This truck-based SUV is significantly common in our country. If you are frequently on the road, chances are you have seen this model countless times. When it comes to the talk about midsize SUVs, many are compelled to ask, “What is an ideal midsize SUV for family, friends, or business?” Earlier this year, Isaac drove the top-spec Isuzu Mu-X LS-E, but if we’re being honest, most buyers opt for the mid-spec versions. So, is this 2022 Isuzu Mu-X LS-A a great fit for those categories? Well, let’s go take a look!
First, let’s talk about the exterior. Right now, it’s new and improved! It definitely has a better aesthetic compared to its previous model. Take note, this is a truck variation, but if we would have a closer look at the vehicle’s entirety, it kind of looks like a city-based SUV.
Easily noticeable is its grill, which appears like a pair of fangs that adds to its fierce factor. This is a feature shared by all new D-Max. Similarly, the LED headlights have a feisty shape to them. Adding to that, the 2022 Isuzu Mu-X has LED fog lights installed. As for the hood, there is a somewhat curved design slanting downward that gives the Mu-X’s front end good proportions, while the 18-inch wheels are enlaced with a gunmetal color as a finishing touch. Such a detail of course is well suited visually for a truck-based SUV. Then we have the back part of the vehicle, which also had a considerable improvement compared to the older version. It now has a mildly luxurious figure, not to mention the LED tail lights that have a three-dimensional effect that look great at night.
I do have a number of gripes though. Firstly, the trunk door isn’t automatic. And for an SUV that’s priced at P1,900,000, it’s almost unforgivable that you need to fold the wing mirrors yourself. It’s especially odd when you consider that they’ve even bothered adding a blind spot warning indicator in the first place.
Secondly, let’s talk about the interior. As soon as you enter, it becomes quite apparent that it is of a lower variant compared to the top-of-the-line models. The seats are made from fabric, though with regard to the dashboard, it’s thankfully wrapped in a soft touch leatherette surface with white stitching. The rest of the interior panels, however, are still made out of hard plastic, and the same goes for the door panels. Unfortunately, the steering wheel is not yet made out of leather and is probably one of the only SUVs at its price point to still have urethane steering. Nevertheless, if you play piano, you would really like how the climate control buttons feel.
One thing that I appreciate about this SUV would be its 10.1 infotainment system which is highly responsive whenever you touch it. Unfortunately, its graphics are crude compared to the quality of other competitors. However, this flaw is compensated by the fact that it boasts of having Apple CarPlay and Android Auto built-in. There are various charging ports around the interior if you need to top up your mobile devices.
When I first sat in the driver’s seat, I immediately felt comfortable and cozy since its driving position was a perfect fit for me, not to mention the canny telescoping steering wheel which is still a rarity in this class.
On the second row, when I reclined, the area was immensely spacious. By the way, my height is 5’10″, and yet there’s a great deal of leg space, I’m telling you. Although the seats are fixed and immobile, getting cramped won’t be an issue as long as the regular capacity isn’t exceeded. As for the third back row, despite someone of my height, it was suitable and roomy, unlike its other rivals (a prime example would be the Mitsubishi Montero which has such narrow spacing). Kids seated in the third row would undoubtedly enjoy the vastness of the interior. With this in mind, I can say for sure that this midsize SUV was designed for family and friends!
Cargo space is also very good, especially with all of the seats folded flat. That’s because the trunk is in a very square shape, unlike competitors such as the Toyota Fortuner whose third-row seats are stowed on the sides–thus eating up trunk space.
Under the hood of this particular Isuzu Mu-X LS-A a 3.0-liter turbo diesel engine which we can surmise is quite big by today’s standards. In itself without the turbo’s help, the engine can already yield strong acceleration. In my experience going uphill, all I needed was a half-step on the accelerator. Despite a little delay from the 6-speed automatic, it will still give a strong boost from the turbos. Now, regarding its road noise and wind noise, it’s pretty good in suppressing these, but next to the new generation Ford Everest, the Mu-X is on the noisier side now especially when it comes to the noise of the engine and even the transmission.
How about suspension? When I drove it to Bulacan, I passed over rough pavement and the SUV dealt with it quite well. Fortunately, it didn’t make me dizzy, nor did it affect my driving performance whatsoever. For a truck-based SUV such as this, ride quality is right up there with some of the best in the class.
Handling is also pretty good for the Isuzu Mu-X. Like the LS-E that Isaac drove earlier this year, the Mu-X corners well though it’s in the end a truck-based SUV so shouldn’t expect it to be sporty. Body roll as a whole is well controlled, and the hydraulically-assisted steering offers plenty of road feel. It doesn’t react as fast, though this is expected in the segment. At least it’s not as heavy as let’s say the Toyota Fortuner‘s.
Fuel economy has always been a strong suit for the Isuzu Mu-X, and similarly, with the LS-E, it regularly hit above 11 km/l. Along with its massive 80-liter fuel tank, the trip computer would regularly have a range of more than 800 kilometers if fuelled up completely to full.
The Isuzu brand has been tried and tested ever since to this day. In terms of practicality, this is a prime choice among car buyers. Whether it be for family or business purposes, it has proven itself over the years. Unfortunately, at least for the Isuzu Mu-X LS-A 3.0 4×2 that we have here, we think that the brand could’ve done a lot better in terms of features. It’s severely lacking in a lot of features you expect at its price point, such as for instance, power-folding mirrors and leather steering that aren’t even a missing feature from some of its more affordable competitors. Nevertheless, the mid-spec Isuzu Mu-X LS-A 3.0 4×2 is still a good, if not outstanding choice in its segment.
Pricing and Rating
Exterior Design: ★★★★☆
Interior Design: ★★★★☆
Space and Practicality: ★★★★☆
Safety and Driver Assistance: ★★★★★
Fuel Efficiency: ★★★★★
Value For Money: ★★★☆☆
Overall: 4.1 out of 5
*Pricing is correct and accurate as of this article’s time of writing.