Isuzu Ute is getting ready to welcome its higher-tech family hauler Down Under.
Hot on the heels of this month’s leaked photos of the 2022 Isuzu MU-X in Australia, the company has confirmed full local details will be revealed in the coming months.
CarExpert understands the car will hit local showrooms around September in 2021, following almost exactly 12 months behind the D-Max ute on which it’s based.
The first look at the MU-X reveals high-end models will feature a 9.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, bi-LED headlights, and 20-inch alloy wheels.
The first 1500 people to pre-order the MU-X will also get a unique Casio G-Shock watch, Isuzu says.
Like the related D-Max, the MU-X will feature a full suite of active safety technologies.
Even the entry-level D-Max has autonomous emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, lane-departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, adaptive high-beam, and traffic sign recognition.
That’s a significant step up from the current MU-X, which has no active safety technology on board.
The 2022 MU-X rides on the same platform as the D-Max and is powered by the same 3.0-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine with 140kW of power and 450Nm of torque, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.
Along with switchable four-wheel drive and low-range, the MU-X will have a locking rear differential.
In Thailand, rear seat passengers are treated to two USB ports and a 220V AC power outlet, but there are no air vents built into the transmission tunnel. Whether that will be the case in Australia remains to be seen.
The first images of the car for Australia show no rear vents, but CarExpert understands all three rows will have vents when the MU-X touches down locally.
The cabin looks significantly more upmarket than that of the current MU-X, which shares its bones with the now-defunct D-Max but features more leather, more soft-touch trim, and more chrome trim pieces.
Outside, more of an effort has been made to differentiate the MU-X from the D-Max with slimmer headlights and a unique taillight design that will help set it apart from the Everest, Pajero Sport and Toyota Fortuner in Australia.
The current MU-X was introduced in Australia just under a year and a half after its D-Max counterpart, back in late 2013.
The Isuzu Ute Australia website warns “limited stock” is available across the MU-X range, although CarExpert understands Isuzu expects its current stock to last until the new model touches down in the third quarter of 2021.