The new Isuzu MU-X has been revealed in Thailand, again based on the D-Max bakkie and primed to take on the likes of the Toyota Fortuner and Ford Everest.

As expected, the new version of the Japanese firm’s seven-seater SUV borrows the latest D-Max’s ladder-frame underpinnings and also inherits the bakkie’s uprated 3,0-litre turbodiesel engine. Just like in the D-Max, this powerplant generates 140 kW and 450 N.m. In some markets, a 110 kW/350 N.m 1,9-litre turbodiesel option will also be offered.

As before, the second-gen MU-X again ditches its bakkie sibling’s leaf-spring rear suspension in favour of a five-link setup with coil springs. In addition, in Thailand at least, it will ship standard with a six-speed automatic transmission (with seemingly no option of a manual gearbox). Rear- and all-wheel drive will be on offer, with models fitted with the latter featuring a terrain command rotary controller (with 2H, 4H and 4L settings) on the centre console.

Inside, the newcomer’s facia predictably borrows much from that of the D-Max. A number of driver assistance features are offered in Thailand, while the MU-X gains an electric handbrake and powered tailgate, too, along with six airbags. Infotainment is taken care of by a nine-inch touchscreen system compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The original MU-X debuted as long ago as 2013, although the SUV arrived in South Africa only in mid-2018. A lightly refreshed version hit local roads in May 2020. It's not yet clear when the new model will arrive in South Africa.