ARNA SAYS BIG AND PRACTICAL BUT HEAVY TO DRIVE
I’M CERTAINLY MORE A FAN OF THE practicality of a closed SUV over an exposed ute, so I was much happier in the Isuzu MU-X than I was in the D-max we tested previously.
That’s even though I find it hard to call it by its ‘em-you-ex’ name, rather than ‘mux.’
What I didn’t like about the D-max ute carries over into the SUV. Things like the heavy steering and vision that pushes you to rely on the parking sensors and reversing camera – except there are actually no sensors, which is at odds with current expectations.
The view all-around is good, but I was certainly aware that I was in a big truck. I wasn’t initially enjoying my time in the Isuzu, but warmed to it over a few days, and started getting used to its size, and its intuitive controls.
Our ‘test kids’ – five-year-old Amber, and two-year-old Ella - were instantly drawn to the flip-down rear video screen, which made longer trips not only quieter, but cleaner.
A week before, in our own Volkswagen Touareg, we had a nasty vomiting moment resulting from their heads being down during an extended colouring-in and tablet movie session.
Not only does the flip-down roof screen look after their entertainment, it gets their heads up, helping minimise motion sickness.
However, a movie for the rear passengers also means movie audio for the front seats too, as it’s not possible to have both a movie running, and separate audio/radio running up front.
And with the safety video-disabling on the front monitor, not even the front passenger benefits, also forced to hear but not see the action.
Big opening doors, heaps of boot space and the ease with which the third row seats are lowered or raised using straps are all good.
But the seats still need two hands to drop, as you need to pull the strap while pushing the seats. Also handy is a boot 12v power socket and an under/raised floor storage console.
I grew to like the MU-X, but not to love it. It’s big, heavy and noisy, but it’s also large, practical and comfortable.
I’d definitely choose it over the D-max ute, and there’s nothing hugely wrong with it, but personally, I believe there are other SUVS that are more suited to this suburbanmum.
Seven-seat MU-X rides on 17-inch alloy wheels and uses all-round disc brakes where D-max has disc front/rear drum set-up.