Car Reviews Isuzu January 30, 2023 By Kevin C. Limjoco Photos by Isabel N. Delos Reyes
2023 Isuzu Mu-X LS-E 4×4
Still the Greatest Isuzu Ever
I have stated it before and I further reinforce the statement now after two years of duty on Philippine roads, the 2nd generation all-new Isuzu Mu-X is the very best consumer vehicle that Isuzu has ever produced. If it had the additional optional equipment found in other markets, more color choices combined with a 5-year warranty, and a more competitive price, it could even win the best-in-class C! Award. The handsome top-spec Mu-X LS-E 4×4 model tested here in its signature Marrakesh Brown exterior and interestingly designed 20-inch alloys that look like floating turbo blades deserves more attention than it is getting.
The very robust body-on frame Isuzu Dynamic Drive Platform performs optimally, dutifully and splendidly in our archipelago. The engine, drivetrain, and transmission are principally shared with the award-winning D-Max but in the Mu-X application, the same systems run appropriately quieter and smoother. The optimized 6-speed Aisin automatic transmission may be down on gears compared to its direct competition but the synergy it has with the 188 bhp / 332 lb-ft 3.0-liter turbodiesel engine is exemplary, producing genuine standard-setting fuel efficiency and drivability with overall behavior that bests some of the more complex systems in the segment.
The new Bi-LED headlights with signature DRL and auto-levelling function look great and cast an excellent field of illumination further supported with LED front fog lamps. The rear light assembly has its own signature LED as well. The prominent central 10.1-inch touchscreen infotainment system has navigation, a clinometer, rear guided camera, intuitive smartphone connectivity with Android Auto™ and wireless Apple CarPlay™, all through a very good 8-speaker surround sound system bested only by the Bose system on the Nissan Terra VL. The nice analog instruments have a 4.2-inch color LCD Multi Information Display that inform the driver with all the data needed while still enjoying traditional straightforward instrumentation. The fully adjustable steering wheel is appropriately weighted and communicative. The electric parking brake also features Auto Brake Hold for convenience while driving in heavy city traffic. The Mu-X’s powered rear trunk works well and the third-row accommodates rear passengers with a touch more capacity and comfort compared to the competition but lacks additional charging points and ISOFIX mounting points.
The Smart 3D DUO Camera on the windshield that has the ability to detect obstacles intelligently to improve safety as well as convenience is great. The Advanced Driver Assist System features adaptive cruise control with stop/go, pedestrian detection, autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning, forward collision warning, lane-keeping assist, and traffic sign recognition. Other safety features like blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert use the 4-eye sonar. Additional active, passive, and peripheral safety measures include standard 7 SRS airbags, automatic door locks, and rain-sensing wipers with built-in washer nozzles. The front and rear disc brakes manage the healthy powertrain with 12.6-inch (320 mm) ventilated discs with 2-piston calipers up front and 12.5-inch (318 mm) ventilated rear discs with 1-piston calipers with ABS, TCS, EBD, ESC, EBA, AEB, HAS, HDC, Misacceleration Mitigation and Turn-Assist. All of these efforts culminate to a verified 5-Star ASEAN NCAP rating too for the Isuzu Mu-X.
The Isuzu Mu-X LS-E 4×4 models have a proper electronic differential lock for the more challenging off-road traversing. The nicely designed 20 x 7.5J alloys are wrapped with 265/50R20 107S Bridgestone Dueler H/T 684II tires. The effortless smart 4×4 system uses “Rough Terrain Mode” and “Terrain Command” control with ‘shift on the fly’ 2-high↔4-high selection at up to 100 km/h, and 4-low with rear differential lock. Water fording depth is rated at 800 mm. Ground clearance is still 235 mm. For off-road use, the approach angle is 29.2 degrees; ramp-over angle is 23.1 degrees, while the departure angle is 26.4 degrees. The front suspension uses independent double wishbones, dampers, and anti-roll bar while the rear setup uses a five-link rigid axle with coils springs, dampers, and anti-roll bar. The wheelbase is 2855 mm, length is 4850 mm, width is 1870 mm, and height is 1825 mm with a gross weight of 2800 kg. The new Ford Everest has larger proportions on a longer wheelbase yet the Isuzu Mu-X feels just as spacious inside better designed seats.
The 2023 Isuzu Mu-X LS-E soldiers on with a loftier retail price and is a truly desirable heavily loaded mid-size SUV that will reward its owner and passengers with a lifetime of adventure, utility, and versatility.
|Cylinder Head||dohc 16V|
|Fuel Injector||Direct Injection Intercooled VGS Turbodiesel, VSS|
|Max Power (bhp @ rpm)||188 bhp @ 3600 rpm|
|Max Torque (lb/ft @ rpm)||332 lb-ft @ 1600-2600 rpm|
|Top Speed||198 km/h (124 mph)|
|0-100 km/h | 0-62 mph||9.9 sec.|
Fuel consumption and CO2 emissions
|Fuel Milage (km/l)||20.94 Km/L overall as tested|
|Price as Tested (PHP)||PhP 2,505,000.00|
|What's Great||The very best Isuzu ever produced, solid reputation of reliability and durability, good-looking, best-crafted interior design in its class, comprehensive safety measures, strong brakes and solid handling, very strong packaging, deep real-world abilities.|
|What's Not So||No wireless smartphone charger. No third-row charging points, 3-year factory warranty, price, and manual rearview mirror.|
|C! Editors Rating||9.5/10|