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With the MU-7, Isuzu might have not gained a share of the full-size SUV cake, but it indeed made its presence felt with the D-Max V-Cross pickup (both in lifestyle and commercial segments). But with the new MU-X, the Japanese carmaker is looking at offering the Toyota Fortuner and Ford Endeavour’s prospective buyers a promising alternative.

Promising because it matches them in terms of basics. There’s a 3-litre engine, to start with, that makes 174.5 bhp and 38.74 kgm. It comes mated to a five-speed automatic gearbox, and should you feel the need to go off the road (as one must in an SUV), it’s also available with a 4×4 version, apart from the standard 4×2, that is.

Isuzu MU-X India launched

Like in the MU-7, it also gets a 10-inch DVD player for the rear passengers. Which reminds us, it can comfortably seat seven, and also has the option of folding any of the seats (in either of the last two rows) with a one-touch mechanism. The driver’s seat has a six-way mechanism to keep him content with the driving position.

What will make them happier is likely to be the shift on the fly 4×4 system, electronic nannies (TC, ESC, and ABS with EBD) to ensure he doesn’t overcook it, and a flat torque curve on the 3-litre engine. An angle of approach of 30.5 degrees, departure angle of 25.6 degrees, and a ramp break-over angle of 22.6 degrees will help enjoy the MU-X to the fullest when off the road.

Isuzu MU-X India interior

The stylish exterior is miles ahead of the MU-7, and so is the cabin, reminiscent of the Chevrolet Trailblazer’s (since they share the same platform). Keeping up with the times, it also gets ISOFIX child seat mounting points, and dual airbags up front along with seatbelt pre-tensioners for occupants’ safety.

Manufactured at Isuzu’s facility in Andhra Pradesh, the MU-X is priced at Rs 23.99 lakh for the 4×2 version and Rs 25.99 lakh for the 4×4 variant. All prices are ex-showroom, New Delhi.