Club Marine Trailer Trips - Isuzu MU-X

Club Marine editor Chris Beattie tests the Isuzu MU-X on a trailerboat trip to Eden, NSW. It’s powered by a 3lt, four-cyclinder turbo-charged diesel engine delivering 430Nm of torque. Chris reckons it’s the quiet achiever of the touring world – anyone can drive it!
Chris Beattie: Hi there I'm Chris Beattie from Club Marine TV. And today we're headed off on a trailer trip to the boating mecca of Eden on the New South Wales South Coast. We're driving a brand new MU-X Isuzu and I hope you'll come along with us.

One of the things I do like about the MU-X is basically its simplicity. It doesn't try to be too clever. The interior is pretty basic, but it's still has a lot of the bells and whistles that you do expect in a modern car. It's got a seven inch screen that's standard with all the features you'd expect: Bluetooth, entertainment centre, everything. It's all very intuitive, easy to use, very simple, wheel controls just where you need them, and it's got a fake leather interior mostly but nice touch, nice feel, nice look.

Again, it's not too many gimmicks in this car, but just everything you need for a trip to the local supermarket or a trip from Melbourne to Eden. Another point that I like on the MU-X is its handling, is surprisingly good actually, with the boat on or without. It's got very compliant suspension, very comfortable for a long trip, some rough roads and stuff it doesn't really know it, handles it all very well. Not too much body roll either, which is good. You get a lot of the bigger SUVs that can get up a little bit of a roll through corners. It feels very planted on the road, and steering is nicely weighted and accurate as well. Again, it's that whole quiet achiever thing. It really is a car that feels very dependable, very predictable on the road. Anyone could drive the MU-X and feel quite comfortable at the wheel.

Importantly for 2018 model year, Isuzu has incorporated trailer sway control into all its vehicles. If you're out on the road with a boat or a trailer, starts to get up a bit of a sway, the car takes over, automatically pulls it back into line. Great safety feature. So the MU-X is a big vehicle from any angle, especially from the outside, but just check this out. The amount of space you've got internally when you fold down those two rear sets of seats, if you're going away for a long weekend or even a couple of weeks on a road trip and towing the boat. The amount of gear you can put inside here, it's absolutely enormous.

With a lot of large SUVs that have got three rows of seats like the MU-X, you can find sometimes that the rear two rows are fairly squeezed in. But just check this out. There's room in here for a bear.

John Willis: G'day!

Chris Beattie: At the heart of the MU-X is a three litre, four cylinder, turbo diesel engine that actually derives from Isuzu's truck range, so it is a truck engine and you do get a sense of that when you're driving. You get that traditional diesel noise, but it's not too annoying. It's actually a pleasant change from some of the other bigger SUVs that manage to disguise that diesel noise. It's got truckloads of torque to go with the truck engine. It's 430 newton meters of torque at anywhere between 2,000 and 2,200 RPM, which is right where you need it when you're towing. Works out to, you're actually close to 100Ks on road speed when you got maximum torque, which is great for overtaking. It's also a very economical engine. We're getting around about nine, nine and a half litres per 100 kilometres, which is pretty good considering we've been towing nearly 1,500 kilograms on the back.

The MU-X really is a great companion for a long road trip, like we've done from Melbourne up to Eden. It's really done the whole trip effortlessly. Here we are now in the Victorian high country. Lots of hills, lots of corners. It just felt like it was running on rails. It's a very stable, easy to drive, big SUV. Got everything you need to carry seven people and a bunch of gear as well. Very hard to fault. It's certainly not the most sophisticated SUV on the market now, but pricing is a big benefit. It's nearly $43,000 for the base model up to a touch over $56,000 for the one with the lot, with a bunch of extra gear in there. That's pretty good value these days for a big SUV, big diesel SUV. It's kind of hard to fault, really.