New Isuzu mu-X about to land

Isuzu fans can throw a quick air punch with news just out that the second-generation mu-X will be launched in SA later this year. The full-import will be assembled at Isuzu’s Samrong facility in Thailand, and had already undergone local testing late in 2020.

The seven-seater family SUV has been extensively restyled inside and out, and given a raft of new safety features and driver aids to bring it in line with rival offerings.

According to Isuzu’s VP of technical operations, Dominic Rimmer, “the upcoming Isuzu mu-X is a game changer for us, as it offers class leading driver assistance technology, new state of the art powertrains, and a luxurious interior designed for maximum comfort for seven occupants.”

If the specs from the three models on offer in Australia are anything to go by, the new mu-X is longer, wider and headlines a muscular new grille and sharper shoulder lines. Wheels are a choice from 17- to 20-inch depending on the model.

While chassis changes are not detailed, the engine in Oz remains the famous 3.0-litre turbodiesel with its variable geometry turbo, churning out 140 kW and 450 Nm, the latter from 1600-2600 rpm. It will be coupled to a six-speed automatic transmission.

A fully revised seven-seater leather interior, replete with plenty of soft surfaces, has been gifted a large dash-mounted central touch screen with up-to-the-minute infotainment features, likely to include navigation, voice recognition software and smartphone linking to Apple and Android devices. The driver binnacle hosts a small central multi-information display. Other features will likely include a reversing camera, electric parking brake and powered tailgate.

Off-road ability has been improved, with the gen-two mu-X offering a rear differential lock in addition to a shift-on the fly transfer case with low range and a Rough Terrain Mode for technical conditions. Wading depth has been increased to 800 mm.

Traction Control is standard across the range, along with the company’s Isuzu Intelligent Driver Assistance Systems, which are likely to include adaptive cruise control, a lane keeping assist, blind spot monitor and autonomous emergency braking. Also likely to be on the cards are eight airbags, auto dimming headlights and rain-sensing wipers.

While local testing is ongoing, the local company is forging ahead with dealer technical training for the new model, and tells us the parts centre in Gqeberha is being prepped to carry the new stock, to ensure faster lead times.

More details and pricing will be revealed closer to the official local launch.

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