2023 Isuzu MU X 4x4 LS

First drive in the updated 4×4 wagon – Dubai Car News

The 2023 Isuzu MU-X has landed in Australia, officially available to the public from December 1.

It’s also good that pricing across the 2023 Isuzu MU-X range remains unchanged from the 2022 models, with the top-of-the-line LS-T model still priced at $65,990 driveway exclusive.

On our test loop, we experienced highway, inner-city and rural driving conditions. We also spent a day at the spectacular Double Island Point, experiencing how the 2023 Isuzu MU-X performs on sand with some PSI out of the tires. It was a great experience to see what these vehicles could do out of the box, and to use them just like you would if you bought one.

While the 2023 update is largely cosmetic, with no updates to the chassis or drivetrain, let’s take a look at what’s different about the 2023 model compared to last year’s version.

2023 Isuzu MU X LS T Galaxy Blue 17

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Jump ahead.


Updates across the range

Three grades of MU-X are available in the 2023 lineup, including LS-M, LS-U and LS-T.

The MU-X is available in both 4×2 and selectable part-time 4×4, all powered by the respectable 3.0-litre turbo-diesel 4JJ3-TCX motor that delivers. 140kW and 450Nm through a six-speed automatic transmission.

Here are the updates that each grade of the 2023 MU-X receives.

2023 Isuzu MU-X LS-M
Auto off when towing blind spot monitor and rear cross traffic alert
New 17-inch six-spoke alloy wheels
The LED rear combination lights are trimmed in dark gray metallic.
Two tone black grill
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2023 Isuzu MU-X LS-U
Auto off when towing blind spot monitor and rear cross traffic alert
Hands-free tailgate
Tire pressure monitoring system
Magnetite accents on the interior dashboard and door trims
Magnetite accents on exterior fog light trim, rear bumper, roof rails and sides
The LED rear combination lights are trimmed in dark gray metallic.
Magnetite and black chrome grille
2023 Isuzu MU X LS T Galaxy Blue 3

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2023 Isuzu MU-X LS-T
Auto off when towing blind spot monitor and rear cross traffic alert
Hands-free tailgate
New 20-inch six-spoke machined alloy wheels
Tire pressure monitoring system
Magnetite accents on the interior dashboard and door trims
Magnetite accents on the exterior fog light trim, front bumper, rear bumper, roof rails and side steps.
The LED rear combination lights are trimmed in dark gray metallic.
Magnetite and black chrome grille

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How is it to drive?

As the vehicle remains mechanically unchanged, the following assessment is taken from my first full off-road review, which can be found here.

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On-road ride and handling

That chassis and suspension package is a winner. While the previous generation MU-X felt a bit floaty on the road, this new LS-U Isuzu MU-X is planted and feels remarkably solid around corners.

This is no doubt due to suspension revisions including geometry changes, higher spring rates and thicker front and rear sway bars.

Hit a high-speed bump with a little too much enthusiasm and the car absorbs the shock, rather than your spine. Isuzu has dialed in the suspension package nicely, but I’m sure the aftermarket industry can make it even better again – a little lift would do wonders.

2023 Isuzu MU X 4 X 4 LS T in Galaxy Blue Mica 5

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Electronically controlled power steering replaces the old conventional hydraulic system, and it’s nicely weighted and responsive. Isuzu has done a great job there, as it can be a challenge to tune these high-tech steering systems to be light enough but still offer a positive feel when cornering.

So, while the old MU-X was criticized for being agricultural, I don’t think many people will be saying the same about the new model.

Yes, there’s still a bit of engine noise when you’re hard on the loud pedal, but at idle and cruising, it’s a much better four-wheel drive in comparison.

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Off road

A locking rear differential is standard fit across the 4×4 MU-X range. It doesn’t end there though, as the Isuzu MU-X has a selectable off-road setting called Rough Terrain mode, which fine tunes the calibration of its traction control system for off-road duty. It also works – really well.

