We put the Isuzu MU-X 4WD through its passes!
Isuzu is a brand that I have dealt with regularly over the past few years as the Ute range has been extremely popular with the Driveline client base and the range of vehicles have leased up well comparatively with the other major brands. Isuzu has had a close association with GM/Holden which is quite obvious when looking at the current Holden Colorado and Isuzu DMAX brands as there is an extensive list parts being shared between the two.
SUV’s are becoming extremely popular both with families and as fleet vehicles. We are seeing a high proportion of clients that have traditionally been driving larger sedans like Holden Commodore and Ford Falcon switching into a crossover vehicle which suits family life and still has good towing capacity for the boaties, as well as fulfilling business requirements. Large sedans seem to be on the way out and these types of SUV’s are well on course for a takeover in this sector of the market.
The latest variant from Isuzu is the MU-X 4WD SUV, which shares most of its major mechanical components with the 4×4 DMAX Ute. In this case though it seems that they have plonked a fairly traditional 7 seat layout very similar to the Holden Colorado 7 or Mitsubishi Challenger on top of the DMAX chassis and running gear. What they have ended up with in my mind is arguably one of the best off road capable SUV’s on the market. There has been a trade-off though and the on-road performance certainly is not up there with the more well-known brands. The Isuzu MU-X tends to sway a little through corners when pushing it and the steering feels a touch vague. Suspension is generally smooth but what it lacks in the finesse department it makes up for with a really solid 3,000Kg tow rating and a true 4×4 set up. It is off road that the MU-X will make its mark, it really does have genuine off road capability including low range gear settings and the excellent ground clearance will appeal to many.
What’s Under the Hood.
A well proven 3.0L, 4 cylinder, diesel poking out 130Kw and 380Nm torque. This is a grunty motor and most importantly in my view is the mid-range response. It is at its sweetest between 1800rpm – 2800 rpm. This presents a great range especially required when towing. Acceleration is good and fuel consumption is reasonable. I was able to break 10L/100km which is impressive for a vehicle of this size and I have not been able to achieve that in my current Holden Colorado LTZ.
What’s It Like to Drive
On road it drives quite similarly to my faithful Holden Colorado LTZ Ute and to be fair that’s the 1st thing I remarked on. It’s not that it doesn’t handle well, it’s just that it’s not as tight as the traditional SUVs in the market and if you have had any experience with 4×4 utes then you know how they react to hitting a pothole. I found that the five speed auto doesn’t seem to be very intuitive either and really needs a decent bit of Jandle to get the desired response. The MU-X certainly is not as “city friendly” as many other “bred for the town“ SUVs but in saying that it’s not too far off the mark either and I’m picking that those of us that are truly off road from time to time and also have regular towing commitments will find that this vehicle will outperform the others by some margin.
Whats the Financial Details
RRP on this vehicle is set at $65,990 and we currently have lease’s rolling out from $1,070 per month including GST over 45 months, which stacks up well with similar large 7 seater SUVs.
The Isuzu MU-X 4WD is a well-priced all-rounder with particular strengths in its off road and towing abilities. It lacks some of the towny refinements of some of its competitors but I can look past that and see a serious SUV on an established 4×4 chassis.
Isuzu are primarily a truck manufacturer, they only make one SUV and as you’d expect it has some serious credentials. It’s definitely a contender if you’re looking at large family SUVs which that something extra in the off-road and towing departments. The MU-X compares well with the Holden Colorado 7, Mazda CX-9, Mitsubishi Challenger and Ford Territory.
Lance Manins is Managing Director of Driveline and a vehicle finance specialist. Call 0800 275 374 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for free independent advice or to book Lance to talk at your business group. Read more from Lance.