Now the 2021 D-Max ute has been revealed, the next piece in Isuzu’s next-generation puzzle is the seven-seat MU-X off-roader.
The current-generation MU-X remains a strong seller in Australia, where it battles the Toyota Fortuner, Ford Everest, and Mitsubishi Pajero Sport.
Based on the outgoing D-Max ute, the MU-X has been around since 2013, although it was treated to a facelift in 2017.
Its age means it lacks active safety equipment such as autonomous emergency braking, rear cross-traffic alert, blind-spot monitoring, and lane-keeping assist, despite its rivals now offering the technology standard on even their cheapest models.
Isuzu offered no details about the new MU-X when announcing the new D-Max, except to say the current model is selling well, and “market feedback is quite good at this moment”.
But based on the suite of technology offered standard on the new D-Max, it’s fair to expect the MU-X will have a full range of active driver assists, including autonomous emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-keeping assist, and adaptive cruise control.
Power in the current MU-X comes from a 3.0-litre turbo-diesel engine with 130kW and 420Nm, but the next-generation car will likely adopt the heavily revised 3.0-litre from the new D-Max, which ups those outputs to 140kW and 450Nm.
Given its off-road focus, four-wheel drive models are likely to get a locking rear differential as standard, which will please off-road enthusiasts.
Inside, the new MU-X should adopt the same 7.0- or 9.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system as the D-Max, complete with wireless Apple CarPlay and wired Android Auto.
Expect a focus on higher-quality materials and niceties such as a tilt and reach-adjustable steering column.
According to VFACTS sales data, the MU-X is the best-selling ute-based SUV in Australia to date in 2020.
Despite a 17 per cent drop in sales compared to 2019, it’s still 437 sales ahead of the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport, 861 sales ahead of the Ford Everest, and has more than doubled sales of the Toyota Fortuner.