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Old 5th July 2017, 00:30   #1
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Default My Isuzu MU-X 4x4 Automatic

I am in a search for a 4X4 SUV with automatic transmission from the past 1 year. I had a look at Ford Endeavor - a very impressive SUV and got a chance to drive my friends 3.2 AT 4X4, but the leather dashboard put me off. In a tropical country like India, how long will the leather on the dashboard last? May be a couple of years and the harsh sunlight will take its revenge sooner or later. Then Toyota launched the mighty all new Fortuner. I was swept off my feet looking at it. Loved it immensely and started to gather my finances for a black 4X4 AT Fortuner. My cousin got his 4X2 AT and I got a chance to drive it. Very much impressed by it, but I noticed even Fortuner has a leather wrapped speedometer console which held me back. I will use the SUV for at least 5-7 years hence started to think.

On May 15th, I was at Hyderabad, and went to check out the newly launched MUX from Isuzu. I had no intention to buy it at that moment as I was waiting to take my call on the Fortuner. I was impressed with the second row seat comfort and flat folding 2nd and 3rd row seats which can be made as a comfortable bed for 2 adults. I need that bed on wheels for my long drives. Asked for a test drive, but no test-drive vehicle available at that point of time. Returned back to my home town, and on the way stopped at Vijayawada Isuzu showroom and got the same reply for a test drive. After 10 days, Mahavir motors Vijayawada send me an MU-X 4X4 AT for a test drive, I took a 120 kms test drive both on road and offroad and was pretty much impressed with the vehicle and knew that this is the vehicle I was looking for all these days. My special thanks to Shibu Vargheese aka Jeep captain with whose help I got the test drive, another person who helped me is Mr Varun Jabhak MD of Mahavir autos for his prompt response of arranging the test drive. After all the Horror stories read and the experiences with Mahavir motors (Skoda), the interaction with Varun Jabhak is a very pleasant one. He did not leave any stone unturned to get things done, very impressive. Sales people and staff are still in the Skoda mode of Mahavir Motors and forget that they are dealing with a Japanese giant.

On 20th June I got the beast delivered at my door steps, This machine has got the presence and capability to chew and swallow both Ford and Toyota (no offence to Ford and Toyota owners and fans as I am also one of them)

What I like

Road presence.
Ride quality.
Huge and spacious cabin.
Superb comfort for a ladder on frame chassis.
Power and torque delivery of the motor.
Dashboard design.
Quality of plastics and materials used in the cabin.
5 speed AT gear box gets the work done in a perfect manner.
Turning radius is very good, you have to try it to believe what i mean.
Ground clearance.
Metal skid plate for the engine and gearbox.
LCD screen for 2nd row.
Price (Isuzu has priced it very realistically).
Service intervals of 10000 kms or one year, oil change at 20000 kms or every 2yrs is the longest and best.
Only 2 variants 4X4 AT and 4X2 AT both are fully loaded, hence no confusion.
Isuzu 4JJ1 engine has a life span of 7 lac kms.

What I don't like

Only 2 airbags, 6-7 airbags are the segment standard now.
Decibel levels of the motor is on the higher side when floored.
Did not launch the 6 speed AT gearbox which is on sale in the south east Asian markets for 2017 models.
Power steering is heavy, Isuzu should have gone for an electric setup.
No apple car play and android auto for the HU.
LCD screen can be used only with DVDs, need to play videos from USB and Bluetooth streaming
No USB ports for 2nd and 3rd row of passengers, its a criminal mistake which cannot be forgiven.
Missing sunroof (I love the sunroof personally).
Only 4 exterior colours to choose from.

Exterior

Looks fantastic from every angle, According to me this is the best looking SUV right now else I would not have put my hard earned money on it.

My Isuzu MU-X 4x4 Automatic-img_4640.jpg

My Isuzu MU-X 4x4 Automatic-img_4641.jpg

My Isuzu MU-X 4x4 Automatic-img_4642.jpg

My Isuzu MU-X 4x4 Automatic-img_4293.jpg

My Isuzu MU-X 4x4 Automatic-img_4298.jpg

My Isuzu MU-X 4x4 Automatic-img_4310.jpg

My Isuzu MU-X 4x4 Automatic-img_4306.jpg

Interiors

Elegant interiors which are soothing to the eye, I personally like the black dashboard and black interiors, would love to have all black interior for this car. This car has good ergonomics as all the necessary controls fall to your fingertips very easily. Silver inserts on steering wheel look out of place, Isuzu should have gone the V Cross way for this.

