THE 2022 Isuzu MU-X, tested here in its range topping LS-T form, has undergone some dramatic changes for the new model year, with a completely fresh look inside and out, a drop in weight, and the latest technology making it better than ever.
The Isuzu brand has always been loved for it’s reliability, forward thinking, and well, straight up no non-sense approach, which will go some way to explaining why this car, and its D-MAX siblings, are incredibly popular.
Don’t be fooled by the MU-X’s slick city looks though, it’s a proper off-road rig, and comes with 3.5-tonne braked towing as standard, packs seven seats, and is ready to be the next great Aussie long-haul adventurer.
Draped in Magnetic Red Mica, the all-you-can-eat LS-T is packed to the rafters with goodies, including a refreshed version of the 4JJ3 3.0-litre 4-cylinder diesel under the hood. A genuine workhorse, it now produces 140kW and 450Nm.
The enhancements have seen the official fuel consumption climb every so slightly from 7.9-litres/100km to 8.3-litres/100km. During our time with the MU-X, we averaged closer to 9.4-litres/100km, which is still pretty good.
The powerplant is mated to a 6-speed Aisin smooth shifting transmission. We have always been fans of this gearbox, along with, in this instance a part-time 4×4 transfer case. It’s worth noting that the MU-X is also available in a 4×2 configuration.
And like any other four-cylinder diesel engine playing in this space, the Isuzu version is relatively harsh and noisy despite the company’s best efforts, but it’s not too offensive. It has plenty of grunt for everyday driving.
The MU-X has a 2800kg GVM and 5900kg GCM, meaning it has a healthy 625kg payload. That said, it would be interesting to see how it towed with a family, luggage, and a 3.0-tonne caravan on the back.
Despite being derived from a ute, the MU-X LS-T has been tailored to give a more passenger-friendly ride, and absorbs bumps and ruts well. It does feel like it lurches through corners though, with a bit of body roll.
The inclusion of low profile tyres and 20-inch rims may aid the handling a little too. The suspension is soft and compliant, giving a comfortable driving experience, even if the steering feels overly light. A little more feedback through the wheel would be great.
The LS-T comes well equipped, and scores a 9.0-inch infotainment screen, wireless CarPlay connection, dual zone climate control, power adjustable leather seats which are heated up front, and a tyre-pressure monitoring system.
The MU-X also scores a power tailgate, but misses out on a sunroof as standard. It has the full IDAS safety suite, including lane keeping assist, autonomous emergency braking, automatic cruise control, and forward collision warning.
It also grabs lane departure warning and prevention, post collision braking, and turn assist, rear cross-traffic alert and traffic sign recognition.
The interior is a huge leap forward in terms of design and refinement over previous generations. It is now a much more modern space, and materials feel durable but soft to touch, in the important areas. The seats are reasonably comfortable too.
While they provide an adequate level of support, we’re really not sure if you would want to be in them for hours. That aside, the high driving position is nice, and provides a heightened level of confidence.
Second row seating, which provides plenty of leg and headroom, slides forward to provide access to the third row, where the kid friendly seats lift up from the floor. There are some flaws though, across the vehicle.
To start with, the menus and fonts used in the shiny new HD infotainment screen feel really outdated, and are difficult to operate while the car is in motion. A stack of options, including some very basic functions, are locked out while driving.
The safety systems are also overly intrusive, and make you a little agitated when they get excited over the littlest of things. It’s a great system, it just needs some sensitivity refinement. Our only other criticism is that the car as a whole feels a little bland.
The 2022 Isuzu MU-X LS-T hits the road at $64,640 drive away, and can be had in Mineral White, Magnetic Red Mica, Basalt Black Mica, Cobalt Blue Mica, Jasper Brown Mica, Obsidian Grey Mica, Mercury Silver Metallic and Moonstone White Pearl.
It hits showrooms this weekend and comes with the company’s 6-7-7 plan. This includes a 6-year 150,000km warranty, up to 7-years roadside assistance (if you service at a dealership) and 7-years capped price servicing.
You can build and price your own on the Isuzu Ute website. A large number of factory accessories are also available to help make your MU-X yours and unique.
Our 2022 Isuzu MU-X LS-T was provided by Isuzu Ute Australia. To find out more, contact your local Isuzu dealer.