An off-road SUV with a dose of luxury

Taming terrain The Isuzu mu-X does what it's best designed to do - to take on any kind of road that comes its way - and it does so with style and safe

An off-road SUV with a dose of luxury

Isuzu is the other name for rugged, powerful utility vehicles and pickup trucks. They Japanese company has perfected the art and science behind curating some of the best UV ideas. However, the company’s cars are yet to steal much visibility on Indian roads. Since the launch of the MU7, Isuzu is trying its best to offer more for Indian car buyers with its products.

The newly-launched Isuzu mu-X is the one that is expected to take the Indian market to another level, by offering more grit to an SUV. This can be surely considered as a tough competitor to the prevailing SUV champions, which have already taken the Indian roads. The company’s old offering Isuzu D Max V Cross had been hailed by enthusiastic off-roaders in Adventure Utility Vehicle (AUV), and there is massive expectation riding on the new mu-X.

So when we took the big mu-X for the test drive, we tested the vehicle in different obstacles. As highways, the countryside, the city, off-road and hilly terrain are the possible conditions that the driver will encounter in South India, we took the car over every type of road. With the first look, the car is promising as a tailor-made machine for off-roading.

Strong build

The design is really smart with the multi-spoke 17-inch alloy wheels and the 65 profile tyres have complemented the tough beastly look of the car.The carmaker has retained the D-Max V-Cross look for the new mu-X as the front side looks very similar with the massive chrome grill.

The difference is a more aggressive contrast colour bumper with the Daytime Running Lamps (DRLs), which looks cool. There is no appealing aspect in the rear, as it looks similar to any SUV on the road. However, the tail lamp carries a distinct look, which promises the car having a strong SUV standard, and exciting to look at.

Sublime interiors

When we enter the cabin, we can see a similar dashboard as the D-Max with a few differences. Though it’s the same tough look, the modified design spaeks of luxury.

The glossy finish on the centre console with silver accents and the steering wheel too have control buttons embedded. There is also nice cushioning for the arm rest and door pads at every corner, which offer much-needed comfort. The keyless entry, power adjustment of the driver seat, leather pouches in the seats, rear-view camera, and 7-inch touch screen are the key highlights of the interior cabin. Totally, the fit and finish are very tight, and the design is very neat. The major drawback would be the touch-screen, which feels very basic, and doesn’t feature smart phone integration.

Seating comfort

Apart from making the car tough enough for any road, the makers have really worked smart in giving sufficient room and space inside its cabin. The second row of the car is where you can actually enjoy the mu-X drive. With enough leg room, head room, cushion seats with thigh support and back support, and higher seating for passengers in the second row, the car is like flying business class.

With a nice view from the big windows, AC vents, recliner seats, and the roof-mounted 10-inch screen for entertainment, the mu-X is a treat for those taking long journeys. Besides enjoying the drive, passengers also have some entertainment that makes the car feel special.

Normally, the third row is what many carmakers tend to ignore. Some cars are tough even to accommodate two adults. But the mu-X will promise the same royal seating for the third-row passengers too. It can comfortably accommodate two adults, with one small kid in the centre. However, these spacious features for the passengers have resulted in less boot volume.

Drive anywhere

The Isuzu mu-X has the 2,999 cc four-cylinder diesel engine that makes about 177 hp @ 380 Nm of torque. The torque is very less compared to the competitors, and also results in slow response in gear-shift. This torque is perfect for slow pace driving, where we can enjoy the car without any jerks. However, when the speed test was done, it clocked 100 kmph within 15 seconds, which is normal timing in many SUVs.

The car was tested in various road conditions. As we were forced to cross the city limits, before taking it out, the car was tough in handling. For a driver with an Indian mindset of crossing paths, this will strain one to the core. One can Expect to maintain the track and have lot of patience while taking this car on city roads with high traffic. However, the owner will never be disappointed as the mu-X will be the eye-catcher among the fellow passersby.

As the car is fitted with a 5-speed automatic gear box, gear-shifting work is lessened, which is a huge relief for the driver. After it came out of the city limits, we could identify the slow response of the gear-shift. Until it crosses half-RPM, the gear will never shift, which drains a lot of fuel. The engine is a bit noisy, especially after it travels some 50 km. Even when the windows are closed, the engine sound is audible within the cabin. However, compared with the previous D-Max, the makers have tuned the engine noise.

In the ghat section, the car expects us to handle it gently. The skills of the driver are very important to prove the capability of the car. At an economical speed with smooth handling of the wheel, and a bit of bodyroll, the mu-X makes you overcome hairpins and deadly turns on the ghats with ease. On the straight highway, the mu-X was satisfactory as we expected more from this.

Due to slow gear-shifting, overtaking becomes a tough task, especially on the single road. Even if we push the accelerator pedal hard, the car will actually feel as if it’s going out of control. However, if you are capable enough to control the machine, it gets the job done.

After all this, we tested the mu-X on the track for actually which this is made  - off-roading. This is Isuzu is outstanding. The high-ground clearance, chunky tyres, and 4X4 drive are perfectly designed for off-roading. It can handle the dirt track safely without flinching. This value-for-money machine is considerably cheaper at Rs 24,36,269 (ex-showroom Bengaluru) when compared to its rivals.


DH Newsletter Privacy Policy Get top news in your inbox daily
Comments (+)