My Isuzu MU-X 4x4 Automatic-gptempdownload.jpg

Driver seat is electrically adjustable and you sit comfortable and high above, 2nd row is where MUX excels - good under thigh support, lot of knee, shoulder and head room. 3rd row is better than the competition is what I can say.

Visibility from the driver's seat is very good as the dashboard sits low and there is plenty of glass area all around. Rear view mirror gives good visibility to driver as there are no obstructing things. Side mirrors on the front doors are big and clear which helps further.

Only pain is the drivers left foot rest, its small and poorly designed. You can keep your left foot beside the brake pedal comfortably rather than on the foot rest.

My Isuzu MU-X 4x4 Automatic-gptempdownload-1.jpg

My Isuzu MU-X 4x4 Automatic-gptempdownload-2.jpg

My Isuzu MU-X 4x4 Automatic-gptempdownload-3.jpg

Driving experience

Did 2904 odd kms till now. This SUV is all about a capable 4X4 performance and comfort with a very responsive motor, never felt the need for more power even on highways, 177bhp is adequate. City driving is very relaxed and comfortable. Highway stability is rock solid in a straight line, MU-X hates winding roads and twists. Not to forget its a heavy ladder on frame SUV with a high center of gravity. If you love to floor it on curves, get ready to get a heart attack.

Gearbox and 4 Wheel drive

Automatic gearbox is easy to use. Gear shifts are smooth. Sequential shift is the manual mode of the gearbox, its fun to use and holds on to the gear confidently while offroading. MU-X has a capable 4X4 system with low range transfer case, which is confidence inspiring. Isuzu should have given differential locks or atleast LSD for the rear. With these additions, MU-X will be the best package available in the country.

My Isuzu MU-X 4x4 Automatic-img_4367.jpg

Ride quality

This is where the MU-X shines, and beats Ford and Toyota hands down. Suspension is super supple and MU-X glides over bad roads and potholes, truly built for Indian roads. 255/65 R17 Bridgestone Duellers do a good job, did not feel the need to upgrade, Multispoke Diamond cut alloys from Isuzu look good. If you are chauffeur driven then you are going to travel first class.

My Isuzu MU-X 4x4 Automatic-img_4601.jpg

Braking

With all 4 discs, braking is good and confident, ABS does a good job on this heavy SUV.

Handling

This is not a sedan. Keep in mind that this a Ladder on frame SUV. Excellent highway cruiser is what I can say which handles Indian roads with a smile. Be calm around corners though.

AC

This is the most important thing for any car in a tropical country like India. The A/C has dedicated ac vents for all the three rows, chills the cabin in no time. Rear ac controls ON / OFF switch is located behind on the dashboard to the left of the steering wheel .

Audio and video

Very basic touch screen unit, Bluetooth connectivity is quick and easy. No navigation available. Streaming music from your phone is seamless. Only DVDs can be played on the LCD screen. Video is played on both Head unit and 2nd row LCD when in parking mode. Head unit stops playing video when in D, R modes of the transmission, but video plays on the LCD monitor. Quality of audio is decent from the 8 speaker unit. This system doesn't play videos from pen drive too (only music is played from pen drive ).

Rear view camera is just ok, nothing great. The line markings of your tyres on the screen does not bend with your steering position.

Ground clearance

220 mm of ground clearance is very useful on our roads .

Fuel tank capacity

65 liters, it looks tiny compared to this beast. It should have been 80 liters or more.

Boot space

235 liters with all three rows standing up, can accommodate couple of duffel bags or small suitcases.

878L with 3rd row seats folded.
1830L with 2nd and 3rd row folded - its your mobile home with a bed for two adults .

Kitna deti hai

City, it hovers between 7-9 kmpl.
Highway its 11 kmpl.
After first oil change, fuel efficiency should improve by a couple of kms.

Quality of after sales service

Still did not get to experience this. Hope to be good as always before buying a new car.

Cost of upkeep and maintenance

Cost of maintenance over a period of 10 yrs is unbelievable, its cheaper than a Maruti Swift. This can be the key factor for Isuzu's success in India if service is good.

