Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

Heritage Fit for the Long Haul; Stepping into the Passenger Car Realm, Grant Edwards Finds This Off-Roader Truck Has Ample Comfort for the Growing Family

Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

Heritage Fit for the Long Haul; Stepping into the Passenger Car Realm, Grant Edwards Finds This Off-Roader Truck Has Ample Comfort for the Growing Family

Article excerpt

TRUCKS have been the lifeblood of the Isuzu brand.

They have traditionally been rough, tough and an ultra-reliable friend to the working man and woman.

But now the marque is dipping its toe in the passenger car waters.

Although, Isuzu is not sullying itself in the world of high-riding wagons masquerading as off-roaders. No mate, this the real deal when it comes to SUVs.

It's not afraid of the beaten track, and while there are a few modern luxuries, it maintains brand heritage combined with a cabin where there is room for seven.

Comfort

Rigours of family life are at the forefront of interior materials.

Hard plastics are employed across the dash, doors and console. What it lacks in affluence it makes up for in commonsense - with a car full of seven it's likely to cop a battering and plastics are easy to keep clean and maintain.

The leather wrapped steering wheel has cruise-control and audio controls at your thumb tips while it also has telescopic reach.

Cloth-trimmed bucket front seats offer good support on longer journeys, with the driver having six-way pew adjustment.

Climbing into the cabin can take some effort, which makes the door runners worth their weight in gold, and those getting into the third row also need to be nimble. Adults can fit in the two back seats, although it's best suited to children with restricted leg and knee room.

Three adults can be accommodated across the middle row but it's better suited to a pair.

Operationally things are basic and straight forward. The primary controls are centred around a circular dash dial which it needs very little analysis to find what you're after.

On the road

Big and burly, the MU-X is no faux off-roader.

This is designed as a bush basher with space for the family.

Although it possesses the hardcore ladder on frame underpinnings, it has a multi-link coil suspension which helps soften the ride and means passengers in the back don't require a complimentary kidney belt with each ride.

The steering is relatively light which makes the big SUV easy to handle even in city confines.

Our weekly grocery shop was a simple task even with the bride at the helm, although a rear view camera is only standard fare on the range-topping variant. Our LS-U variant only had rear parking sensors and it is difficult to see out the back.

Yet it remains adept on the bitumen with a smooth ride and minimal road noise...with much of the on-road sound generated by the meaty 3.0-litre turbo diesel which generates some clatter at idle.

This is a sought-after powerplant, and it certainly has the goods for rewarding off-roading and towing.

When stepping off the black stuff you can choose between four high or low depending on the terrain via a console dial, while the auto models also have hill ascent and descent control. …

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