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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist

Wait over: Chiseled and sharper Isuzu MU-X comes out of hiding

Rival for the Toyota Fortuner, Ford Everest, Mitsubishi Pajero Sport and Mahindra Scorpio-N recieves a new look and tech, no change up front.

Teased by way of a single image last week, Isuzu has opted against a prolonged campaign by debuting the significantly upgraded MU-X in Thailand.

New look for Fortuner rival

Its first mid-life update since being unveiled four years ago, the changes to Isuzu’s rival for the Toyota Fortuner, Ford Everest, Mitsubishi Pajero and Mahindra Scorpio-N don’t involve any mechanical changes, but does include a new off-road variant called the RS.

ALSO READ: Subtly dropped as Isuzu teases more extensively updated MU-X

Billed as “the next peak” by the Japanese brand, the external change derive selectively from the updated D-Max, but not fully as Isuzu given it a model specific grille, unique headlights and a redesigned front bumper with new fog lamp bezels.

Isuzu officially debuts facelift MU-X
Redesign sees the light arraignment being almost identical to that of the Audi RS7. Image: Isuzu Thailand

Along with the Isuzu badge moving from the upper section of the grille to top of the bumper below the bonnet line, the alloy wheels have been restyled with sizes ranging from 17 to 20-inches.

In addition, the taillights now feature a look similar to the Audi RS7 Sportback and Q8 by combining the new clusters with central full length LED light bar.

Isuzu officially debuts facelift MU-X
RS badge now features on the MU-X after having been used in the past on the Frontera and Trooper. Image: Isuzu Thailand

Unique to the RS – a moniker once used on the original Frontera and Trooper – is a studded RS-badged grille, black wheel arch cladding, gloss black mirror caps and window surrounds, an optional black roof, RS badged side vents and 20-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels with lime green detailing around the hub caps.

New inside

Inside, the redesign is modelled on the D-Max and consists of a new seven-inch digital instrument cluster on all models, more premium materials and a change from type-A to type-C USB ports.

Newly facelift Isuzu MU-X revealed
Part of the revised interior is the dual-tone interior colour likely to be reserved for the Thai-spec Ultimate variant. Image: Isuzu Thailand

As with the D-Max, the infotainment systems have also been revised to include a pair of physical dials, but no longer the side-mounted shortcut buttons replaced by touch-sensitive switches instead.

Now equipped with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, the displays still measure seven or nine-inches, although for the first time, it projects a 360-degree surround-view image albeit on the RS only.

Newly facelift Isuzu MU-X revealed
New surround-view camera system has only been afforded to the flagship RS. Image: Isuzu Thailand

Also reserved for the latter is a transparent bonnet-view and the same Rough Road setting as on the D-Max V-Cross.

Furthering the RS’s specific touches are red graphics within the instrument cluster, matte silver accents, a red ambient light and black leather upholstery with lime green RS badged front headrests.

Newly facelift Isuzu MU-X revealed
Unique to the RS is the red mood lighting and leather upholstered seats. Image: Isuzu Thailand

On the safety side, and depending on the trim level that comprises four grades in Thailand, Isuzu has equipped the MU-X with Driver Attention Alert, Traffic Jam Assist, Lane Keep Assist, Rear Cross Traffic Alert with Automatic Braking, Lane Departure Warning and Automatic Emergency Braking.

No power change

Up front, the rumoured new mild-hybrid assisted 2.2-litre turbodiesel engine has again failed materialise, meaning an unchanged powertrain line-up of the RZ4E-TC 1.9-litre BluePower that produces 110kW/350Nm, and the 4JJ3-TCX 3.0-litre DDI that makes 140kW/450Nm.

In both instances, a six-speed automatic now resides as the sole transmission option as the six-speed manual reserved for base models has been dropped.

What’s more, only the RS can be had with four-wheel-drive, but only as an option as rear-wheel-drive is standard across the range.

Wait starts

Priced from 1 184 000 baht (R593 586) for the 1.9 Active to 1 759 000 baht (R881 857) for the four-wheel-drive RS – the other grades being Elegant and Ultimate – the MU-X’s colour palette includes a new hue called Eiger Grey Opaque.

Making-up the rest of the chart is Dolomite White Pearl, Iceberg Silver Mica, Bohemian Silver Mica, Bavarian Black Mica and Etna Red Mica.

For the time being, Isuzu South Africa has not yet confirmed the facelift MU-X for the local market, though should approval be given, expect it to either arrive by year-end or in early 2025.

Additional information from headlightmag.com.

NOW READ: Newly added mid-spec 4WD Isuzu MU-X shows top isn’t always best

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