The original Isuzu MU-X was released back in 2013 as a 7-seater ute-based wagon.
Just like its sibling, the Isuzu D-Max, an upgraded all-new MU-X wagon was heavily revised and released to the Australian market back in August 2021.
Notable upgrades for the new generation Isuzu MU-X include a rear differential lock, and the inclusion of the 4JJ3-TCX turbo diesel engine, just like the Isuzu D-MAX, producing 450Nm and 140kW. No manual gearbox is currently offered.
Further enhancing the off-road performance of the latest Isuzu MU-X is the addition of Rough Terrain Mode, a more aggressive traction control calibration designed for off-road use, and simply activated by a push button on the centre console.
Current Isuzu MU-X Prices
|Isuzu MU-X 4X2 LS-M||SUV||rear||Diesel||$48,900|
|Isuzu MU-X 4X4 LS-M||SUV||4x4||Diesel||$54,900|
|Isuzu MU-X 4X2 LS-U||SUV||rear||Diesel||$55,400|
|Isuzu MU-X 4X4 LS-U||SUV||4x4||Diesel||$61,400|
|Isuzu MU-X 4X2 LS-T||SUV||rear||Diesel||$61,400|
|Isuzu MU-X 4X4 LS-T||SUV||4x4||Diesel||$67,400|
*Pricing excludes stamp duty, other government charges and options. Prices subject to change.
2023 Isuzu MU-X review: First drive in the updated 4x4 wagon
Here’s everything we know about the 2023 Isuzu MU-X, including drive-away pricing.
The 2023 Isuzu MU-X has landed in Australia, officially available to the public since December 1.
It’s also nice that pricing across the 2023 Isuzu MU-X range has not changed from 2022 models, with the top-of-the-line LS-T model still costing $65,990 drive-away on special.
On our test loop, we experienced highway, inner-city and rural driving conditions. We also spent a day at the stunning Double Island Point, experiencing how the 2023 Isuzu MU-X performs on sand with a few PSI knocked out of the tyres. It was a great experience to see what these vehicles can do out of the box, and to use them just as you would if you purchased one.
While the 2023 update is largely cosmetic, with no updates to the chassis or drivetrain, let’s take a look at what is different on the 2023 model compared to last year’s version.
- What’s It Like To Drive?
- On-road ride and handling
- Towing Simplified
- Available Colours
Updates across the range
There are three grades of MU-X available in the 2023 line-up, including the LS-M, LS-U and LS-T.
The MU-X is available in both 4x2 and selectable part-time 4x4, all powered by the revered 3.0-litre turbo-diesel 4JJ3-TCX motor that offers 140kW and 450Nm through a six-speed automatic transmission.
Here are the updates each grade of 2023 MU-X receives.
What’s it like to drive?
As the vehicle has remained unchanged mechanically, the below assessment is taken from my earlier full off-road review, which can be found here.
On-road ride and handling
That chassis and suspension package is a winner. While the previous-generation MU-X felt a little floaty on-road, this new LS-U Isuzu MU-X is planted and feels remarkably solid around corners.
This is no doubt due to the suspension revisions, including geometry changes, a higher spring rate and thicker sway bars front and rear.
Hit a speed bump with a little too much gusto and the car, rather than your spine, absorbs the shock. Isuzu has dialled in the suspension package well, but I’m sure the aftermarket industry can make it even better again – a bit of lift would do wonders.
Electronically controlled power steering replaces the more traditional hydraulic system of old, and it’s well-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 yet still offer a positive feel when cornering.
So, while the old MU-X was criticised for being agricultural, I don’t think many people will be saying that about the new model.
Yes, there is still a bit of engine noise when you are hard on the loud pedal, but at idle and when cruising, this is a much more refined four-wheel drive in comparison.
A rear differential lock is standard-fit across the 4x4 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 improves the calibration of its traction control system for off-road duties. It works, too – really well.
Without pressing the Rough Terrain mode button, when crossed up the MU-X was going nowhere fast. A simple touch of this magical button and the MU-X made forward progression, and rather easily I might point out.
This is now a very capable four-wheel drive wagon, something that couldn’t be said about the old-generation MU-X, without spending some money at your friendly local 4x4 accessory store having an aftermarket diff lock fitted.
As well as riding well on-road, the same can be said when off-road. Suspension travel on all four corners has also been improved over the previous generation.
Combine this with solid low-range reduction gearing and all those new traction aids, you can take this MU-X pretty damn far off-road.
This is probably as good a time to mention the factory underbody protection plates, too; they are made up of a combination of 1.5mm-thick steel and some 5mm-thick poly-composite plates. This vehicle ticks many boxes for the off-road enthusiast.
For the 2023 MU-X range, Isuzu engineers tell us they have simplified the towing experience.
The 2023 Isuzu MU-X automatically disables blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert when a trailer is connected to the genuine trailer plug.
There are eight colour options available with the 2023 Isuzu MU-X, including the introduction of a new colour called Galaxy Blue Mica.
All colours excluding Mineral White will incur an additional $650 paint premium.
2023 Isuzu MU-X pricing
While the changes for the 2023 Isuzu MU-X are mostly cosmetic, they have certainly freshened up the appearance of a vehicle that was already heavily updated back in 2021.
The new wheel design stands out as being a huge leap forward from a visual perspective, enhancing the looks of the MU-X drastically, 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 larger families, and comfortable to pilot over long stretches of driving.
During our time at this media event, we drove over a few days through the Noosa region, into the hinterland and on the highway. Then we boarded a barge and skipped over to the iconic Double Island Point for a sand driving experience. It was a terrific loop that included plenty of time both on- and off-road.
Not one vehicle got bogged or even looked like getting stuck. Ride quality is quite good for OEM suspension, and is able to soak up bumps from washouts on the beach as well as it does speed bumps and corners when back on sealed roads.
Something that I appreciate about the MU-X is the way it develops power super low in the rev range.
This makes it perfectly suited to off-road driving as well as towing heavy loads, something that the majority of MU-X owners will do. In fact, Isuzu tells us that in a recent customer survey, close to half of MU-X owners use their vehicles for towing.
The 2021 Isuzu MU-X was a huge 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, it’s just got a few more cherries on top – and best of all, you aren’t paying for the privilege as Isuzu hasn’t increased the prices for the 2023 range.
Things we like
- Good off-road capability
- Comfortable interior
- New wheels look great
Not so much
- Tailgate design – yes, I hit my head on it
- Diesel engine not the quietest in class
- Mechanically unchanged, with only aesthetic updates
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New project car: Isuzu MU-X LS-M
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2022 Isuzu MU-X LS-T 4x4 review
Isuzu’s family-oriented MU-X scores only minor changes for 2022, retaining its adventure-ready credibility as a solid all-rounder
Living with the 2021 Isuzu MU-X LS-T
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New Isuzu MU-X LS-T vs Ford Everest Titanium comparison
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2021 Isuzu MU-X LS-U 4x4 review
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Australian first drive: 2021 Isuzu MU-X LS-T 4x4
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Frequently Asked Questions
The Isuzu MU-X ranges in price from $48,900* for the 3.0 LS-M 2WD Auto, and $67,400* for the 3.0 LS-T 4WD Auto
*Pricing excludes stamp duty, other government charges and options. Prices subject to change.
The Isuzu MU-X was built in Thailand.
The Isuzu MU-X has a 5 ANCAP crash safety rating.
The Isuzu MU-X is available in diesel fuel types.
The Isuzu MU-X has 5 doors.
The Isuzu MU-X comes with a boot size of 311 litres.