Isuzu is getting ready to farewell the current MU-X and welcome its high-tech replacement to Australia.
Runout deals for the outgoing MU-X are live on the Isuzu Australia website, with the company offering a free tow bar, wiring kit, and electronic brake controller on four-wheel drive variants.
The 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.
The current D-Max hit Australian showrooms on September 1, 2020. Expect the MU-X to arrive at a very similar point in 2021.
Images posted on Facebook reveal an MU-X is already on the ground in Australia.
The new seven-seat, body-on-frame SUV was recently snapped filming what appears to be a television commercial on the streets of Sydney.
The big news in the 2021 MU-X is the introduction of autonomous emergency braking, forward-collision warning, turn assist, traffic sign recognition, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and adaptive high-beam.
A full active safety suite would make the 2021 MU-X one of the safest ute-based family SUVs in Australia, alongside the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport and Ford Everest.
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.
Although it’s clear the MU-X will have switchable four-wheel drive and low range, there was no mention of a locking rear differential at the car’s Thailand launch.
In Thailand, the MU-X will ride on 18- or 20-inch alloy wheels, and come with bi-LED headlights at the top of the range.
Four trim levels will be offered, although we’ll have to wait for Australian spec information.
Inside, the dashboard borrows heavily the D-Max but features unique trim in keeping with its more luxurious remit.
Leather seat trim, gloss black on the transmission tunnel, and unique detailing in the instruments set the MU-X apart from its ute brother. Like before, the new MU-X is a seven-seater.
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 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.
A 9.0-inch infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay and wired Android Auto takes pride of place on the dash. Kit such as keyless entry and start carries over from the D-Max, while the tailgate is powered in top-end models.
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 Fortuner, Everest, and Pajero Sport 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.