Without pressing the Rough Terrain mode button, the MU-X was going nowhere fast when crossed. A simple touch of that magic button and the MU-X tried to move on, and I could simply point instead.

It’s now a very capable four-wheel-drive wagon, which can’t be said of the old-generation MU-X, without spending some money at your friendly local 4×4 equipment shop, including an aftermarket one. A market diff lock has been applied.

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As well as riding well on the road, the same can be said off-road. Suspension travel at all four corners has also been improved over the previous generation.

Combine that with solid low-range reduction gearing and all those new traction aids, you can take this MU-X far down the road.

This is probably as good a time to mention the factory underbody protection plates as well. They are made of a combination of 1.5 mm thick steel and some 5 mm thick polycomposite plates. This vehicle ticks many boxes for off-road enthusiasts.

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Easy to draw.

For the 2023 MU-X range, Isuzu engineers tell us they’ve simplified the towing experience.

The 2023 Isuzu MU-X automatically disables blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert when the trailer is connected to the original trailer plug.

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Available colors

Eight color options are available with the 2023 Isuzu MU-X, including the introduction of a new color called Galaxy Blue Mica.

All colors except Mineral White will have an additional $650 paint premium.

2023 Isuzu MU-X Color Options
Basalt black mica
Cobalt blue mica
Galaxy Blue Mica (new color for 2023)
Magnetic red mica
Mercury Silver Metallic
Mineral White
Moonstone White Pearl (LS-U and LS-T only)
Obsidian gray metallic

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2023 Isuzu MU X 4 X 4 LS T in Galaxy Blue Mica 14

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2023 Isuzu MU-X Pricing

2023 Isuzu MU-X Pricing (Before On-Road Costs)
MU-X LS-M 4×2 – $48,900
MU-X LS-U 4×2 – $55,400
MU-X LS-T 4×2 – $61,400
MU-X LS-M 4×4 – $54,900
MU-X LS-U 4×4 – $61,400
MU-X LS-T 4×4 – $67,400 ($65,990 special drive-away price)

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2023 Isuzu MU X 4 X 4 LS T in Galaxy Blue Mica 7

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Decision

Although the changes to the 2023 Isuzu MU-X are mostly cosmetic, they have certainly refreshed the appearance of a vehicle that was already heavily updated in 2021.

The new wheel design stands out as a major leap forward from a visual perspective, enhancing the MU-X’s looks dramatically, as does the redesigned front grille, offering a more aggressive front end.

Overall, the Isuzu MU-X is a solid vehicle both on and off-road. It’s also spacious inside for large families, and comfortable for long drives.

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During our time at this media event, we traveled through the Noosa area, inland and on the highway over the course of a few days. Then we boarded a barge and went to the famous Double Island Point for a sand driving experience. It was a fantastic loop that included plenty of time both on and off-road.

Not a single vehicle was stuck or seen to be stuck. Ride quality is pretty good for an OEM suspension, and it’s capable of soaking up speed bumps and corners when hitting washouts at the beach as well as returning to closed roads.

What I appreciate about the MU-X is that it produces power very low in the rev range.

2023 Isuzu Media Drive Experience MU X LS T Galaxy Blue Beach Cutting 7

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This makes it perfectly suited for off-road driving as well as towing heavy loads, which is what the majority of MU-X owners will do. In fact, Isuzu tells us that in a recent customer survey, nearly half of MU-X owners use their vehicles for towing.

The 2021 Isuzu MU-X was a big step forward for the model, making it a much more refined and capable four-wheel drive wagon.

The 2023 Isuzu MU-X retains the same recipe, with just a few more cherries on top – and the best part is that you’re not paying for the privilege as Isuzu has dropped prices for the 2023 range. Has not increased.

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8.5

Safety, Value and Features

Things we like.

  • Good off-road capability
  • Comfortable interior
  • The new wheels look great.

Not so much

  • Tailgate Design – Yes, I hit my head on this one.
  • The diesel engine is not the quietest in the class.
  • Mechanically unchanged, with only aesthetic updates

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