Isuzu MU-X SUV meets local assembly lines at Sri City plant in Andhra Pradesh and has been priced competitively against Toyota Fortuner and Endeavour
Isuzu has launched the MU-X SUV in India today at a starting price of Rs. 23,99,000 for the 4×2 variant while the all-wheel drive range-topper comes with a price of Rs. 25,99,000 (ex-showroom, New Delhi). The domestic market currently had the MU-7 and it has been replaced.
The I-GRIP platform based Isuzu MU-X SUV seven-seater has entered the market as we speculated earlier and it looks to be the most promising vehicle yet from the Japanese manufacturer’s stable. Last year, Isuzu displayed the India’s first Adventure pickup truck, D-Max V-Cross, at the 2016 New Delhi Auto Expo.
The new MU-X sports utility vehicle also takes design cues from the adventure pickup but is largely based on the existing Chevrolet Trailblazer with greater component sharing. It comes with a bulky and muscular appearance with the chrome garnished front grille, sharply designed headlamps, beefy front bumper with horizontally slated air intake and fog lamps.
Apart from the muscular front fascia, the car also comes with aggressive side body, blackened glass area, large 17-inch diamond cut alloy wheels, chrome garnished wing mirror caps, etc. The wheel arches come with a flared look which enhances the appeal of the SUV further.
Inside, the Isuzu MU-X has a stylish appearance with the sporty interior theme comprising of piano black dashboard and bright silver accent as well with plenty of equipment and comfort features on offer. The Isuzu MU-X gets a multi-functional steering wheel, dual analog dials and a digital MID at the instrument cluster.
The centre console sports silver trims an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system flanked by control buttons and knobs. The car features 10 inch DVD monitors for the rear occupants ans a roof mounted Sky sound system. The touchscreen infotainment system at the centre console gets six speaker sound system and Bluetooth connectivity.
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Other important features include automatic climate control, reverse parking sensors and camera, height adjustable seats, rear AC vents and cruise control system. Power source for the premium SUV is a 3.0-litre diesel engine which churns out 174 bhp of peak power at 3,600 rpm and 380 Nm of peak torque between 1,800 rpm and 2,800 rpm. A five-speed sequential shift automatic transmission helps deliver a claimed fuel economy of 13.8 kmpl.
A cheaper 1.9-litre 150 hp alternative could be introduced later on this SUV with three-row seat configuration. The MU-X measures 4,825 mm in length, 1,860 mm in width and 1,840 mm in height with a wheelbase of 2,845 mm and an ample 220 mm ground clearance.
Unlike the Chevy Trailblazer, which is offered as a single high-spec feature-loaded variant, the MU-X range of offering has both 2WD and 4WD variants. We have seen the Japanese UV specialist introducing the V-Cross at an aggressive price range and the same strategy has been applied on the highly capable MU-X premium SUV.
It competes against the likes of Ford Endeavour, Toyota Fortuner, Mitsubishi Pajero Sport and Hyundai Santa Fe. It was initially expected to be offered via CBU route as the the Trailblazer before eventually meeting assembly lines at Isuzu’s newly established Sri City plant in Andhra Pradesh.
However, as Isuzu is aware of the price conscience society, the local assembly from the get-go will support the sales largely due to lower manufacturing costs involved. Isuzu seems to be working on a lower-level variant of the V-Cross as well which could arrive sometime later this year. A facelifted MU-X that arrived on international scenes recently with minor cosmetic updates will be revealed sometime in 2018 predictably.
The 4×4 Terrain Command variant gets electronic shift-on-the-fly rotary dial with 4×4 high (can be selected till the speeds of 100 kmph) and 4×4 low ratios. For safety, the MU-X features a high tensile steel body construction and has dual airbags, ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) with EBD (Electronic Brake-force Distribution), Brake Assist, ESC (Electronic Stability Control), Traction Control and HSA (Hill Start Assist) among others.
Isuzu has so far managed to achieve 70 per cent localisation for all of its models in the local portfolio. The Sri City plant in Andhra Pradesh has current production capacity of 50,000 units and it can be expanded to 1.2 lakh units.