2014 Isuzu MU-X Review

2014 Isuzu MU-X Review

Joel Helmes road tests and reviews the 2014 Isuzu MU-X.

2014 Isuzu MU-X Review
2014 Isuzu MU-X Review.

There may be a wide selection of seven-seat vehicles on the market these days but it still seems families need to make some compromises.

Some have little, or even no off-road ability, some are just too expensive, others simply don’t have the space a family is going to need and others miss out on a really usable towing capacity.

But, thanks to Isuzu, there’s now a pretty impressive all-rounder in the mix – the MU-X.

Priced from $40,500, the 2014 Isuzu MU-X comes in three different specification levels, but just the one engine is available across the range – a 3.0 litre turbo-diesel that produces 130kW and 380Nm and uses a combined 8.4L/100kms.

Base and mid-spec models are available either with just rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive and a choice of five-speed manual or automatic transmissions. The top-of-the-range LS-T comes only with an auto and 4×4 driveline.

2014 Isuzu MU-X Review
2014 Isuzu MU-X Review.

I had a week in the LS-U variant with an automatic transmission and 4×4 and come away understanding why the MU-X has been met with a positive response from Australian buyers.

It truly is a well-accomplished all-rounder.

On the road the turbo-diesel under the bonnet of the MU-X is a touch noisy but more than willing. As you might expect, acceleration off the line is a little dull but once the revs are up and the turbo is at work you really don’t want for any extra grunt.

The transmission is smooth and generally responsive, though can get just a little lost at times.

The ride in the MU-X is excellent; handling is surprisingly good for an SUV with genuine off-road ability too. One thing that may turn-off some buyers is the steering weight, some arm muscles are needed!

2014 Isuzu MU-X Review
2014 Isuzu MU-X Review.

Brakes, despite the pedal in the car I drove being a little spongy, are up to the job and visibility from the driver’s seat is impressive.

Inside the cabin you can see that the Isuzu MU-X shares many bits and pieces with the D-Max ute. This means everything fits well and is generally hard-wearing, though the feel isn’t as soft and warm as you might find in most other SUV’s.

Hard armrests and a rather hard steering wheel really bring the comfort levels down and the steering adjustment is tilt-only, though the seats are more comfortable than you might expect.

The gauges are clear and the driver info screen is both easy to read and easy to navigate. Points are lost in this grade of MU-X though with a lack of sat-nav and reversing camera, the stereo/infotainment screen is also terribly dated!

Thankfully space isn’t an issue. Legroom front and back is more than reasonable and the third row of seats could easily accommodate two adults.

2014 Isuzu MU-X Review
2014 Isuzu MU-X Review.

As with the MU-X’s distant cousin the Holden Colorado7 (both models were initially developed under the former GM/Isuzu alliance), the third row seats don’t fold out of the way and this is a disappointment.

Isuzu tries to blend the folded down seats into the cabin with a removable storage box fitted behind the seats, this tends to just highlight the deficiencies of the design though.

Despite this there is generally more than adequate storage space if the seats are folded down.

On another positive note, rear occupants get plenty of ventilation thanks to roof-mounted air vents.

There’s no compromise when it comes to safety – all variants of the Isuzu MU-X boast a five-star rating.

Summing it up; the Isuzu MU-X has a couple of weak points, but with really good pricing, genuine off-road ability, three-tonne (braked) towing capacity, generous warranty, adequate room for seven passengers and rugged good looks it should continue to find the driveways of many Australian families.

2014 Isuzu MU-X Review
2014 Isuzu MU-X Review.

NUTS and BOLTS

Engine: 3.0 litre turbo-diesel producing 130kW and 380Nm

Transmission: Five-speed manual or five-speed auto

Safety: Five stars

Warranty: 5yrs/130,000kms

Origin: Thailand

Price: From $40,500




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