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2017 Isuzu MU-X LS-T Tow Test Video Review

By Phil Lord & Phil Cooper, 24 Jun 2017 Road Tests

MU-X proves to be a real surprise packet at the 2017 Tow Test.

Isuzu MU X LS T 2017

THE Isuzu MU-X settled into an easy highway cruise and was much more relaxed cruising at a 100km/h with its newly revised 3.0-litre engine (with 50Nm more torque) and an additional transmission ratio (now a six-speed auto in place of the old five-speed unit).

Watch all the 4x4 2017 Tow tests

Where the MU-X would sit on 1900rpm in fifth gear (with the occasional shift to fourth, where it would rev noisily at around 2600rpm) at 100km/h, the MY16.5 MU-X ticks along in sixth gear at 1500rpm, with the occasional downshift to fifth where it revs at 1800rpm at 100km/h.

Isuzu-MU-X-LS-T-front.jpgWhen revved, though, the Isuzu is just as clattery and intrusive as before and, while the extra drag of a caravan masks it a little, the Isuzu’s turbo lag hasn’t been reduced.

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Aside from initial sluggishness due to turbo lag, the MU-X was a real performance surprise packet. It came third in the group for standing-start and hill climbing, not that much behind the Ford Everest and Holden Trailblazer.

Isuzu-MU-X-LS-T-rear.jpgPerhaps there is no substitute for cubic inches, because despite the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport’s slight (3kW) power advantage and two additional gears (albeit biased towards overdrive ratios), the 3.0-litre MU-X hosed the 2.4-litre Pajero Sport in the standing start and hill climb performance figures.

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Engine braking was also excellent, with the MU-X just behind the Everest in pegging back speed down the test hill.

Isuzu-MU-X-LS-T-side-profile.jpgDespite being the most fuel-efficient wagon here, the Isuzu has just 65 litres of fuel capacity, netting it a satisfactory rather than outstanding 442km safe touring range.

The wagons’ wheelbases are within 100mm of each other, but at 2845mm the MU-X has one of the longest on test. Its 1210mm rear-axle-to-towball point was one of the shortest, another pointer to good towing stability.

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Finally, while the body dropped 30mm at the rear with the ’van hitched up, the front increased in height by just 5mm.

Isuzu-MU-X-LS-T-tow-test-rear.jpgThe Isuzu’s suspension, quite plush when unladen, becomes more obviously soft when there’s a caravan hitched up behind. When heading along rough, undulating roads, the MU-X exhibits quite a bit of fore-aft pitching.

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Yet there’s one thing for sure – this is one of the most planted, secure towing platforms around, and despite its bouncy shenanigans on some roads, it never feels unstable or unsafe.

Isuzu-MU-X-LS-T-tow-test.jpgIsuzu doesn’t short-change you on weights as some of the other manufacturers do, so you can run with the full 638kg payload while towing to a maximum 3000kg behind the MU-X and still meet the 5750kg GCM maximum.

The MU-X’s side mirrors were a nice squared-off shape, making it easy to attach the towing mirrors.