2024 Isuzu MU-X LS-M, LS-U & LS-T (launch drive)

Isuzu has taken the covers off its 2024 MU-X range, and they have a little surprise for everyone. Alongside the existing 3.0-litre offering comes the same 1.9-litre turbo diesel that powers some variants of the D-MAX ute.

We got behind the wheel of the three new 1.9-litre models (4X2 LS-M, 4X4 LS-M and 4X4 LS-U), as well as the updated 3.0-litre offerings at the Australian media launch, held recently in Queensland.

Aimed at urban users and fleet buyers, the smaller-engine version sees improved fuel economy (down to 7.4-litres/100km) and an 80kg increase in payload, with the latter thanks to a lower driveline weight.

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The sacrifice comes in the form of a reduced braked towing capacity, down from 3,500kg to 3,000kg on these variants. There’s a slight price increase for the 3.0-litre version too, in a decision that Isuzu Ute Australia managing director Junta Matsui said was not taken lightly.

The positive is none of the ruggedness and tractability we’ve come to expect from the existing MU-X has been greatly impacted by the new drivetrain. The engine itself is willing, if not a little noisy, but this is something we’ve grown used to with Isuzu vehicles.

2024 Isuzu MU-X LS-M 4x4
Inside the 2024 Isuzu MU-X LS-M 4×4

Let’s face it, you don’t buy a diesel for its refinement – rather you purchase one for its efficiency and grunt. The baby 1.9-litre still displayed plenty of both during our testing, both on and off-road.

Official figures have it at 110kW of power and 350Nm of torque, with up to 300 of that on tap at 1,500rpm. These numbers are well down on the bigger engine, so it won’t be for everyone.

But if you’re not planning to add hundreds of kilos in mods, or tow large loads (like giant caravans), the 1.9-litre versions of the 2024 Isuzu MU-X could make for a great family car. Our two day testing regime demonstrated just that.

We were able to utilise a mix of both on and off-road routes, with a variety of inclines and declines. We got the chance to put both drivetrains through low and higher speed sections and even a slalom. Stability was good, as we’ve come to expect of the MU-X.

The off-road component consisted of a range of offset moguls, sharp inclines and declines and a gnarly water crossing. Each were designed to test articulation, off-road systems, and the approach and departure angles.

2024 Isuzu MU-X LS-M 1.9-litre
2024 Isuzu MU-X LS-M 1.9-litre

The moguls were a great opportunity to test out Rough Terrain mode, available when 4X4 is engaged. The system now works in conjunction with the rear diff lock, utilising traction control to maximize drive to the front wheels in instances of wheel lift.

The 4-cylinder 3.0-litre turbo diesel continues to offer 140kW of power and 450Nm of torque, paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission. As before, it comes with a 6-year/150,000km warranty, 7-years roadside assist and 7-years capped price servicing.

On the price front, things kick off at $47,400 for the LS-M 1.9-litre 4×2 (exactly $2,000 cheaper than the 3.0-litre version). The LS-U and LS-T 4×2 models only carry the latter engine and are $55,900 and $63,400 respectively.

For the 4×4’s, the LS-M 1.9-litre is $53,400 and the LS-U is $59,900. The balance of the range are 3.0-litre variants (LS-M, LS-U and LS-T) and are priced at $55,400, $61,900 and $69,400 respectively. All prices are plus on-roads.

The 3.0-litre LS-T is available at a special launch price of $67,990 drive away. You can build your own on the Isuzu Ute Australia website. If you’re keen on one, and need finance, talk to CreditOne.

2024 Isuzu MU-X LS-T
2024 Isuzu MU-X LS-T

Our test vehicles were provided as part of the Australian launch of the 2024 Isuzu MU-X and D-MAX ranges, for review purposes.

Kalen Ziflian
Kalen Ziflian
A lifelong motoring enthusiast, Kalen has a passion for anything with wheels and a motor. His passion lies in collectible Japanese performance vehicles but he’s been known to enjoy off-roading touring and camping across Australia.

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