New 7-Seat Body-on-Frame Isuzu SUV Revealed

The Japanese company has held a presentation of the second-generation Isuzu MU-X.

Isuzu has introduced a new 7-seat body-on-frame MU-X SUV. The Japanese all-terrain vehicle has received additional equipment and upgraded diesel engines. It has also become technically close to the D-Max pickup. The model will first be released in Thailand, then the MU-X will be available in other countries of Southeast Asia.

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Structurally, the second-generation Isuzu MU-X is not much like its predecessor because the first-generation SUV was a copy of the Chevrolet TrailBlazer. Now the MUX is based on the original Isuzu frame chassis, as that of the D-Max truck. However, outwardly, the relationship between the models is almost not apparent — the SUV and pickup truck have different bumpers and headlights, and the similarity is achieved only due to the same glazing line and identical wings.

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The body-on-frame vehicles has a front double wishbone suspension and a rear beam axle. However, if the pickup uses a shock absorber scheme, then the elastic element are springs. It is claimed that the new ladder-type frame has become lighter and tougher and the body has added strength.

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The role of a serious off-roader is confirmed by the declared indicators of accessibility: its ground clearance is increased to 235 mm and the fording depth — to 800 mm. After the change of generations, the volume of the fuel tank increased by 23 percent to 80 liters.

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There are no alternative diesels: a basic 1.9-liter RZ4E engine produces 150 hp and 350 Nm after the upgrade and the top-end version is equipped with a 3.0-liter 190-hp (450 Nm) 4JJ3 unit, as that of Isuzu’s commercial trucks and custom vehicles. The more powerful engine comes with a 6-speed semi-automatic gearbox, and the basic unit — with a 6-speed manual transmission.

Utility versions will have only rear-wheel drive but the photos show an all-wheel drive MU-X with a hard-wired front axle, downshift and an electronic system that simulates inter-axle and inter-wheel locking.

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The interior of the Isuzu MU-X is exactly the same as that of the pickup truck: an infotainment system with a 7- or 9-inch touchscreen, a climate control unit with adjustment rockers, a 4.2-inch on-board computer placed between conventional dashboard gauges, and an electromechanical parking brake.

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However, the equipment of the SUV is richer than that of the truck: to compete with the Toyota Fortuner and Mitsubishi Pajero Sport, the company uses soft plastic finish and has expanded the list of options, as well as personalization ones. The interior comes standard with three-row and seven seats.

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The top-end version of the Isuzu MU-X features adaptive LED headlights, dual-zone climate control, 20-inch alloy wheels, 6 airbags, cruise control and a whole range of electronic assistants. The body-on-frame SUV has systems for monitoring blind spots, lane control, ascent/descent assistants, as well as auto-braking.

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The new Isuzu MU-X is being assembled in Thailand and its prices for the domestic market have already been announced: the SUV will cost 1.11-1.59 million baht. The model will be released in mid-November. The new MU-X will be available in other countries of the Asia-Pacific region in the coming months.

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