We've seen the patent photos. We've seen the teaser campaign. After weeks of waiting, it's finally out.
Say hello to the 2021 Isuzu mu-X, and it's ready to pick a fight with the Toyota Fortuner, Mitsubishi Montero Sport, Nissan Terra, and Ford Everest.
Unlike its competitors, the 2021 mu-X isn't a facelift or heavily revamped model. Instead, it's all-new from bumper to bumper, right down to the chassis and engines. The second-generation mu-X rides on the same platform as the third-generation D-Max pick-up.
For the all-new mu-X, Isuzu decided to give it a different look from its pick-up counterpart. Instead of applying the same front end as the D-Max, the mu-X has its distinct design. There are some elements of the D-Max present, but overall, the look is unique to this SUV. For instance, the grille is noticeably smaller, and the panel surrounding it is more prominent. Also, the bumper is less angular than the one found in the D-Max.
Isuzu even made the fenders and doors unique to this model. Whereas the D-Max features relatively flat panels, the mu-X has more character lines on the sides. There's a defined line that runs through the doors and rear quarter panels, which is a significant departure from the current model. Then there's the third window, connected to the side windows instead of the tailgate.
The most dramatic change is at the rear. The 2021 mu-X resembles little to the soon to be outgoing version. Also, the taillights are slimmer and, the license plate holder lower. Last but not least are the bumpers, which bucks the trend of angular corners for a more rounded look.
Now for the interior, and it's much like the D-Max. It seems that Isuzu has upmarket aspirations for the new-generation mu-X with its cabin design. The dashboard features a more dynamic theme, and the airconditioning controls are now switches instead of dials. Even the gear selector gets a bit more flair, with a glossy, black finish at the top and a leather shift boot. On top of that, the new multi-information display on the instrument cluster is larger than before and features high-definition graphics.
The all-new mu-X also packs a host of safety and semi-autonomous driving technologies. The 2021 mu-X is available with lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, rear-cross traffic alert, blind-spot monitoring, pedal misapplication mitigation, and even multi-collision braking. Also included are six airbags, along with stability control, hill-start assist, traction control, and hill descent control.
There are two turbodiesel options available for the 2021 mu-X. The base engine is the familiar 1.9-liter mill used in the soon to be outgoing model. Dubbed the RZ4E, it's good for 150 PS and 350 Nm of torque and uses either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic.
On the other hand, high-spec versions of the mu-X use an updated version of the 3.0-liter engine. It makes more power than before, putting out 190 PS and 450 Nm of torque. That's an increase of 13 PS and 70 Nm of torque over the previous generation. The 3.0-liter turbodiesel shifts with a six-speed automatic. Four-wheel-drive is available with the larger engine option. Speaking of four-wheel-drive, you can ford deeper floods with its wading capacity rising from 600 mm to 800 mm.
Now that it's out, just one question remains: When will it land in the Philippines? Given that the all-new D-Max isn't out here yet, we might have to wait a little longer. We could be looking at either a mid-2021 or early 2022 launch for the next-generation mu-X.