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Isuzu Ute opens expressions of interest for new MU-X

New-generation Isuzu Ute MU-X large SUV here in third quarter loaded with gear

25 May 2021

ISUZU Ute Australia (IUA) has started steaming up the hype train for its looming new-generation MU-X off-roader by revealing a flurry of new images of the D-Max-based SUV as well as detailing some of the standard equipment highlights of the higher-end variants.


Brandishing exactly the same body as seen back in November, there is very little to identify the new MU-X as a relative of the aggressive looking D-Max with the only real similarity being the fanged grille inserts.


Things are a little different inside the cabin however where we find largely the same interior as the D-Max, including the centrally-mounted 9.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system and pop-out cupholders, albeit with a more occupant-focused finish.


One feature not being carried across it seems is the handy dash-top storage compartment as found on the high-grade D-Max LS-U and flagship X-Terrain, however the dual glovebox arrangement has been retained.


Other changes include a tidied-up centre console, a decent smattering of what look to be soft-touch materials – to try and mask the D-Max’s workhorse nature – and classier-looking seats and matching leather upholstery.


Standard equipment highlights at this early stage will reportedly include wireless Apple CarPlay, bi-LED headlights, LED daytime driving lights, 20-inch alloy wheels, powered tailgate and IUA’s ‘Intelligent Driver Assistance System’ with the finished kit list set to offer “unprecedented-levels of equipment and technology previously unseen in any Isuzu before”.


Full specifications will reportedly be revealed in the lead-up to the new MU-X’s local launch in the latter stages of this year however executives are promising it to deliver plenty of kit.


“While it’s too early to reveal all the details, I'm proud to share that we've been working hard to ensure that our all-new Isuzu MU-X combines the latest technology and design with the proven formula of durability and reliability that Australian motorists have come to expect from Isuzu over the years,” IUA managing director Hiroyasu Sato said.


One thing we can be sure of is the powertrain, which is all but guaranteed to be based around the familiar turbocharged 3.0-litre four-cylinder diesel engine as found in the D-Max where it churns out 140kW of power and 450Nm of torque.


Power is sent to the rear wheels under normal driving conditions with 4x4 and low-range able to be engaged via the selectable 4x4 system, supplemented on this new generation by a locking rear differential.


Transmission duties on the ute are taken care of by either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission, however it remains to be seen if the DIY option is carried over to the wagon.


One key area IUA has a prime opportunity to jump to the head of the segment in is braked towing capacity; if the MU-X can replicate the D-Max’s 3500kg rating, it will leapfrog key rivals like the Ford Everest (3000kg), Mitsubishi Pajero Sport (3100kg) and Toyota Fortuner (3100kg) to join the SsangYong Rexton (3500kg) as the only offering within the segment to match its ute counterpart.


For reference, the current generation can tow 3000kg (braked).


Pre-orders for the new model are now open with the first 1500 registered customers reportedly set to receive a limited-edition Isuzu Ute-branded Casio G-Shock watch.

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