Still my first service interval is a long time away, and first oil and filter change is long long away.

My Isuzu MU-X 4x4 Automatic-img_4636.jpg

My verdict

Isuzu got all the basics right and perfect, at this price point Isuzu don't have any competition right now. If marketed properly and get the after sales service right, there is nothing that can stop Isuzu in India. You can't go wrong with this Isuzu. Isuzu launched its 2017 facelift in southeast Asian markets, but its more bulbous. Indian model looks more crisp.

Get the fluids and filters changed, and you can drive from your home to Singapore and back. This is a true overland expedition vehicle.

If you are a resident of Andhra Pradesh, you will jump with joy for the price you get it onroad (due to state-given tax concessions). Its 25,68,000/- on road for a 4X4 AT.

Isuzu must ramp up its production. There is only one assembly line which manufactures both V Cross and MU-X. Maximum number of produced vehicles are allotted to north India, hence severe shortage of vehicles in the south. A city like Vijayawada is getting only 3 vehicles per month - that's ridiculous (information given by the dealer).

My family Verdict

My daughter and wife love its 2nd row of seats for its comfort and the LCD screen. My daughter likes folding the last row of seats along with one 2nd row seat to make a comfortable bed on the move. Its like watching her favorite cartoon while lying down comfortably on her bed. This Isuzu is a mini caravan and its up to you and your family to make it as comfortable as possible.

I am still waiting for a complete official Team-BHP review.

Dear Team-BHP, get your hands on this fantastic SUV as soon as possible.

I will update my observations and experiences as I drive this SUV more.

Last edited by navin : 12th July 2017 at 12:14. Reason: Taking live
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Old 12th July 2017, 11:52   #2
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Default Re: My Isuzu MU-X 4x4 Automatic

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Initial Ownership Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 12th July 2017, 12:15   #3
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Default Re: My Isuzu MU-X 4x4 Automatic

drbones, congratulations on the MU-X. A superb SUV of course. Nice review there. Indeed, for a 25L OTR car, giving 2 airbags is laughable. Simply from a perception perspective, they should have given curtain airbags.

Nice pictures! You have a wonderfully maintained home too (assuming its your place).

Wish you & the family unlimited safe & happy miles with the king of the roads. I hope travelogues will be regular considering you have an MU-X now. It will be as bad as giving 2 airbags if you don't come up with regular travelogues on TBHP .
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Old 12th July 2017, 12:51   #4
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Default Re: My Isuzu MU-X 4x4 Automatic

Thanks Reinhard, Its a criminal mistake on the part of Isuzu to settle with just 2 airbags. Minimum 6 airbags are industry standard in that segment.
Yes its my home.
Will try to update as and when i travel.
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Old 12th July 2017, 13:03   #5
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Default Re: My Isuzu MU-X 4x4 Automatic

A small drive to a near by beach last sunday, MU X excels on sand, its as good as my gypsy. With more comfort and luxury.

My Isuzu MU-X 4x4 Automatic-19894690_1710241882338070_7463662482401764270_n.jpg

My Isuzu MU-X 4x4 Automatic-19905250_1710241889004736_7168237361920001849_n.jpg

My Isuzu MU-X 4x4 Automatic-19875326_1710241899004735_5402843220245949372_n.jpg
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Old 12th July 2017, 15:53   #6
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Default Re: My Isuzu MU-X 4x4 Automatic

Very well written review. Izuzu definitely has a big market in India if they have the Sales & Service (more the service) properly sorted out and importance given for.

Impressed seeing the maintenance figures. What are the free service option - 1 year / 3 services is it? Would love to hear after your first service experience.

How much space remains with the 3rd row seats 'ON'? Can 2 suitcases be stacked up or does it have the space like a XUV with the last seat ON?
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Old 12th July 2017, 15:53   #7
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Default Re: My Isuzu MU-X 4x4 Automatic

Congratulations drbones for the ride. And thanks a lot for putting this review in a short span of time.
You have even clocked decent odometer reading within this short span, seems like you are enjoying every bit of it.

