Isuzu has updated its MU-X for the second time this year, with prices rising between $1000 and $1300 depending on the variant – but buyers are compensated with upgrades inside and out.
A redesigned front fascia includes LED headlights and daytime running lamps, while the rear-end receives new tail-light graphics with LED indicators. There is also a different look for the front and rear bumpers.
Inside, additions extend to soft-touch finishes throughout the cabin and an 8.0-inch multimedia system. Updated plastics for the dash and doors have also been applied, as well as silver, chrome and piano black highlights.
According to the Japanese car-maker, an Aussie-led push has resulted in reduced noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) levels – now five per cent quieter than before – as well as the lift in interior quality.
Two- and four-wheel-drive options are retained for the three-row, seven-seat SUV line-up, with three model grades – LS-M, LS-U and LS-T – on offer across both drivelines.
Non-flagship 4x4 versions are available with either a six-speed automatic transmission or manual gearbox. Elsewhere, the auto is standard fair.
The 4x2 LS-M range-opener jumps by $1000 to $42,800 plus on-road costs, while the top-spec 4x4 LS-T sets customers back $56,100 – which represents a $1300 increase over the model that was updated back in February.
These changes follow the preceding upgrade from earlier this year where Isuzu introduced a more efficient version of the MU-X's 3.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder diesel engine – which helped make it compliant with Euro 5 emissions standards.
Torque rose by 50Nm to a heady 430Nm thanks to a new piston design, fuel injectors and variable geometry turbocharger. However, the unit's power output remained at 130kW.
As well, an all-new six-speed Aisin-built automatic replaced the outgoing MU-X's five-speed unit at the time. Alternatively, an in-house-designed six-speed manual was added too.
Fuel consumption continues to be rated at 7.9 litres per 100 kilometres on the combined cycle test.
Standard equipment for the base LS-M includes a reversing camera, parking sensors, 16-inch alloys and cloth interior, while the mid-spec LS-U adds satellite navigation, rear roof vents, 18-inch rims, rear privacy glass and side steps.
Meanwhile, the flagship LS-T offers leather-appointed upholstery, keyless entry with push-button start, electric driver's seat, roof rails and a rear spoiler.
All variants come with the maximum five-star safety rating for the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP).
A number of the MU-X's upgrades – including its pairing of the 3.0-litre turbo-diesel with six-speed Aisin auto – are exclusive to Australia, which is the Thai-built SUV's number one export market.
Has Isuzu done enough to help maintain the popularity of its MU-X in the hotly contested seven-seat SUV segment? Tell us what you think in the comments below.