Regarded as robust and strong from Isuzu’s stable, the MU-X came to the Philippines auto market with quite a number of unanswered questions. Whether its mechanics was concerned or its inside the cabin features were in talks, each demanded company to answer. However, replacing the company’s earlier model, Alterra the brand new MU-X was required to take control over the segment by challenging the likes of Fortuner and Everest. It broke the shatters back in 2014 to rejuvenate the brand’s image in the market, which was earlier popular for its high-class commercial vehicles. The single warrior from the den of Isuzu is the MU-X, which offers great deal of supremacy, comfort and style but certainly lacked when it comes to mechanical front.
Isuzu was regarded one of the best auto producers around the world to develop commercial vehicles, which few years back made it rethink its upcoming plans. Back in 2014, MU-X was born, which was stylish, big, strong and good enough to challenge the likes of prominent players of the market. It was a replacement model for the Alterra, which marketed earlier than 2014 in the Philippines.
At a first glance, you’d surely fall in love with this SUV. It has a generous road presence, bulky structure and wide stance, which is certainly a treat to witness if you are one of those big car lovers. Although, this Japanese SUV share most of its styling cues with the Chevy Trailblazer, the brand’s designers have done enough to grant it an individual appeal. It has a character of its own and you’d realize once you witness it live in front of your eyes. Talking about the front, it has a twin-chrome grille at the centre that embodies the brand’s emblem plus connects the angular headlamps clusters on the sides. The headlamps adhere projectors for enhanced visibility while the blacked out bumper design contribute further to its sporty appeal. Head on to the side and you’d notice the chrome door handles, ORVMs with turn indicators and a step board for easy ingress and egress. Adding to its sporty feel are the roof rails and bulged wheel arches that conveniently house either 16-inch or 17-inch alloy or aluminum wheels.
Not many carmakers are good at granting a perfect look to their vehicles, but in this case Isuzu has done it in style. The tail end is garnished by an adequate chrome treatment while the rectangular view of tailgate and large wrap-around tail lights give it a wider stance. The design of D-pillar that connects the tailgate gives you a sense of feel that you have seen it somewhere else too and that won’t be your illusion for sure. Chevy Trailblazer has the same meeting D-pillar design.
As a whole, it seems to be a complete package as far as styling front is concerned. Hard creases over the doors, prominent bold front, appealing rear design and different coloured bumpers all account for a special road machine.
Another aspect which can make you fall for MU-X is its cabin. The all-black cabin with a beige headliner is certainly alluring to see. This combo not only just embark class and unique look to the cabin but also is good enough to satisfy both, youth as well as elderly. The contrasting character, which it now possesses is definitely a rare one to witness in the cars of the same segment. Looking at the cabin will make you realize that the company has not only emphasized on style but also has included high-quality and durable plastic in the making. The dashboard and several other panels across the car look plush and durable enough to hold for atleast next ten years. The leather used in the making of seats is also of top notch quality and you won’t regret the same once you actually feel it. Ergonomically, everything is placed well, be it gauges, buttons, controls and other clusters.
Comfort wise, its seats and adequate rests speak for themselves. Optimum cushioning and perfect placement of head and arm rests make it even more comfortable drive. However, on a long run you might feel that it lags in lumbar support department but it is somehow acceptable. Rear seats offer supreme comfort and legroom to fit in passengers without a hitch. Second row welcomes three passengers with a smile while the third row is a bit more crunched up and offers just two adults at a time.
On the entertainment front, it has an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system, which comes with supports like CD/VCD/DVD/AUX-in/Tuner/USB/MP3, Bluetooth and iPod connectivity. The sound quality offered is also up to the mark, thanks to the integrated six speakers (2 on front doors, 2 on rear and 2 tweeters). Tire pressure monitoring system is also controlled via this 8-inch screen, it is a multi-purpose screen serving various purposes at will.
There are quite a few storage spaces available inside the cabin that’ll make your journey easy and stress-free. Apart from the glovebox, there are compartments near the gear lever, at the doors and just in front of the front passenger, which serves as a shelf to him/her and looks quite handy to me especially if you have a knack of placing your owned possessions as soon as you enter the car. Cargo is generous too, which can further to enhanced by tumbling down the rear as well as second row seats at will. Although, tumbling down is not done in flat mode but it creates considerable space once it folds down.
Available for grab in two engine options, 2.5-litre and 3.0-litre, the big SUV from Japan has several options to offer its customer base in the country. The MU-X is available in both, 4x4 and 4x2 drive modes with diesel engines to compliment the same. Offered in both automatic as well as manual transmission, the MU-X either underpins a four-cylinder inline DOHC 2.5-litre diesel engine or 3.0-litre diesel engine with turbo intercooler. The former is capable of churning out a max power of 136 PS at 3400 rpm and a peak torque of 320 Nm between 1800 to 2800 rpm while the latter is good enough for 163 PS at 3200 rpm and 380 Nm of peak torque between 1800 to 2200 rpm.
A 2.5-litre powermill churning out a max power of 136 PS is a below par figure especially for an SUV and considering the contenders of the market. Fortuners and Everests are good enough for 147 and 160 PS on their respective 2.5 and 2.2-litre engines. MU-X looks weak on the mechanical front when we compare it with the leading players of the market, which is the only factor an auto enthusiast or a car lover would incline towards brands like Toyota & Ford giving preference to Fortuner and Everest over MU-X. It lacks that extra punch which invites the urge of an auto lover to drive the car.
In terms of quietness, it won't disappoint you by an inch as the cabin remains calm throughout the journey and even with zero volume on the audio system, you’d hardly feel engine’s noise coming inside. Achieving that much on a diesel engine under the hood is worth a praise. Ride quality offered by MU-X is good enough to impress to anyone on this planet while the combination of double wishbone and five-link coil spring suspension make the ride even more comfortable. Off the road experience is munificent too and you’d not hear a ruckus from passengers accompanying you on the way. Despite a bulky body, it is easy to maneuver through traffic, thanks to its hefty but easy to turn steering. Features like rear parking sensors, and back camera comes in handy when you need to park your car in an appropriate parking spot.
Car makers do have a knack of blessing their vehicles with top notch safety features ensuring ultimate safety of the passengers. Isuzu has done the same and has managed to achieve to a certain extent. Here are the features it incorporates, Dual SRS airbags, ELR seatbelts with pretensioner, Anti-lock Braking system and head mount stop lamp as standard. While the top end variants come with features like ABS with EBD and Brake Assist, Electronic Stability Control, Traction Control, Hill Start Assist, Anti-theft alarm system, Engine immobilizer, Reverse camera and reverse sensing system.
If power isn’t the pronounced factor that’ll affect your final buying decision then you can surely grab this stylish SUV. It is handsome, stylish and loaded. Feature list is generous too as well as its looks. So, if you are looking to own an SUV which is good on comfort, style, features and runs well off road as well then MU-X can surely be on your preference list.
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