Isuzu introduced the D-Max V-Cross last year which met with a surprising amount of positive response from the buyers. Despite being aimed at a niche market, the V-Cross has become an aspirational vehicle of sorts and its success in the domestic motorsport scene has only strengthened its position.
In an attempt to follow up the V-Cross’ success, Isuzu has launched the MU-X SUV in the Indian market with prices starting at Rs 23.99 ex-showroom Delhi for the 4x2 variant and 25.99 lakh ex-shwroom Delhi for the 4x4 variant. The MU-X replaces the old MU-7 which failed to click with the Indian customers. But the success of the V-Cross could help Isuzu rake in the numbers as the V-Cross has helped establish the Isuzu brand, the MU-X presents itself as an option for people looking for a full size SUV.
The MU-X does look strikingly similar to its pickup sibling and it wouldn’t be wrong to think that the MU-X is essentially the SUV version of the pickup truck. In fact the MU-X shares its chassis with the Chevrolet Trailblazer. Plus it is a proper 7-seater SUV with a wheelbase of 2,845mm which is 100mm longer than that of the Toyota Fortuner.
The engine powering the MU-X is a 3.0-litre 4-cylinder diesel unit making 177PS of max power and 380Nm of peak torque. The engine is mated to a 5-speed automatic transmission. The company also claims a fuel economy figure of 13.8kmpl which given the SUV's size and the AT transmission is quite respectable. Though the car is availbale in one trim only, it does come with a choice of a 4x4 and a 4x2 layout. The 4x4 variant is equipped with a shift-on-the-fly 4WD system mated to a low-ratio gearbox as well.
As for the features, both variants boast of similar levels of kit. On the inside, the layout of the cabin and equipment list are similar to the that of the V-Cross. But in the MUX, you get a dual-tone black and beige dashboard with soft touch materials and faux wood inserts. The Mu-X also comes with an 8-inch touchscreen unit with various connectivity options coupled with a roof mounted 10inch screen for the rear passengers. It also gets a dual zone automatic climate control, there is however no rear AC vent. The boot space stands at 235 litres with all three rows up but can be increased to 878 litres by folding the third row and further to 1830 litres by folding the second row. Both rows can be folded for a flat loading bay.
On the safety front, the Mu-X comes with dual front airbags, ABS with EBD and Brake Assist as standard. It also features active safety features like ESC, traction control and emergency brake assist or EBA. The MUX also features projector headlamps with LED daytime running lamps (DRLs) and tail lamps with LED elements. The whole car sits on 17-inch alloys shod with 255/65 R17 Bridgestone Dueller HT tyres.
In terms of materials and build quality the MUX falls short of the Fortuner and the Ford Endeavour. It also misses out on features like rear AC vents but at Rs 25.99 lakh ex-showroom for the top-of-the-line 4x4 variant, the Mu-X does make for a tempting option.
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