Is the MU-X merely a reskinned Chevy?
If you're talking purely about the body, the Isuzu MU-X is a Chevrolet Trailblazer, just that the front and rear ends are fashioned with Isuzu's own apparel.
And like how the D-Max is separated from the Colorado pickup, this could be considered quite a good thing because many Isuzu fans tend to like the brand's more angular front (with LED daytime-running type) and rear lights over the Chevy's more restrained themes.
The same goes for the interior of the MU-X. It shares the same dashboard architecture with that of the Trailblazer, but gets Isuzu's bespoke panel dials.
And now that the Trailblazer has won praise for its versatile seven-seat layout _ it has a flat bed when the seats fold down _ Isuzu can now share the honour of having a highly practical interior when compared to other pickup-based SUVs such as the super-ageing Ford Everest and Toyota Fortuner, as well as the more contemporary Mitsubishi Pajero Sport.
Has it got the same chassis?
VGS Turbo comes in 177hp 3.0 and 136hp 2.5 forms.
Certainly, and that bodes well for the MU-X because the Trailblazer's five-link rear suspension proves to be provide the best handling and ride balance in its class.
The MU-X should be worlds apart to drive when compared to its MU-7 predecessor, which had an unnecessarily long body and a flawed chassis balance due to now-defunct rules stipulating that the wheelbase of a pickup-based SUV must measure at least 2,850mm and rear suspension must be of the leaf-spring type.
During the MU-X's world debut in Bangkok late last week, Isuzu stressed that the MU-X will be far more car-like to drive than the MU-7, thanks to more compact dimensions (2,845mm wheelbase and 4,825mm overall length) and tighter turning radius of 5.7m.
Given that Isuzu normally has a tendency to make its pickups easier to drive and more comfy on the move, the MU-X would have the chance to iron out the Trailblazer's slightly overdone steering and suspension set-up. Only after a drive in the MU-X can we verify this.
The engines come from the VGS Turbo family, right?
Exactly, and that's why you can't consider the MU-X as simply a rehashed Trailblazer. Isuzu has taken its proven (though, some might say ageing) 2.5- and 3.0-litre four-cylinder diesel-turbos from the D-Max and stuffed them into the MU-X producing 136hp/320Nm and 177hp/380Nm accordingly. Power is transferred via a five-speed automatic; four-wheel-drive is only available in the 3.0-litre version.
How much does the MU-X cost?
Tri Petch Isuzu Sales, the local distributor, is offering special introductory prices for the MU-X when it hits showrooms nationwide from Nov 6.
Prices kick out at 1.014 million baht for the 2.5 2WD and top out at 1.401 million for that sole 4x4 variant.
Safety items include dual airbags and various braking and chassis electronics, while rear parking camera tops the list of convenience features you can choose from.
Design of panel dials belongs to Isuzu.
MU-X’s lights are more angular than Chevy’s version.