Courtesy of Isuzu, we put the brand’s latest masterpiece – the MU-X seven-seater SUV – to test by driving all the way from Johannesburg to Eastern Cape. The car is very attractive with a robust character that defines the styling of the MU-X, which embodies the familiar DNA of the Isuzu brand. The Aluminium side-steps, 18-inch alloy wheels, privacy glass and LED rear combination lamps further enhance the MU-X’s dynamic appeal.
A 9-hour and 39-minute drive from Johannesburg to East London proved that the Isuzu MU-X simply doesn’t know when to quit. As for the ride and handling, the MU-X simply devours bad roads – thanks to its fat tyres and a fully independent suspension all round. The car was able to absorb potholes and road imperfections with absolute ease.
The MU-X is powered by Isuzu’s proven 3.0-litre four-cylinder intercooled turbodiesel diesel engine that produces 130 kW of power and 380 Nm of torque. It is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission which has a sequential sport mode. An impressive three-tonne towing capacity makes it a great choice for towing trailers or caravans.
The interior of Isuzu’s new SUV offering matches practicality with comfort and luxury. The seven-seat configuration will appeal to both families and adventure-oriented buyers alike, thanks to the flexibility of the folding the centre and rear rows of seats. The electronic climate control system caters for front and rear occupants – the latter having access to their own cooling vents for added comfort.
A multi-function infotainment unit is a stand-out feature of the MU-X, boasting a nine-inch colour touchscreen display that provides access to the imbedded satellite navigation, 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.
The Isuzu MU-X 4WD is kitted with leather seats and the driver seat offers six-way electric adjustment. The leather-trimmed steering wheel has convenient fingertip controls for the audio and phone functions, as well as the cruise control.
Everyday convenience is provided by the keyless entry and start system, along with touch sensor opening and push-button locking functions on the door handles. As expected of a leisure-oriented SUV, a multitude of storage compartments are located throughout the cabin.
The Isuzu MU-X is packed with an extensive range of active safety features, including ABS brakes with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) and Emergency Brake Assist (EBA). This is complemented by Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Traction Control System (TCS), Hill Start Assist (HSA) and Hill Descent Control (HDC) which can be engaged in low-range 4×4 mode. A rear-facing camera aids reversing and parking via the nine-inch full colour display.
If you are looking for a powerful 7-seater SUV for your family with a dominant personality and off-roading abilities, as well as modern tech features, I’d recommend the Isuzu Mu-X.