After being in development for some time now, the all-new 2021 Isuzu MU-X has just been launched in Thailand. The second-generation iteration of Isuzu’s 7-seater SUV is built on the same body-on-frame platform as the latest D-Max pickup truck. First introduced back in 2013, the mid-size MU-X was the Japanese automaker’s second attempt at making a family-friendly but utilitarian SUV – the first was the MU-7. Though the Isuzu MU-X has only been offered in a few select countries, Chevrolet has used the MU-X’s underpinnings for its more prevalent Colorado and Trailblazer models. Isuzu had sold the earlier model of the MU-X in India for a while, though it was discontinued entirely when the new BS6 emission norms were enforced earlier this year. The automaker has been mulling over the upgrade of the outgoing MU-X to BS6 standards for a while.
However, since an all-new avatar is already available, it would make more sense for Isuzu to launch that in India. Not only will this process save the company some time and money, but buyers would rather have the new model than go with the now outdated one. Parked next to each other, you will be able to notice the size difference between the outgoing model and the 2021 MU-X. To begin with, the new version is longer, wider, and taller – measuring 4,850mm in length, 1,870mm in width, and 1,875mm in height. Also, its wheelbase of 2,855mm is 10mm more than the old car. On the styling front, the 2021 Isuzu MU-X looks noticeably sharper and more modern than its predecessor. Simple and gentle curves have now given way to stronger contours along with more pronounced ridges and creases. The new MU-X will have no trouble gaining attention.
The 2021 MU-X also gets larger wheel arches & flared fenders, a raised hood, and a more menacing-looking front fascia with sharper headlamps and LED running lights. The side profile has been completely revised, too. It is now sleeker and has a more conventional window line, while the D-pillar integrates better into the overall design of this SUV. The wrap-around rear window has been supplanted with a traditional glass piece and definitely looks more cohesive than before. Just as with the headlamps, the tail lamps’ segmented units also feature modern LEDs and have a more eye-pleasing design in general. The rear bumper sports a satin silver faux skid plate and well-integrated fog lamps at the bottom. While the old MU-X was a bit of a lumbering hunk of metal, the all-new 2021 iteration has donned its coming-of-age suit and looks all set to rumble.
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If you were impressed by its exterior façade, the interior of the 2021 Isuzu MU-X would not let you down, either. The old model’s utilitarian and plasticky gloom-room has been thrown out the window, now replaced by a contemporary and upmarket setup. Everything, from the leather-clad upholstery, multifunction steering wheel, driver’s instrument display, and the touchscreen infotainment system, is all new. Furthermore, there are metal-accented switches for the HVAC system (like the ones you see in some Mercs), while the center pedestal also sports Porsche-style buttons around the gear lever. Meanwhile, stitched leather covers the dashboard, door pads, and seats of the 2021 MU-X. Quality of materials and the overall touch & feel seems to have been thoroughly upgraded for sure. Well done, Isuzu. Moreover, splashes of silver accents and piano black inserts on some of the surfaces look stylish and make this cabin feel brighter and livelier.
Isuzu has brought in newer and more advanced features and equipment on the 2021 MU-X. It now comes with smart entry with push-button start, remote engine start, 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, electric parking brake with an auto-hold feature, dual-zone automatic climate control, cruise control, electrically-operated & closing wing mirrors, and a 9-inch touchscreen infotainment head unit with Android Auto & Apple CarPlay. Some variants will also get a power-operated tailgate, auto-dimming rearview mirror, ventilated front seats, paddle shifters, a premium audio system, and automatic bi-LED headlamps. The 2021 MU-X’s safety standards have been raised, too. It now encompasses radar-guided cruise control, Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) with pedestrian detection, Blind Spot Warning (BSW), Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), Speed Sign Recognition, and even a segment-first central airbag between the front seats.
Being a modern-day 4×4, the 2021 Isuzu MU-X is loaded with driver-assistant features when the going gets tough. For example, there is an on-the-fly four-wheel-drive system with Isuzu’s Terrain Command software plus a rear differential lock. Further assistance comes from a dedicated low-range setup for the gearbox, which will tailor engine response and mitigate unnecessary wheel spin.
Propulsion for this big SUV is provided by a no-nonsense four-cylinder, 3.0-liter turbocharged diesel engine. It puts out 187hp and a healthy 450Nm of maximum torque and is exclusively mated to a 6-speed automatic torque converter. Meanwhile, the primary driven wheels are at the back – the front ones called into action as & when required. Certain markets will also get a smaller 1.9-liter four-cylinder diesel engine that is rated at 148hp and 350Nm. In all likelihood, the 2021 Isuzu MU-X should make it to India next year.
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