Isuzu says dealers should have stock of the new MU-X seven-seater when it launches, despite ongoing delays on the closely-related D-Max ute.
Isuzu is expecting strong demand across the three-model range, but says the first batch of orders haven’t been snapped up just yet.
“Our initial supply levels we think are quite good,” said Ben Jaeger, general manager of sales for Isuzu Ute Australia.
“The initial interest shown by the market has been extremely strong for this product, which makes sense as more people look to explore their own backyards with our sort of vehicle,” he said.
Although Isuzu is “holding an order bank of quite a large number of vehicles”, the brand will “have vehicles for dealers to present to potential customers”.
“Supply has been a challenge,” Mr Jaeger conceded, but said it’s something Isuzu will continue to work on if not daily, weekly, with our factory” going forward.
“We have to say thanks to the customers and dealers for their patience while we work our way through that. We still struggle with semiconductor supply, and at this stage this will continue for a period of time,” he said.
Demand for the D-Max ute has been skewed towards top-end X-Terrain and LS-T models, Isuzu is forecasting a more even spread in the MU-X.
Along with strong demand from private buyers, the full suite of active safety assists now offered in the MU-X is expected to make it more popular with fleet buyers.
“We expect LS-T to be our strongest seller initially, and also LS-U in 4×4 guise mainly,” Mr Jaeger said.
“In saying that, with the product improvements, it’ll be interesting to see in the longer-term what the model mix looks like,” he said.
“With the safety technology across the range and the capability of the vehicle, the versatility of the vehicle, we feel all grades will have a particular market where they can maximise the opportunity.”
Built on the same bones as the D-Max ute, the 2022 Isuzu MU-X promises to be more comfortable, more powerful, and more capable than its popular predecessor.
Although it’s more luxurious than before, the 2022 MU-X remains a rugged off-roader with a focus on towing.
Along with its uprated 3500kg braked towing capacity and larger 80L fuel tank, it’s gained a rear locking differential in 4×4 models to take it further off-road like its D-Max sibling.
Power still comes from a 3.0-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine, albeit a heavily modified one compared to the motor in the current MU-X.
Shared with the D-Max, the 4JJ3-TCX engine makes 140kW of power and 450Nm of torque, and has a new block, cylinder head, crankshaft, and aluminium pistons. It also packs a new intake system and turbocharger for less lag down low.
It’s mated to a retuned Aisin six-speed automatic transmission as standard, designed to hunt less and be more decisive on the move.
The MU-X has a full range of active driver assists standard across the line-up, as part of what Isuzu calls its IDAS suite.