Late in 2017, we reported (with a little help from sister title, Leisure Wheels) that Isuzu Motors South Africa had plans to bring the KB-based MU-X to local shores. And now the brand has confirmed that the body-on-frame SUV will indeed be introduced here in the third quarter of 2018.
Isuzu says the MU-X (a cousin of the Chevrolet Trailblazer) will be priced “competitively” as it seeks to take on the big-selling Toyota Fortuner, the increasingly popular Ford Everest and the fresh-faced Mitsubishi Pajero Sport.
Although the local line-up and specifications have yet to be revealed, Isuzu Motors SA has confirmed that the MU-X 300 will be part of the range. This derivative employs a 3,0-litre turbodiesel mill (rather than the Trailblazer’s 144 kW/500 N.m 2,8-litre oil-burner) tuned to deliver 130 kW and 380 N.m to all four corners via a six-speed automatic transmission.
It boasts a five-link rear suspension arrangement, bi-LED projector headlamps, a reversing camera and seven seats. Towing capacity (braked) comes in at 3 000 kg. Isuzu says it will offer a five-year/120 000 km warranty and a five-year/90 000 km service plan, with intervals of 15 000 km, as standard.
Back in May 2017, General Motors announced that it would cease operations in South Africa. The Chevrolet brand was thus phased out of the local market at the end of 2017.
Soon after the announcement, Isuzu Motors revealed its intention to purchase the Struandale plant in Port Elizabeth as well as GM’s 30% shareholding in Isuzu Trucks South Africa. And that has seemingly opened the door for Isuzu to finally offer an SUV in South Africa again (remember the Isuzu Frontier?).
Ryan has spent most of his career in online media, writing about everything from sport to politics and other forms of crime. But his true passion – reignited by a 1971 Austin Mini Mk3 still tucked lifeless in a dark corner of his garage – is of the automotive variety.