OBJECTIVELY, and in comparison tests, the old – in every sense of the word – Isuzu MU-X came bottom of the ute-based large SUV pack, but in the sales charts it was by far the winner, even outselling popular urban-oriented options such as the Hyundai Santa Fe.
Those who parked one in their garage were charmed by the anti-progress, workhorse-like character and loved their agricultural-feeling Isuzus to bits. An old-fashioned SUV backed by old-fashioned customer service (the brand’s trophy cabinet bulges with awards to this effect).
But will this technology-packed, sleeker and slicker – inside and out – new MU-X appeal to fans of its rough-edged, honest-to-goodness predecessor?
Soaring sales of the latest D-Max, from which the new MU-X is derived, say yes. There’s also likely a rich seam of new customers who were put off by the previous model’s back-to-basics nature but could be persuaded by this new one’s freshness, features and capabilities.
We tested the top-spec LS-T 4×4 to find out if the new MU-X retains enough of the first-generation’s spirit to keep loyal customers happy while being good enough to attract new ones.