting option.
All MU-X modes are now six-speed automatics and come equipped with Eaton lockable rear-differentials, to improve traction in slipper or sandy conditions.
The most notable upgrade applied to Isuzu’s new MU-X is a brake override safety system. During an emergency stop, it stalls accelerator response, if both throttle and brake pedals are pressed simultaneously.
Isuzu’s new MU-X is available in seven colours and retails at R630 400 for the 4×2. Those customers who require true all-terrain driving ability, have option on the 4×4 version, at R698 200.