‘Pumped up’

South Western Times - - Wheels - DEREK OG­DEN Mar­que Mo­tor­ing

WHEN the world’s big­gest man­u­fac­turer of trucks and diesel en­gines says its big seven-seater SUV, the MU-X, has been “pumped up”, you know there is se­ri­ous work in­volved.

For a start, its new 3.0L tur­bod­iesel en­gine – a world first for Isuzu and de­vel­oped ex­clu­sively for the Aus­tralian mar­ket – after ex­haus­tive re­search into the use and de­mands of Isuzu own­ers, has been cleaned up and is now Euro 5 emis­sion com­pli­ant.

In per­for­mance too it leaves the pre­vi­ous power plant want­ing. Max­i­mum torque out­put is in­creased to 430Nm from 380Nm and on tap from 1700rpm to 3500rpm, 100rpm lower, while it is sus­tained for a fur­ther 700rpm, mean­ing the same revs pro­vide more power and the equiv­a­lent torque can be gen­er­ated at lower en­gine speeds.

The lat­ter means the MU-X is not only more fuel ef­fi­cient, but pro­duces fewer toxic ex­haust emis­sions while de­liv­er­ing Isuzu’s tra­di­tional stump-pulling punch.

Isuzu MU-X comes in three spec­i­fi­ca­tion lev­els: LS-M, LS-U and LS-T, in rear or four-wheel. It has prices, start­ing at $42,800, plus on­road costs, for the en­try-level LS-M 2WD. On test was the top-of-therange LS-T at $56,100.

The new de­sign ra­di­a­tor grille blends with a new head­lamp assem­bly. The new bi-LED pro­jec­tor head­lights are much brighter than the pre­vi­ous model’s pro­jec­tor lights and are equipped with auto-lev­el­ling, which au­to­mat­i­cally ad­justs the beam to an ap­pro­pri­ate an­gle when the MU-X is loaded up or tow­ing to cut glare to on­com­ing ve­hi­cles.

New-de­sign front fog­lights com­ple­ment the LS-U and LS-T vari­ants’ safety in bad vis­i­bil­ity.

Adding to the fresh ex­te­rior look is a stylish new de­sign 18-inch al­loy wheel with all-ter­rain tyres for LS-U and LS-T.

The MU-X’s in­te­rior styling has been lifted into the realms of the su­pe­rior sedan, now fea­tur­ing a dual-tone dash­board with soft touch fin­ishes, new chrome and pi­ano-black trim­ming, and new soft touch arm­rests and con­sole cov­er­ings.

Isuzu LS-T oc­cu­pants will be im­pressed by new quilted de­sign leather-ac­cented seats and 8.0-inch touch screen dis­play au­dio with its own satel­lite nav­i­ga­tion sys­tem, re­vers­ing cam­era in ad­di­tion to rear-park as­sist.

Sound in all seat­ing po­si­tions is crisp and clear thanks to eight speak­ers; two in the roof, two front­door mounted, two in the dash and two rear-door mounted.

The LS-T vari­ants also boast a fold-down roof-mounted 10-inch DVD screen which can be viewed by both sec­ond and third-row oc­cu­pants.

Two USB ports are lo­cated in the front dash and one in the rear. While 12-volt out­lets are lo­cated in the cen­tre con­sole, glove­box and rear cargo area.

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