When Isuzu launched the previous-generation mu-X to the Mzansi market in May 2018, the proverbial gauntlet was thrown into the segment. Isuzu had previously not played in the large family SUV space and the mu-X was their weapon of choice. Turned out to be a sharp weapon too, as the car established itself in the market and won many buyers’ hearts with its comfortable ride and strong powertrains.
The current model – launched in November 2021 – changed the game even further, introducing a bold new look, new features and in this particular case, a new engine. The 1.9 LS 4×2 automatic is the entry-level model into mu-X, and was launched precisely to facilitate new clients into the range. In current economic times, affordability is paramount to most potential buyers’ minds, and this car is lined up to satisfy that specific need.
In saying that, Isuzu cannot be accused of skimping on features for the sake of affordability. In fact, the model has been highly specified and includes such items as bi-LED headlights, LED daylight running lights, fog lamps, privacy glass at the rear, roof rails, side steps and 18-inch alloy wheels. A new paint colour has been gifted to the mu-X. It’s called Norwegian Blue and turns heads.
Nothing says “baseline model” inside the car either. A full complement of 7 leather-covered seats greet you as you open the doors, with the driver and passengers’ being electrically-adjustable. Leather also covers the steering wheel, while the dashboard area is made of a solid but easy on the touch type of material. Stylish stitching lines across it, as well as inside the multi-function steering wheel rim and seats. Quite a classy combination. The 17.8cm touch screen accesses the infotainment system that includes items such as Apple Carplay, Android Auto and WiFI among others.
As for the smaller engine in the powertrain, well it is not size that counts in this case at all. The well-regarded, reliable 1.9-litre turbo diesel motor found in the D-MAX does duty here as well. Maximum available power is 110kW, matched with some thick 350Nm of torque. Paired to a 6-speed automatic transmission, with power going to the rear wheels, the car showed strong pulling power during our stint with it. Moreover, it returned a commendable 7 litres per 100km in terms of overall average fuel consumption.
Isuzu says it takes its own product safety quite seriously. As such, the mu-X 1.9 LS is equipped with a long list of safety features that include seven airbags, ABS brakes with EBD, Electronic Stability Control, Hill Descent Control and Cruise Control. To make parking easier, there is a rear parking camera system fitted that works alongside front and rear parking sensors.
The new Isuzu mu-X 1.9 LS seems to be a good answer to the question of a reasonably priced, large family SUV with 7 seats.