New MU-X revealed: Isuzu’s Fortuner rival

2017-03-23 06:03
 Photo: suppliedThe Isuzu MU-X, available since 2012, and now updated with a longer nose, new grille, LEDs everywhere and 18" alloys.

Photo: suppliedThe Isuzu MU-X, available since 2012, and now updated with a longer nose, new grille, LEDs everywhere and 18" alloys.

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

IT is a crushing disappointment and one GMSA knows well, as its Trailblazer continues to underperform against

Toyota 's Fortuner and Ford's Everest.

Though it has been the supreme bakkie-based SUV in

South Africa for more than a decade, don’t err by thinking Fortuner was the first. It wasn’t.
Isuzu’s Frontier originally established the five-door bakkie-evolved SUV market locally in the late 1990s. 

Somehow, South Africans weren’t interested in a station wagon version of KB280 at the time, and it faded from Isuzu’s inventory, leaving a niche

Toyota handsomely exploited, effectively killing-off the Japanese luxury sedan car as an option in SA too. 

Considering the buoyancy of the five-door, seven-seat SUV market in 2017, would South Africans perhaps be more open to a Frontier revival?
There is a thread of reasoning that supposes an Isuzu badge on a five-door bakkie-based wagon would have more cachet to South African buyers, than the Chevrolet Trailblazer currently does. And fit to purpose, such a vehicle does exist.

The Isuzu MU-X, available since 2012, and now updated with a longer nose, new grille, LEDs everywhere and 18" alloys. In principle Isuzu’s version of the Trailblazer, MU-X features two powertrains: the 3.0-litre turbodiesel we know in KB locally (130kW/430Nm) and Isuzu’s new, 1.9-litre 110/350Nm.
? Both engines have the option of either self-shifting or manual six-speed gearboxes, but the 1.9 Tdi will only be offered in rear-wheel drive.

With 230mm of ground clearance, a steel sump guard and slider plate for transfer case protection, MU-X is ruggedly capable, with the credentials for true Safari tyre sojourns intoBotswana, Mozambique or

Namibia

Inside you can identify the GM parts bin bits, which do their best to harmonise and evolve Isuzu’s ergonomic and infotainment offering and like its rivals, there are no less than seven-seats

Outsells Fortuner in Oz

They’re notably popular in a market very similar in application to ours (Australia) and with Isuzu’s storied history in South Africa, isn’t the timing better for an Isuzu seven-seater SUV now, than it perhaps was two decades ago?
How well rated is MU-X Down Under? In 2016, it outsold Fortuner and Everest.

Isuzu, what are you waiting for?

Observers will point to a conflict of interest, having competing brands in the same market: both Trailblazer and MU-X.
But in Australia

, where they drive on the same side of the road, and SUV owners have a similar sense of adventure to South Africans, both vehicles are in the market and the Isuzu does a very brisk trade in MU-Xs. 

Due to reach Australia

by mid-year, South African Isuzu fans must be wondering why in the world GMSA’s not bothering to bring it here. 

• We don’t consider the Sani as South Africa

’s original bakkie-based SUV because it was a part-aftermarket, fibreglass solution.

- Wheels24

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
Partner Content
Travel Dreams? Where would you rather be right now?

Partnered: Whether you're missing family overseas, dreaming of family adventures or romantic hideaways we all have that one place we'd rather be right now - but have you thought about the best way to get there?

/News
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.