Just as night follows day, recent upgrades to Isuzu Ute’s D-Max one tonne ute flow through to the 2017, seven seat MU-X SUV in `twobie’ and `fourbie’ variants and three grades LS-M, LS-U and LS-T.
That means an improved Euro 5 emissions compliant engine designed for Australia with more torque and better fuel economy, upgraded cabin with more attractive fascia and additional soft feel surfaces, a big reduction in noise and vibration and the option of a six speed auto transmission replacing the previous five speeder.
Higher grade LS-U and LS-T variants have hard wired satnav displayed on a larger 8-inch touchscreen while a reverse camera is standard across the range. Plenty of other features in MU-X have been upgraded like the audio systems, seat design and upholstery, communications and connectivity and simple things such as additional cupholders.
Isuzu Ute sexed up the exterior appearance too with a new face featuring LED headlights and a reimagined rear end to match.
Changes to the 3.0-litre, turbodiesel, four cylinder engine including a new variable geometry turbo, new pistons and fuel injection system yield an additional 50Nm of torque now rated at 430Nm while power remains the same at 130kW.
Euro 5 emissions compliance come thanks to the new 6-speed manual and auto transmissions, a diesel particle filter, new design exhaust gas recirculation system and other changes.
The new model is demonstrably better to drive than its predecessor on every front with more go, smoother, quieter running, less fuel consumption, more comfortable ride and interior and it still tows 3.1 tonnes.
D-Max and MU-X have among the best reliability reputations in their respective classes.
Good things made better.
Price From $42,800 LS-M 4×2 RWD, From $48,000 LS-M 4×4.
➔ Additional torque you can feel on the road and off.
➔ Smoother and quieter
➔ Some new driver assist technology and LED headlights
➔ Tows like a champion.
➔ Goes just about anywhere
➔ Good size _ not too big
➔ New six speed auto is the one to get – suits every application
➔ Soft feel dash more comfy, easier on the eye
➔ Supple, controlled ride with sporty feel on sealed roads
➔ Can break into the 7s for fuel economy with a little care.
➔ Almost unrivalled around Aussie touring vehicle for the money
➔ 5-star ANCAP rating
NOT SO MUCH
➔ Needs a lock-up diff’ or LSD at the rear on all 4×4 models
➔ Prices cranked up around $1000 on previous model
➔ Luggage space compromised when third seat row in use.
➔ Satnav should be on every model.
ENGINE: 3.0-litre, turbo diesel, four cylinder 130kW/430Nm
TRANSMISSION: 6-speed manual, optional 6 speed auto
THIRST: Best of 7.9 litres/100km
WEIGHT: Circa 2.0 tonnes model dependent
0-100KMH: Who cares, good for a fourbie.
ALTERNATIVES: Ford Everest from $$54,990, Toyota Fortuner from $47,990, Mitsubishi Pajero Sport from $45,000.