Isuzu MU-X – 7230 sales Year To Date, October 2018
Whoever thinks Aussies don’t like a bargain has never been stuck in an Aldi queue on sale day, but great value is only part of the reason the Isuzu MU-X continues to sell so well despite only minimal updates early in 2018.
In fact, MU-X sales are up a significant 12 per cent over this time last year (to the end of October 2018), and Isuzu Ute Australia has reckons it will continue to grow its footprint in Australia over the next couple of years despite only having a two-vehicle line-up.
The MU-X is based on the D-MAX ute platform and as such this seven-seat wagon has a separate chassis with an IFS with double wishbones and coil struts, and a live-axle rear-end with coil springs (instead of the D-MAX’s leaf springs).
In 4x4 guise, the MU-X is available in three trim levels. The base-spec LS-M costs $50,200 with a standard six-speed automatic transmission, the mid-spec is LS-U is $50,400 with a six-speed manual gearbox or $52,500 with an optional six-speed auto, and the top-spec LS-T is $56,200 with a standard six-speed auto.
All variants are powered by a 3.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine that makes a claimed 130kW of power at 3600rpm and 430Nm of torque from 2000-2200rpm. Regardless of transmission, the MU-X runs a shift-on-the-fly part-time 4x4 system and a two-speed transfer case. The engine certainly isn’t the most powerful in class, but it makes good low-rpm torque and the MU-X has found favour with those who like to tow caravans thanks to its relatively large 3.0-litre capacity and frugal nature. It has a maximum 3000kg braked towing capacity.
Off-road performance is decent, but again is not a match for some competitors due to the absence of a rear diff lock, but the 4x4 aftermarket can supply lockers to those who want to head off the beaten track, as well as plenty of other equipment to suit the MU-X.
Even in base-spec trim the MU-X is well appointed, and standard equipment on the LS-M includes 16-inch alloy wheels, self-levelling LED headlights, DRLs, 7-inch touchscreen, eight-speaker sound system with Bluetooth connectivity, remote central locking, cruise control, air conditioning, ABS, Electronic Stability Control (ESC), EBD, Traction Control System (TCS), Emergency Brake Assist (EBA), Hill Descent Control (HDC), Hill Start Assist (HAS), Trailer Sway Control (TSC), six airbags, reversing camera and rear parking sensors.
The LS-U adds 18-inch alloy wheels, chrome grille, mirrors and door handles, alarm, fog lights, side steps, privacy glass, climate control air conditioning, rear vents, 8-inch touchscreen and satnav, while the top-spec LS-T also gets roof rails, tailgate spoiler, keyless entry and start, leather accented seats, power adjustable driver’s seat and a roof-mounted DVD monitor.
Sure, the MU-X is not be the last word in on-road or off-road performance, nor is it packed with the latest technology and active safety features, but it’s well-appointed and represents good value for money, making it a favourite with Aussie bush tourers.