MUX lands in PMB
Isuzu’s long-awaited seven-seater wows fans with a quiet ride in the bush
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
Key Pietermaritzburg launched the new Isuzu MUX to customers on Saturday.