Everyone wants an SUV these days. Passenger car sales are down across the board while the high riding wagons boom.
A big reason must be the 7 seat capacity that most SUVs offer, because let’s face it, they’re a whole lot cooler than a mini van!
Enter the Isuzu MU-X.
It’s great value with prices starting from just $36,990 drive-away, it offers seven seats and it’s a good looking unit.
There are some competitors around for similar money, though most are a bit smaller than the Isuzu MU-X.
It’s got heritage too, the Isuzu name has been around for ages, and is known for it’s toughness and reliability.
The MU-X does feel a little agricultural at times. The diesel engine is a bit clattery, the steering a little wooden, and the interior has large expanses of hard black plastic.
There is a certain charm though about the Isuzu MU-X.
Sure it does feel a bit old school but it has every modern creature comfort you could want;
Reverse camera and sensors, leather seats (the driver’s seat is electrically operated), sat-nav, a large central colour touch screen, Bluetooth for your phone and music streaming, seven seats and a full ANCAP five star safety rating.
The 3.0 litre turbo diesel engine, while a little on the noisy side, is powerful yet frugal. Developing 130kW and 380Nm, it effortlessly pushes the MU-X around town with the minimum of fuss.
The five-speed automatic could do with an extra cog or two but it’s a good unit and has the option available to take manual control.
The ride is actually pretty respectable. It can be a little bouncy at times, but on the whole is comfortable and compliant.
Visibility is excellent all round and the way the interior is laid out is logical and functional.
There’s plenty of legroom in the first two rows, the back row is best for those under 12, however full size folk can get in for short trips.
With the back row folded down there’s acres of cargo area, and even with the back seats in use there’s a reasonable amount of space.
The Isuzu MU-X is based on the D-MAX Ute and it feels equally as tough.
I’d say unbreakable if that word wasn’t so closely associated with Toyota’s Hilux!
The MU-X is rated to tow 3 tonnes, and with all that torque available it’ll pull the trailer, caravan or horse float with ease.
The $36,990 starting price you only gets you the rear-wheel-drive 4X2 version, however if you spend the extra $10k and step up to the 4X4 model you won’t be getting a pretender, instead a vehicle with genuine off road ability.
All in all the Isuzu MU-X is a perfect fit for a tough family. It’s generally considerably less expensive than it’s rivals, is cheap to run, has plenty of power and is a tough as nails, all while being easy enough to live with.
NUTS and BOLTS – 2016 Isuzu MU-X
Engine: 3.0 litre turbo-diesel developing 130kW and 380Nm
Transmission: Five-speed automatic
Safety: Five star
Price: from $36,990