The 2017 Isuzu MU-X seven-seater SUV follows less than three months after its D-Max ute twin, sharing the same improved turbo diesel engine and adding some of its own new features.
Isuzu Ute’s significantly upgraded 3.0-litre turbo diesel is exclusive to the Australian market, bringing increased torque and lowered fuel consumption. Improved emissions also permit it a Euro 5 rating.
Maximum pulling power jumps from 380Nm to 430Nm, available from 2000 to 2200rpm. Fuel consumption is 8.1 litres per 100km virtually across the board – a 0.3L/100km improvement for 4x4 variants and 0.1L/100km lower for 4x2 models.
The LS-M base model, the only MU-X with a kerb weight below two tonnes, is the most efficient, with an official 8.0L/100km.
The 130kW engine is paired with a choice of two new six-speed gearboxes that replace the former five-speeders. The manual is an in-house Isuzu transmission available only on the 4x4 LS-M and LS-U variants, while the auto standard on 4x2 models and the 4x4 LS-T is sourced (again) from Aisin.
Isuzu says it has aimed to improve cabin refinement beyond the quieter diesel by introducing a greater level of sound and vibration insulation to the vehicle.
The MU-X’s interior gains a dual-tone dash, new chrome and piano black trim, and softer surfacing – including new soft-touch armrests and console coverings. The range-topping LS-T variant includes new leather-accented seats in quilted design, and continues with a roof-mounted drop-down 10-inch DVD screen.
The LS-T and mid-spec LS-U adopt an 8-inch touchscreen with integrated navigation; the base LS-M features a 7-inch touchscreen and adds a rear-view camera, while the USB port count increases to three. All models come with rear parking sensors.
Hill-descent control is now available on all variants where previously it was included only on 4x4 autos.
Isuzu’s Terrain Command 4WD system continues with low range and shift-on-the-fly 2- and 4-high up to 100km/h. Towing capacity remains 3000kg.
A new front fascia distinguishes the MY17 MU-X. It comprises a revised double-decker grille, fresh foglight housing design (for LS-U and LS-T models), and new headlights featuring brighter, auto-levelling bi-LED projector lamps.
Wheel sizes are 16-inches for the LS-M, while the LS-U and LS-T move up from 17s to 18s – and all rim designs are new. Tyres are an all-terrain type, and there’s a full-size spare wheel.
Other extras for models above the LS-M entry model include climate control, aluminium sidesteps, privacy glass for rear side and tailgate windows, and rear vents.
LS-T exclusives in addition to those already mentioned include roof rails, rear roof spoiler, keyless entry and engine start, and electrically adjustable driver’s seat.
Pricing has increased by up to $3100 on models since the MU-X debuted in late 2013, with the starting point now $42,800 for 4x2 or $48,000 for a 4x4 variant.
The MU-X, like the D-Max, is supported by a five-year warranty and roadside-assistance program, while Isuzu Ute’s capped-price servicing restricts costs to $1500 for five years (or 50,000km).
MY17 Isuzu MU-X pricing
Isuzu MU-X LS-M 4x2 auto $42,800
Isuzu MU-X LS-M 4x4 man $48,000
Isuzu MU-X LS-M 4x4 auto $50,100
Isuzu MU-X LS-U 4x2 auto $45,100
Isuzu MU-X LS-U 4x4 man $50,300
Isuzu MU-X LS-U 4x4 auto $52,400
Isuzu MU-X LS-T 4x2 auto $48,800
Isuzu MU-X LS-T 4x4 auto $56,100