South Africa

Five things to know about the new Isuzu mu-X

Five things to know about the new Isuzu mu-X

Based on the upcoming D-Max bakkie, the second-generation Isuzu mu-X has arrived in SA. Armed with dapper new looks and a significantly more refined interior, this rugged seven-seater aims to steal sales away from the popular Toyota Fortuner and Ford Everest. Set to go on sale in December and available in a choice of four model derivatives – LS 4x2 and 4x4, LSE 4x2 and Onyx 4x4 – here are five things to know about Isuzu's newcomer.

1: A bold new exterior 

Building on the already sleek styling of its predecessor, the new mu-X comes out swinging with a menacing front end home to Isuzu's so-called “World Crossflow” front grille and a pair of arrow-shaped Bi-LED headlamps. Viewed in profile this chunky SUV continues to make a strong visual statement with its sharply creased shoulder line and newly designed alloy wheels that range – depending on the model variant – in size from 17-inch to 20-inch. Scoot around to the rear and you'll find a pair of aggressively slanted LED taillights. From launch, customers can pick from eight paint shades: Splash White, Dolomite White, Onyx Black, Mercury Silver, Obsidian Gray, Red Spinel, Santos Brown, and Sapphire blue.

2: Increased interior comfort

Engineered for maximum comfort on long cross-country drives, the interior of the 2021 mu-X is significantly more refined that the one in the outgoing model thanks to improved levels of fit and finish as well as the liberal use of soft-touch materials. The engineers also worked hard to create a more opulent look and feel by implementing piano black surfaces, chrome highlights, aluminium and soft leather. A few other neat touches include ambient lighting on the doors and in the roof, a new multi-information display and small-diameter, leather-wrapped multi-function steering wheel. Isuzu also claims to have reduced overall noise levels by improving the door sealing structures and adding extra insulative material.

While the entry-level LS model makes do with cloth seats, the mid-range LSE and flagship Onyx derivatives both sport leather upholstery and an eight-way power adjustable driver's seat. The latter further benefits from a four-way power adjustable passenger seat. On the HVAC front both the LSE and Onyx grade models are equipped with dual-zone climate control as standard. All mu-X derivatives have roof mounted air conditioning vents for second and third row occupants with separate controls for fan speed and temperature.

3: One powertrain to propel them all

For the time being all mu-X models are powered by a 3.0-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel engine delivering 140kW and 450Nm worth of torque. This is sent to either the rear or all four wheels (both 4x2 and 4x4 models are available here) via a six-speed automatic transmission. 4x4 variants have a rotary control on the centre console that lets drivers switch between 2H, 4H and 4L modes – the latter comes in handy across gnarly terrain.

4: Enhanced tech

To keep up with customer demands the new mu-X is available with either a seven- or nine-inch touchscreen infotainment system (depending on the model variant). In addition to full Bluetooth integration, Wi-Fi, integrated mobile handsfree and a rear-view camera both systems are, according to Isuzu, compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. While the top-tier LSE and Onyx models get eight loudspeakers the LS makes do with six. 

The Onyx also comes equipped with Isuzu's Intelligent Driver Assistance System (IDAS): a a suite of passive and active safety systems that continuously monitor driving conditions and act autonomously to avoid a crash or minimise accident damage. IDAS functions through a windshield mounted stereo camera which monitors the road ahead of the vehicle and can detect and recognise vehicles, pedestrian, bicycles and lane markings.

In addition to this all models in the mu-X range benefit from a five-star ANCAP rating.

5: Pricing

Pricing for the all-new 2021 Isuzu mu-X is as follows:

4x2 LS: R693,800

4x4 LS: R771,600

4x2 LSE: R763,300

4x4 Onyx: R860,500

All models are covered by the Isuzu Complete Care package with a warranty of five years or 120,000 km.