Isuzu’s New Year’s resolution: BLUE POWER
Isuzu Philippines Corporation pre-empted 2018 with an accomplished New Year’s resolution. Isuzu upgraded the D-Max pickup and its 7-seat sibling, the mu-X SUV, to Blue Power Euro 4 diesel technology in time for the 2018 model year.
For this new year, Isuzu raised the mu-X to a whole new level, not only by installing the new 4JJI-TCX Blue Power diesel engine, but also by improving the interior with premium leather soft pad materials and updated infotainment electronics.
The exterior has been enhanced with new Bi-LED projector headlamps and integrated daytime running lights (DRLs), a redesigned chrome grill and front bumper, plus new horizontal type LED positioning taillights.
When the mu-X was launched on the Philippine market in September 2014, its powertrain was a 2.5-liter DOHC, common rail direct injection (CRDi) diesel engine with turbo intercooler producing 133 hp and 320 Newton meters max torque at 1,800-2,000 rpm through a 5-speed automatic transmission (A/T).
Blue Power system
It got better. The 2018 mu-X’s powertrain is a 3.0-liter, 4 cylinder in-line Blue Power CRDi diesel Euro 4 engine with turbo intercooler and variable geometry system (VGS) that outputs 175 bhp and 380 Nm max torque through a 6-speed Aisin A/T with sequential shift.
The new mu-X not only has 60 Nm more torque, its ample Nm is available across a wider rev range, from 1,800 rpm to 2,800 rpm which minimizes the need to change gears.
The new 6-speed A/T has adaptive logic control, which means that it will adjust the vehicle’s gear changes to match your driving style and conditions.
A lock-up torque converter further improves fuel efficiency. The steering is well-balanced except when the mu-X caroms into corners.
Proof that Isuzu manufactures the best, most durable diesel engines in the world is provided by some of the Blue Power engine’s major components: stainless steel timing chain, anti-friction cylinder liner, graphite-coated pistons, and of course, VGS turbocharger.
Aside from delivering more horsepower at lower engine revs, more torque, more fuel efficiency and less exhaust emissions, the new mu-X has reduced NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) levels due to extra sound and vibration insulation.
Despite its full ladder-frame chassis, the ride is as comfy as a pickup platform vehicle’s ride can be, thanks to new leather quilt-stitch design seats, soft pad armrests, and flexible seating arrangements.
The front seats are leather buckets with back pockets and driver side convenience hook.
But definitely, the ride quality is not carlike and somewhat bouncy even on smooth pavement, especially for rear seat passengers.
The updated creature comforts/conveniences offered by the new mu-X, aside from leather seats and soft pad leather on the door panels enhanced by piano black garnish and blue ambient lights, are electro-luminescent instrument meters with multi-info display, a 3-spoke leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio and cruise control switch, an 8-inch touchscreen audio-video entertainment system with navigation, a 10-inch roof-mounted DVD monitor with remote control and eight speakers for rear seat passengers, adjustable headrests all around, 19 storage compartments, a dozen cup holders, three USB charging ports, and two 12v accessory sockets.
Safety features include electronic stability control, traction control system, hill start assist, hill descent control, dual airbags in front, ABS with EBD and brake assist, ventilated disc brakes up front, solid discs at the rear, reverse camera, reverse sensors and child seat tethers for the second row seats.
The more luxurious interior fits the mu-X’s role as an urban lifestyle ride and family carrier, yet its 4×4 variant is all-terrain capable and ready for tough weather and driving situations.
Both mu-X variants have 230 millimeters ground clearance, 600 mm wading depth capability, and 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels. The spare tire is a full size 255/60 R18.
The 4WD Terrain Command system is the same as the 4×4 D-Max’s. It is operated via a dial near the shifter that can be switched from 2WD High to 4WD High while on the move at speeds up to 100 km per hour.
However, the vehicle needs to be at full stop to switch to 4WD Low.
The 4×4 variant’s approach angle is 24 degrees, the departure angle at 25.1 degrees, and the ramp-over angle at 19.5 degrees.
The 4×4 variant’s underbody is protected by an under-front steel plate skid/splash shield and steel plate guards on the sump and transfer case.
Both variants offer 1,830 liters of cargo space max when the second and third row seats are folded down.
When the 50/50 split-folding type third row seats are up, cargo space is limited to 235 liters. With the third row folded down, cargo space expands to 878 liters.
Bottom line, with its ladder frame, robust Blue Power diesel engine, and solid build quality, the 2018 mu-X adds value to the Isuzu brand while projecting a strong presence and capability on and off the road.
Before the revised excise tax rates on new cars took effect last Monday, Jan. 1, the 4×2 3.0-liter mu-X A/T was retailed at P1.648 million, while the 4×4 3.0-liter mu-X A/T cost P1.958 million.