This was going to be an interesting review from the start because my younger cousin just bought a Isuzu MU-X a couple of months ago and he loves it.
The MU-X seems to be setting the sales charts on fire this year due to its keen pricing and is getting a name for being rugged off roader, but while it’s off road prowess is not in question here I decided that I would do something different and test the MU-X out of it’s comfort zone and use it purely around the suburbs as you see so many 4wd’s being used these days.
Now I would have loved to take MU-X off road and really test out how good it is but it was one of those weeks where things didn’t go to plan so I decided that while quite a few people buy 4wd’s to go offroad and a lot of MU-X buyers buy it because it’s decent off road vehicle.
There are still a lot of people that buy 4wd’s just to drive around the suburbs because of some ill conceived notion that they are safer because they bigger then your average family car.
The MU-X is based on the same chassis as the D-Max pickup and while its ride is not particularly smooth it did actually perform not so bad in an urban environment on the road felt quite stable and soaked up most of the bmups without transmitting and harshness into the cabin. It feel a touch floatie at times but it settled rather well and didn’t feel unstable at anytime.
The steering though is a touch on the heavy side which made it a bit of an effort to wheel it around car parks.
Under the bonnet the MU-X is fitted which the same 3.0L turbo diesel and 5 speed auto combination as the D-Maxx pickup rated at 130kWand 380Nm.
The 3.0L engine sounds like it’s meant to work and does sound a bit like an old fashioned diesel engine but despite having a little less power and torque then some of its competitors the MU-X isn’t a bad performer the engine is tractable and while it’s a bit slow off the line will easily keep up with traffic and reach highway speeds without too much trouble at all thanks to it’s low down torque.
Fuel economy for the week wasn’t extremely bad with me averaging around 11.5L/100 in pure urban driving, while I didn’t speed enough time on the freeway to get any decent figures. While the 5 speed auto did perform rather well and seemed to be matched well tot he engine at times it felt like it could of benefited from an extra cog in the gearbox.
Climbing inside and you greeted with a spacious cabin the front leather seats are comfortable and there’s is plenty of leg and shoulder room in the front this continues into the back where the middle row seats are spacious and comfortable, the third row is also fairly spacious and there are aircon vents for all rows which adds to passenger comfort levels.
The one thing the MU-X is it’s D-Max pickup origins with interior has a distinct low rent feel which an abundance of hard plastics which isn’t quite so bad if you actually used it for whats made for as the materials seem to be hard wearing. The Steering wheel was somewhat comfortable to hold but I would of liked it a touch thicker. While the instrument panel didn’t seem overly fancy is well set out and easy to read in any light.
The centre stack is home to the 7inch touch screen of the multi media system and while I didn’t have much trouble using it it’s installation wasn’t as integrated as other vehicles on the market and looked a bit like an after market system it does however come with sat nav which was easy to use and worked a treat.
The systems saving grace was the sound from the 8 speaker audio system wasn’t too shabby being the top of the range model itwas also fitted with roof mounted DVD player for the second row.
The MU-X has a vast and spacious cabin, with the most commodious third row, fit for two mid-sized adults even. The middle row is also wide and comfortable in all areas, and there are three rows of air vents.
Safety wise the MU-X has received a 5 star ANCAP safety rating and comes with a list of safety features including ABS (Anti-skid Brake System) with EBD (Electronic Brakeforce Distribution),Electronic Stability Control (ESC),Traction Control System (TCS),Emergency Brake Assist (EBA),6 airbags dual front, front side and full length curtain, Height-adjustable upper mounts for front seat belts.
It gets full points from me for coming with Rear park assist and receives bonus points for the standard fit reversing camera.
So after a week with the MU-X I came away with mixed feelings the MU-X performed better then I expected it road rather well and has a massive amount of interior space and a 5 star safety.
By taking it out of context and using it purely as family transport around the suburbs it’s too truck like and there are better choices on the market.
While I didn’t get to test it off road this time around it’s off road prowess wasn’t in question here and if you are after something that can double as a family and more importantly take you lots of places off the beaten track then really you should have MU-X.
I’m not sure whether I would go for this model as apart from the touch screen and the rear DVD player it doesn’t add a lot of features over lesser models in the range.
But one thing Isuzu has done well with the MU-X is price it well another point towards why they are selling quite well at the moment.
For more info check out Isuzu’s website http://www.isuzu.com.au
Isuzu MU-X LS-T
Engine: 3.0L Turbo Diesel 130kW 380Nm
Transmission: 5 speed auto
17″ alloy wheels, Climate control air-conditioning w/ integrated heater/demister,Rear cabin cooling vents, Leather wrapped steering wheel w/ easy select cruise and audio controls, Leather appointed seats and trim, Six-way adjustable electric driver’s seat, 8 inch touchscreen display audio system1 with CD/DVD/MP3/FM/AM/AUX/HDMI/USB, Roof mounted 10″ DVD entertainment monitor, Passive entry & start system, Privacy glass – rear doors, quarter and tailgate windows.
ABS (Anti-skid Brake System) with EBD (Electronic Brakeforce Distribution),Electronic Stability Control (ESC),Traction Control System (TCS),Emergency Brake Assist (EBA),6 airbags dual front, front side and full length curtain, Height-adjustable upper mounts for front seat belts, Rear park assist and reversing camera.