Isuzu Motors SA kicks off tomorrow with the launch of the all new mu-X
If you listen to the right radio stations, you should not have missed the fact that Isuzu is launching its all-new mu-X SUV at Oubaai. So we sent our man to join the party this week. He came home impressed. Focused on Reliability, Durability and Capability, Isuzu wants mu-X to appeal to owners’ emotional senses.
That’s why it’s so bold!
Aimed at growing families and based on the upcoming all-new Isuzu D-Max bakkie, it has bold new styling, a larger and quieter cabin, luxurious materials, and next generation driver assistance and safety. That’s why Isuzu SUV’s aggressive and appealing face is so bold. A large, solid vehicle with strong character lines linking the front to the rear mu-X comes in up to 20 inch allous and eight paint colours.
The doors open and close with a solid and firm feel of a very expensive premium model. Mu-X is also eslily accessible with keyless entry. Just grab a handle on the A pillar and hop over the wider new running board. Mu-X’s a larger, plush thick pile carpeted cabin welcomes you with a cavernous and roomy feel. A smaller multifunction steering wheel has easy to use paddle shifters and seats are comfy with lots of adjustment. All of which points to good design and build quality.
The solid and elegant dual zone climate controlled 3D design cabin is ambient lit by night. Mu-X boasts ‘next level’ steering wheel and touch controlled 9 or 7-inch intuitive screen infotainment with Apple CarPlay and Auto mirroring there’s also Bluetooth, audio streaming, Wi-Fi and rear-view camera and either a 6 or a 8 speaker audio system.
Built from scratch as a seven seater
A seven seater from the ground up, mu-X surprisingly has comfortable space for medium built folk in the third row. The climate controlled rear rows stow to deliver a mammoth load bay accessible by a neat new sophisticated plastic construction height adjustable tailgate. Now there’s a clever trick for owners with low car ports or garage doorways. No more dents and scratches on the tailgate.
Aqcuainted, we were ready to roll. Day 1 took us along among the most spectacular routes in the country, over every varied terrain for a fantastic opportunity to evaluate how mu-X performs in the real world. We set off from Oubaai on a typically cool and overcast George morning. First impressions of the 140 kW 450 Nm 3 litre turbodiesel four-pot mated to a fantastic 6 gear auto gearbox, were how quiet, smooth and effortless mu-X is to drive without any fuss or bother.
The engine pulls in a linear fashion from low down on the rev range. I enjoyed that the box kept its gear in the higher ratios with very little shifting required. We proceeded along the freeway to Mossel Bay, up the narrow twisty country road and over the Roberson Pass. The gearbox initially reacted to the factory settings on the downhill run, changing to a lower gear over the twisty sections where engine braking came into play.
Road holding is magnificent
That took a little getting used to. I prefer the car to stay in a higher gear and use the brakes. I soon adapted to my style, paddling up to drop the engine revs. So I was pleased to note that the box stayed in the gear I selected without going back to the engine braking mode. Mu-X rides on a completely new suspension design front and rear. New springs and roll bars significnlty reduce body roll. Road holding is magnificent.
On via Oudtshoorn, up past the Cango Cave, over the incredible twisty Swarberg dirt pass to Prince Albert and down the scenic to Klaarstroom, mu-X excelled over all those various tar and dirt surfcaes. Our route then took us on to Meiringspoort, over the sandy Montagu Pass and back to the beach
Locally developed to suit South African conditions, special attention was paid as much to mu-X’s dirt road behaviour as it was to its towing ability. To that end, a heavy duty tow bar delivers a market leading 3.5-ton braked trailer towing capability. That came through over a challenging second day off road trail near Oudtshoorn. Mu-X handled the rutted down and uphill paths without effort, while tight turning circle that also makes parking a synch for a vehicle of this size.
Class leading safety, too
Well safety specced too, mu-X has a 5-star ANCAP rating. It includes a world first centre airbag between the driver and the front passenger. Top models get adaptive cruise control and lane keeping assistance. A 4×4 terrain dial selects hill start and descent controls, and a rough terrain button sharpens it up on the gravel. Add sharper booster brakes and traction control. Built using 0.3 mm thicker metal, there was no sign of rattling, buzzing, or whistling throughout the trip.
The new mu-X is the company’s first launch since Isuzu Motors SA was established as a wholly owned Isuzu subsdiary. South Africa is Isuzu’s its only manufacturing and distribution organisation outside of Japan and the company is also well invested in the African Continent.
competitively priced on quality and features, the bold new Isuzu mu-X is initially available in a three-car range. A bold offering, it is bound to disturb the well established medium sized SUV party with an aspirational vehicle its owners will be proud to park it anywhere. Be it at home, at the office or out and about.
Mu-X is yours in December
The new Isuzu mu-X goes on sale in December. All models are covered by the Isuzu Complete Care package with class leading warranty of 5 years or 120,000 km. I for one, could not fault this wonderful family vehicle full of great surprises. In fact, I’d be proud to own an Isuzu mu-X. — Ken Hawkins
Isuzu mu-X 3.0 Ddi Pricing 4x2 LS auto R693K 4x4 LS auto R771K 4x2 LSE auto R763K 4x4 Onyx R860K