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2017 ISUZU MU-X – Seven updates that are actually worth your money

The Isuzu MU-X has proven to be a hit with families and off-road tourers, but it wasn’t without faults. Cabin NVH levels, the use of hard plastics and the lack of a 6-speed automatic gearbox held it back compared to the competition. Well, the 2017 Isuzu MU-X has just been released, and we were among the first to drive it; on-road, off-road and towing a decent load. Here are seven reasons we believe the 2017 Isuzu MU-X is an improved vehicle over the model it replaces.

The 2017 Isuzu MU-X
The 2017 Isuzu MU-X updates have built onto a solid and successful seven-seat 4WD wagon.

1: REDUCED ENGINE NOISE

One of the biggest complaints of the previous MU-X was NVH levels inside the cabin. The first thing you notice when starting the 2017 Isuzu MU-X is how much quieter it is inside the vehicle. This has been achieved by adding extra sound and vibration insulation around the dash console, transmission tunnel, windscreen seal, firewall and floorpan.

The 2017 Isuzu MU-X
There are new infotainment screens in the 2017 Isuzu MU-X, as well as much better NVH levels for driver comfort.

2: INTERIOR UPGRADES:

“Less hard plastics please” was the feedback Isuzu received, and they listened. Inside the face-lifted 2017 MU-X certainly is a nicer place to be. Upgrades include a dual-tone dashboard with soft-touch finishes, as well as chrome and piano black trimming. Soft touch armrests and console covering make the 2017 MU-X more comfortable on long drives, however we did notice the stitching in the rear passenger armrests scratched the life out of your arms on bumpy off-road sections. Newly designed quilted leather accented seats in the LS-T variant are supportive and much more comfortable than the previous MU-X. SatNav is also a welcome addition on up spec LS-U and LS-T variants.

 

The 2017 Isuzu MU-X
The 2017 Isuzu MU-X keeps up with the Jonses, with projector LED headlights and a strip of daytime-running lights.

3: BI-LED AUTO-LEVELLING PROJECTOR HEADLIGHTS:

LED lighting technology has come a long way, and these new auto-levelling Bi-LED headlights are fantastic compared to the previous halogen units offering an increase in illumination in both spread and distance. The auto-levelling feature is particularly handy for those towing heavy loads, as the lights remain pointed where they should no matter how much weight is over the rear end. One must wonder however, how much they would cost to replace if damaged in the event of an animal strike. They are a welcome addition none the less.

The 2017 Isuzu MU-X
The 2017 Isuzu MU-X gets more torque, across a wider band of revs, and a flash orange silicone intercooler hose.

4: MORE GRUNT – 430NM OF TORQUE

Like the D-Max, the 3.0L turbo diesel engine has been updated, torque now comes on sooner and harder with 430Nm available from 1,700-3500rpm (up from 380Nm). The 4JJ1-TC Hi-Power Euro5 compliant engine features new piston design, fuel injectors and fuel supply pump, VGS turbocharger, larger EGR cooler and new EGR bypass valve. Ceramic glow plugs have been fitted, as well as an intelligent battery sensor and Diesel Particulate Defuser. We had the opportunity to tow a 3-tonne caravan, and you can absolutely notice the difference in power delivery over the previous MU-X.

 

5: 6-SPEED AISIN AUTOMATIC (AND MANUAL) GEARBOX

More gears, matched with more power is always going to be a recipe for success. The AISIN AWR6B45 6-speed auto is perfectly matched to the 3.0L turbo diesel, however with more torque available, it was noticeable that the gearbox didn’t want to kick down as easily as the previous automatic gearbox uphill whilst towing a load. Thankfully, the sequential shift mode allowed for manual control, and the 6th gear certainly helped reducing rpm and fuel consumption at highway speeds.

 

6: LARGER REAR DIFFERENTIAL

With an increase in torque, Isuzu have opted to beef up the rear differential of the 2017 MU-X. Stronger ring-and-pinion gears have been utilised to cope with the additional demands. The front differential and CV joints remain untouched however, and still there is no rear diff lock option offered. This is a real shame, and obviously hurts the MU-X off-road compared to its competition.

 

7: NOW WITH HILL-DESCENT CONTROL

Both the D-Max and MU-X have solid engine braking already, thanks to both the diesel engine and adequate low-range gearing. Things have gotten better again in this department, with the addition of hill-decent control. It’s a good system too, easy to operate with the push of a button, and it was unobtrusive from the drivers seat.

6 Comments

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  • Very disappointed with the performance of the cv’s. These need to be strengthened as the current Isuzu cv snaps as soon as it sees a dip in the road

  • We have the MU-X 2016 model and it is a dream goes anywhere and tows our van well yes it has a small fuel take and I still get 840 klm per tank city and country driving and towing my van well between 620 and 680 klm per take and the range all depends on my lead foot. the after sales service from Townsville Auto Group is truly amazing in all my years I real have not experienced this high level of customer service before. I am tyring get the twin cab ute but my wife says not yet maybe when the van is paid off which is not long now.

  • We, the “Minister of Finance” and I purchased a 2015 MUX . Our first new car.
    We would tow 2600kg on our trips and the MUX handles it well so I can imagine the newer model would be that much better.
    My only disappointment is the small fuel tank. I carry 30 litres extra to ensure a full days running without the fear of running dry, although we have only had to pull up once and add the extra and that was in SA where every thing seems to close on a Sunday.
    I’ve reckon I’ve shown 20 prospective buyers our MUX during our travels and they all were off to convince their “minister of finance” to purchase an MUX
    Value for money is what I call it.

  • I wish that would bring out a larger Isuzu wagon version for those of use who have 3 kids (older then 10 years) and still carry all the luggage (not just over night bags) – just not enough room – otherwise I would buy one in heart beat

  • I purchased the previous model MUX in August last year and love most of it. However the headlights , in particular the high beams are woeful so replacement bulbs were first on the list. It gets quite good fuel economy but a 65 litre fuel tank is a joke when you live in western Queensland. If it was 85 litres you probably wouldn’t bother forking out for a long range unit. I’ll be changing the oil at 10000 kms between schedule services too. The rear seat system is very easy to use for three kids . The new MUX looks good. I have about two years to convince the wife to replace our second car with a DMAX as I haven’t met a dissatisfied owner yet. In most media articles they bang on about the Holden ute and wagon and the Isuzu’s don’t rate a mention. Totally underrated. Cheers Shane , Hughenden

  • has anyone tested the throttle controller that is available from 4wd supa centre. it is less than $100, depending on their specials of the day. I have seen commentary on the IDRIVE unit. I have a 2013 dmax auto space cab which had the computer re-programmed and was an instant fuel saver and heaps more torque.

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