Isuzu has revealed the second-generation MU-X, a large SUV based on the recently launched third-generation D-Max ute, but the difference between the two is greater than that of their predecessors.
Expected to launch in Australia late next year, the new MU-X stands out from D-Max crowd with its unique exterior styling, which now goes well above and beyond the usual bespoke rear ends to fully include the front as well as the side.
Inside, the differences are not quite as stark, although the seven-seat MU-X naturally features a third row of seating, while its middle seats are also not shared.
What mostly is, though, is the front row, including its 9.0-inch touchscreen multimedia system, which has wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support.
Similarly, the MU-X takes its new engines from the D-Max, including the 140kW/450Nm 3.0-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder diesel (4JJ3) flagship.
The choice of 4x2 or 4x4 drivetrains is expected to be on offer for the MU-X, with the latter coming with a rear differential lock, as per the D-Max.
However, unlike the D-Max which has a six-speed manual option, the MU-X comes with a six-speed torque-converter automatic (with paddle-shifters) as standard.
While the MU-X gets its new ladder-frame chassis from the D-Max, it separates itself with more comfortable independent double-wishbone front with five-link rear suspension with coil springs (in place of a leaf set-up).
Advanced driver-assist systems are common, including autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, lane departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control with stop and go functionality, high-beam assist and a reversing camera, among others.
For reference, the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport, Ford Everest and Toyota Fortuner rival is currently priced from $42,900 to $56,400 plus on-road costs, but expect it to move upmarket with its forthcoming significant increase in equipment.
For reference, while Mazda’s new BT-50 is a D-Max twin, the brand previously told CarsGuide it isn’t planning its own version of the related MU-X, so don’t get your hopes up for a slightly more premium spin-off.