New models - Isuzu - D-Max - and MU-X
Driven: Isuzu lightly updates D-Max ute, MU-X SUV
Extended aftersales program, limited flagship headline Isuzu D-Max, MU-X update
1 May 2019
ISUZU Ute Australia (IUA) has updated its two-model range for 2019, ushering in an extended aftersales program, a limited-edition flagship and increased equipment for the D-Max mid-size ute and MU-X large SUV.
Both models now come with a six-year/150,000km warranty (up one year and 20,000km), six years of roadside assistance (up one year) and a $3600 seven-year/105,000km capped-price servicing program (up two years and 30,000km).
This move comes in response to other brands recently improving their peace-of-mind agreements, while IUA said feedback from its dealer network was also a factor.
Significantly, the X-Runner has returned to the D-Max line-up after a two-year absence and is once again a special-edition offering, albeit this time based on the full-time flagship variant, the automatic 4x4 LS-T dual-cab pick-up.
Priced from $54,990 driveaway, the X-Runner is restricted to 645 units, 180 of which are finished in Magnetic Red paintwork, while the other 465 are Pearl White.
IUA general manager of marketing and public relations Mike Conybeare told GoAuto there is scope to increase the number of examples available if demand is high, although there are no plans at present for a full-time Ford Ranger Wildtrak rival.
Over its donor variant, the X-Runner adds a matte-grey grille, branded decals for the bonnet and doors, specific tailgate badging, dark-grey foglight surrounds and Isuzu tailgate decal, red Isuzu badges, a spray-on tub liner and a satin-black sports bar.
Inside, red/black artificial leather upholstery with red stitching, red and piano-black trim, a black headliner, red Isuzu badges and branded scuff plates feature, while rear parking sensors improve the safety offering.
In the full-time range, the LS-T grade adds several matte-black elements, including roof rails and redesigned 18-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 255/60 Toyo Open Country H/T rubber that IUA selected for their lower road noise.
Both the LS-T and LS-U grades gain new-look side steps that are constructed from Fibre-Reinforced Polymer (FRP) and bolted onto the body with steel brackets. IUA claims they improved water routing away from the face of the step, improving underfoot grip.
All three LS grades receive a matte-black finish for their front air intakes, as well as for their dual-cab variants’ B-pillars.
Keyless entry and start was previously exclusive to the automatic 4x4 LS-T dual-cab-pick-up but is now standard on its 4x2 counterpart.
Meanwhile, the MU-X has been subject to a more thorough update, with tweaks made to its hydraulic power steering to reduce weight and increase smoothness at standstill and low speed, which IUA said came as a direct response to customer, dealer and media feedback.
The seven-seater also picks up a redesigned grille for better airflow and is finished in grey/black for the LS-M grade and chrome/gloss black for the LS-U and LS-T grades.
The latter two also roll on a fresh set of gloss-black 18-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 255/60 Bridgestone Dueler H/T tyres that IUA again chose for their lower road noise.
Inside, the MU-X’s piano-black trim has been extended to its doors, which also now integrate red ambient lighting on the LS-T grade.
Safety-wise, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert are now available as dealer-fit accessories for the MY17, MY18 and MY19 MU-X, with the two advanced driver-assist systems bundled together as a $955 option.
Similarly, front parking sensors are now offered as a $545 dealer-fit accessory for the MY17-onwards MU-X and D-Max LS grades.
Autonomous emergency braking and lane-keep assist, both of which are required for a five-star safety rating from the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP), are not expected to become available until the next-generation models launch in 2020.
However, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support could be added to the D-Max and MU-X’s infotainment system sooner, with IUA executives actively pushing for the smartphone mirroring technology that is offered in other markets.
The D-Max’s pricing has held steady with the exception of the 4x2 and 4x4 variants of the automatic LS-T dual-cab pick-up, which are up $600 and $100 respectively, to $47,500 and $54,800 plus on-road costs. The line-up starts from $28,600.
Conversely, only the MU-X’s 4x2 and 4x4 automatic LS-M variants cost the same as before, with its 4x2 and 4x4 automatic LS-U variants up $100, while their LS-T counterparts are $200 dearer. As such, pricing ranges from $42,900 to $56,400.
Mr Conybeare confirmed to GoAuto that the manual D-Max 4x4’s EX single-cab chassis and LS-U space-cab pick-up have been discontinued due to a lack of demand, while the same is true of the manual MU-X 4x4 LS-U.
As there are no other mechanical changes to the D-Max and MU-X, both are still motivated by a 3.0-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine that is exclusive to the Australian market. It produces 130kW of power at 3600rpm and 430Nm of torque from 2000 to 2200rpm.
In the D-Max, buyers can choose between two transmissions: a six-speed manual or an Aisin-sourced six-speed torque-converter automatic. The MU-X is exclusively offered with the latter.
2019 Isuzu D-Max, MU-X pricing*
*Excludes on-road costs
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