Published on May 14th, 2015 | by Subhash Nair0
Isuzu MU-X Media Drive Part 2: Comfort, Equipment & Final Thoughts
Isuzu’s approach to this affordable 7-seater was one that centred on being just as exciting as it is practical and reliable. For that reason, the MU-X is based on Isuzu’s extremely successful D-Max platform, allowing the new car to inherit some of the D-Max’s best features, including the solid construction, a powerful but efficient engine, and simple mechanical reliability.
While the rugged engine and strong ladder chassis carry over from the D-Max, the MU-X features more passenger-friendly rear suspension. It’s still more than capable of taking on off-road terrain, especially with the Terrain Command 4-wheel drive system, which allow the driver to switch between modes at speeds of up to 100km/h.
It also gets some familiar styling both inside and out. The front fascia features similar styling to the D-Max, but has got a slightly more premium looking grille and darkened bumpers and skirts, which make it look more like a passenger car or large crossover vehicle.
Because so much of what worked well with the D-Max transfers over to the MU-X, Isuzu have been able to trick out the SUV with quite a lot of equipment. The 4X4 we used on our journey to and from Cameron Highlands had a Blaupunkt infotainment unit that appeared to be android-based. It had a very crisp 7” display was fully-fleshed out with navigation and is Bluetooth-enabled for hands free communication and media playback.
In addition, the 2nd and 3rd row of passengers get a DVD monitor, sure to keep occupants of all ages entertained on longer journeys. There are also air-conditioner vents for both rows located above them. These take cooled air from a secondary condenser unit, and can be controlled from the rear and shut completely off by the driver using a dashboard-mounted switch.
The seating for 7 is great for all three rows of passengers, and Isuzu claims the 3rd row of seats has class-leading legroom despite the size limitations. The last row gets 3-point safety belts just like the rest and has 2 individual seats that can fold down in a 50:50 split, while the middle row has a 60:40 split.
When both rows are folded down, a large flat surface is created, which will aid in transporting larger items. Some might find the trunk a little small with 7 passengers in, but it is big enough for at least 3 mid-sized suitcases. If that’s not enough, the MU-X is equipped with roof rails as standard, allowing for an additional 60kg mounted atop the vehicle, but you will need to fit your own roof box.
In terms of safety, there are just 2 airbags at the front, but the MU-X comes with an industry-standard slew of safety equipment. This includes ABS, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution with Brake Assist as well as traction and stability control.
During our time with the MU-X, we found it to be very capable, easy-to-drive vehicle especially considering its size. Its biggest pitfalls are the high amount of roll, but we were going up Cameron Highlands, so perhaps we only felt it because of how windy the roads there are.
That being said, passengers are well taken care of and the driver/owner of the MU-X can have a solid, versatile vehicle that won’t cost very much to maintain. For the introductory selling price (GST inclusive) of RM 146,354.20 for the 2X4 and RM159,021.20 for the 4X4, it seems like the best value-for-money 7-seater SUV available for the time being.