ISUZU is more of a practical choice in comparison to Endeavour and Fortuner which are packed with more Gadgets and electronic aids. Rather than a few basic miss (Navigation, Power Ports for 2nd/3rd row) and lack of airbags, everything seems perfect especially when it get down to the finances. Looks good to have more viable and economically feasible option for the SUV fans besides the other two heavy-weights.
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Old 12th July 2017, 16:42   #8
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At 25.68 lakh on road I would say it's a steal in Andhra Pradesh. I think that would be 10L cheaper than the competition the 4*4 AT variants of the fortuner and the endeavour at the pre gst prices. At that price I feel it's a great deal and the lack of features will not be a big deal since the car is mechanically as good as the other two. But I feel Isuzu has priced it a bit too high in the other states where it's within 5L of the other two and the Fortuner with its much better resale and after sales reach along with being feature rich will make it difficult for the Mux to sell in decent numbers outside AP. Still for your purpose and place of residence I think you got the best car. Hope you enjoy the beast to the fullest.
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Old 12th July 2017, 16:43   #9
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Default Re: My Isuzu MU-X 4x4 Automatic

Amazing Review drbones. The MU-X seems like a well packaged and extremely capable SUV. What was the total on-road price of this beast???
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Old 12th July 2017, 18:06   #10
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Default Re: My Isuzu MU-X 4x4 Automatic

Congratulations drbones.

Two question on steering
  • How's the steering for feel
  • and ease of use, say, for a woman?

Btw, I dislike the alloy. It looks out of place for a butch SUV. But these days every carmaker seem to be after this type of design, Hyundai and Honda has similar ones.
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Old 12th July 2017, 20:01   #11
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Default Re: My Isuzu MU-X 4x4 Automatic

Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonblr View Post

Impressed seeing the maintenance figures. What are the free service option - 1 year / 3 services is it? Would love to hear after your first service experience.

How much space remains with the 3rd row seats 'ON'? Can 2 suitcases be stacked up or does it have the space like a XUV with the last seat ON?
Jasonbir , there is nothing called as free service with Isuzu, but service costs are reasonable as per their list .
with 3rd row up, boot cam accommodate 2 medium sized suitcases.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Highh5 View Post

ISUZU is more of a practical choice in comparison to Endeavour and Fortuner which are packed with more Gadgets and electronic aids.
Highh5, MU X is the most practical and no nonsense SUV at that price point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ToyotaFan View Post
At 25.68 lakh on road I would say it's a steal in Andhra Pradesh.
Still for your purpose and place of residence I think you got the best car. Hope you enjoy the beast to the fullest.
I can also say its a steal for that price.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yash98 View Post
Amazing Review drbones. The MU-X seems like a well packaged and extremely capable SUV. What was the total on-road price of this beast???
Thanks Yash.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteKnight View Post
Congratulations drbones.

Two question on steering
  • How's the steering for feel
  • and ease of use, say, for a woman?

Btw, I dislike the alloy. It looks out of place for a butch SUV. But these days every carmaker seem to be after this type of design, Hyundai and Honda has similar ones.
WhiteKnight Steering is heavy at low speeds, but nothing like can't live with it.
Alloys are even to my dislike, i like straight 6 spoke models.
Its a big size suv, but driving is very easy due to low slung dashboard and high seating position. MU X should be good for women to drive.
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Old 12th July 2017, 20:42   #12
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Drbones- many congratulations for an awesome car!

I only feel Isuzu should have given us the latest avatar of MUX, my feeling only!!

They make very capable vehicles and like Fortuner are customizable, as you progress along!

Happy Motoring !!
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Old 12th July 2017, 21:01   #13
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Default Re: My Isuzu MU-X 4x4 Automatic

Heartiest Congratulations for the beast!
Its one of the best riding SUVs out there.
Wish you many happy motoring miles ahead.
Drive Safe!
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Old 12th July 2017, 21:21   #14
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Default Re: My Isuzu MU-X 4x4 Automatic

Congrats for the new car! I never knew until now, that Isuzu manufactured an SUV as well until I read this review. Looks really good from every angle and the beige interiors really go down well with the overall look of the car. Only the steering looks plasticky and out of place in such a well packaged SUV. Otherwise it's a beauty.

Enjoy driving the car!
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Old 13th July 2017, 08:35   #15
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Default Re: My Isuzu MU-X 4x4 Automatic

Congratulations, @drbones, on a very sensible choice.

I saw a silver example just yesterday and was quite impressed.If you look carefully, the side profile resembles that of a Pajero Sport.

Hope service remains tops ; the beast will, always, remain tops.
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