Isuzu has previewed the next-generation MU-X off-road SUV in Thailand, which looks as if it will move further away it from its ute-based brethren, the D-Max.
While the second-generation Isuzu MU-X has taken a step away from D-Max in terms of design, it's still based upon its ute sibling.
That said, there's no doubt that this latest iteration is a huge step forward from its predecessor, and a definite side-step away from the D-Max.
Despite Thai MU-X models being slated for a November on-sale date, an Australian arrival isn’t expected until the second half of 2021.
Isuzu Australia has just launched the Onyx special editions of the current-generation for the interim.This is the new 2020 Isuzu D-Max
The 2021 Isuzu MU-X styling now stands on its own, with slimmer LED headlights, a high-placed chrome grille, high waistline profile, a different wheel design and a vastly different tailgate design at the rear.
Less is changed on the MU-X’s interior, which appears similar to what you’d find in the new-gen D-Max.
That means 9.0-inch touchscreen infotainment with Android Auto/Apple CarPlay smartphone mirroring, a small digital display within the instrument cluster and an electric parking brake.
Depending on specification, other features include dual-zone climate control, multifunction steering wheel with paddle shifters, power-adjustable ventilated seats, USB-A and 12v charging ports, reclining third-row, electric tailgate, remote engine start and ambient lighting.
The new 4JJ3 3.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine - a thorough overhaul of the long-serving 4JJ1 in the current MU-X - will be offered, boasting the same 140kW/450Nm outputs as D-Max.
A six-speed torque converter automatic transmission will feature, though nothing is mentioned about a manual offering as yet.
A smaller 1.9-litre twin-turbo diesel engine is also on the spec sheets, but is an unlikely starter for Australia.
The 4x4 version of the MU-X will likely score a differential lock as per the D-Max, and will also receive multiple traction control modes for varied off-road situations.
Isuzu has increased the fuel tank capacity to 80 litres, too, up from 65 litres in its predecessor.
While the MU-X will borrow the ladder-frame chassis of the D-Max, ride comfort is improved with the use of a five-link rear suspension with coil springs in place of leaf springs.
Isuzu also says roll rigidity and drive stability is improved when cornering, thanks to a widening of rear suspension links.
Safety in the 2021 MU-X gets a major upgrade with a host of additions such as lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, rear-cross traffic alert, blind-spot monitoring.
No information has been given regarding the Australian market example at the moment, but we're not expecting an Aussie touch-down until well into next year.
To see more of the new 2021 Isuzu MU-X, click through the photo gallery at the top of this story.
How are you finding our new site design? Tell us in the comments below or send us your thoughts at email@example.com.
Stellantis gives brands stay of execution until 2031
Marques like Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Lancia, and Vauxhall can rest easy…for now
BMW Group: "We'll make 10 million EVs in 10 years and half our batteries' CO2"
The German manufacturer revealed its plans to cut carbon emissions and bolster its number of EVs over the next decade at a conference this week
Australian Hyundai Nexo breaks hydrogen fuel-cell distance record
Rally driver Brendan Reeves nursed the Nexo more than 222km beyond its official range while travelling from Melbourne to beyond Broken Hill