MUX lands in PMB

Isuzu’s long-awaited seven-seater wows fans with a quiet ride in the bush

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING - AL­WYN VILJOEN

KEY Pi­eter­mar­itzburg last weekend lever­aged its ideal po­si­tion in the Mid­lands by launch­ing the Isuzu MUX sport util­ity ve­hi­cle to cus­tomers on the for­est roads that sur­round the city.

“For a while there it was like the Le Mans here — as soon as one car stopped, a fresh crew jumped in,” said dealer prin­ci­pal Mike Hall-Jones.

He told Wheels reg­u­lar dirt road users were most im­pressed by the MUX’s noise in­su­la­tion in the cabin and the pli­ant ride — thanks to a five-link rear sus­pen­sion.

The full size sevcn-seater SUV has now been around for sev­eral years and comes with a proven rep­u­ta­tion.

LED Day­time Run­ning Lights dis­tin­quish the MUX by day, while Bi-LED pro­jec­tor head­lights with auto-lev­el­ling functionality light the way at night.

Like the For­tuner, which is built on the Hilux cha­siss; the MUX shares un­der­pin­nings with the Isuzu KB bakkie, which means it will drive over the tough­est of ter­rains on 18-inch wheels.

These tyres give the SUV a ground­clear­ance of 23 cm, but if this is not high enough, a steel sump and trans­fer case guard are stan­dard on the MUX.

Un­der the hood, Isuzu’s 3-0-litre four­cylin­der turbo diesel makes 130 kW and 380 Nm, more than enough to tow the three-ton braked trailer the car is li­censed for.

The Toy­ota For­tuner and Ford Ever­est camp will scoff at this power, say­ing it’s lot less than their wag­ons make, but as Hall-Jones pointed out, Toy­ota bought into Isuzu’s diesel driv­e­train tech­nol­ogy be­cause its not how many New­tons your ve­hi­cle makes, but for how long it can main­tain its peak torque at low revs.

As Wheels has learned while tow­ing over 800 km with this en­gine, Isuzu’s torque kicks in from just un­der 2 000 revs, which is low enough to en­gage auto cruise and pull a heavy load in fifth gear up hill and down dale.

But low down power is not the MUX’s only strong sell­ing point — that prize goes to low in­surance pre­mi­ums, as the MUX does not, yet, come bur­dened with the For­tuner’s best-sell­ing, most-stolen sta­tus. The MUX does come with a fiveyear or 90 000 km ser­vice plan and a five-year or 120 000 km war­ranty.

Prices for the MUX 3.0 4X2 AT6 R568 000 3.0 4X4 AT6 R629 100

PHOTO: AL­WYN VILJOEN

Key Pi­eter­mar­itzburg launched the new Isuzu MUX to cus­tomers on Satur­day.

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