How much does the Isuzu MU-X cost?
The range starts with the LS-M with a list price of $53,900. The version we’re testing is the top-spec LS-T which has a driveaway price of $63,990.
That’s $2000 less than its recommended retail price before on-road costs, meaning Isuzu is either doing a great deal or it doesn’t expect anyone to pay full price during dealer negotiations.
The sharp price and the jump in safety and interior civility has propelled the Isuzu to second in the large SUV sales race. To buy a range-topping Prado costs $87,807 before on-roads, making the MU-X look like a bargain.
Service intervals are set at 12 months or 15,000km and a seven-year capped price servicing package costs $3,513, averaging out at around $502 a year. That service pack is a year longer than the Isuzu’s six-year/150,000km warranty.
How safe is the Isuzu MU-X?
Eight airbags are fitted to the Isuzu people-mover, including a driver’s knee bag and a centre bag to prevent the front-seat occupants from butting heads during side-impact crashes.
ANCAP awarded the big SUV with a five-star rating. Adult occupant protection scored 87 per cent, with a marginal rating for the rear passenger’s chest protecting during the full-frontal crash test.
In the offset front test, ANCAP penalised the car on the basis the “front structure of the Isuzu MU-X presented a higher risk to the occupants of an oncoming vehicle”. In layperson’s terms, it rides high and is heavy, so passenger cars tend not to enjoy contact.
Child occupant protection came in at 85 per cent, largely due to a “poor” reading for the 10-year-old dummy’s neck in the frontal offset test. ANCAP also noted there are no top tethers or isofix anchorages in the third-row seats, so it doesn’t recommend fitting child seats down the back.
Vulnerable road user protection came in at 69 per cent. The Isuzu MU-X doesn’t have pedestrian detection in reverse and the autonomous emergency braking wasn’t great at detecting cyclists crossing from the side.
Safety assist features earned an 84 per cent mark, with the biggest criticism a “marginal” rating for the autonomous braking when turning in front of an oncoming vehicle.
What’s the Isuzu MU-X like inside?
The MU-X combines utilitarian plastics in the places where they’re useful in an off-road environment with a veneer of passenger car comfort.
The door panels are durable, the dash is covered in soft-touch material and there’s plenty of gloss black and alloy highlights in the cabin.
Pop-out cupholders in the dash are effective and the regular glovebox is complemented by a smaller unit directly above it. Space in the doors cope with most of the bottles you’re likely to pick up at the service station.
The area ahead of the gear selector holds a 12-volt socket, USB-A and auxiliary ports. You can’t under-rate 12-volt sockets if you need to inflate a tyre after deflating it to get over certain terrain … and the MU-X is more than capable of negotiating tough tracks.
Rear seat passengers are catered for with a pair of USB ports on the back of the centre console bin. Crucially, there are also roof-mounted air vents for the second and third rows.
It doesn’t sound like much, but a waft of cool air into the face during extended spells in a hot car (windows down on dirt tracks isn’t recommended) is a huge relief, as well as helping stave off car-sickness if the children have the misfortune to be so affected.