If you’re in the market for a mid-sized SUV, you’ll have a great time going through all the choices locally available. Not all buyers of this kind of SUV go off-road. Most usually want a larger vehicle (with more interior space) that can easily handle the bad roads of Metro Manila. As a daily driver that can also go out of town once in a while, we found the understated Isuzu mu-X RZ4E LS 4×2 A/T fits this criteria quite well.
Blue Power and economy
This LS 4×2 AT is powered by Isuzu’s newest engine, the RZ4E Blue Power, which is the smallest displacement turbocharged diesel in its category. With a displacement of 1.9 liters, it’s max power output is 148 Hp with 350 Nm of torque, mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox. Don’t let the small displacement fool you, this new engine has better output than the 2.5L engine which preceded it, which had a max power output of 134 Hp and 320 Nm of torque.
Space, lots of it
The mu-X has as much space as the other SUV’s in its class. It has good headroom, even in the second and third row, and it seats seven comfortably. You get 235 liters of trunk space when the third row seats are up, which expands to 878 litres when the 50/50 split third row seats are folded flat. When you fold the second and third rows down, you get a whopping 1830 liters of space.
With timely updates from time to time, it does not look dated parked next to its competitors. This base-variant A/T is not too different from the mid-trim variants. Even without chrome and other shiny bits on the outside, the minimalist look actually looks good.
Even if it’s one of the lower variants, this variant has a lot of goodies thrown in. It comes with daytime running lights and bi-LED projector headlights. While the instrument cluster is simple, you do get a multi function trip-computer. The six-speaker entertainment system has navigation and is not too different from the top of the line variants. You still get a lot of cubbyholes and cupholders to store your things. The fabric seats are comfortable, and the mu-X has always been known to have a more comfortable ride than its competitors. The standard 16-inch alloys wrapped with thicker 245/70’s also help smooth out the bumps on the road. Steering is hydraulic power assisted, there are disc brakes all around, and it’s equipped with front driver and passenger SRS airbags and ABS with EBD.
The Isuzu mu-X RZ4E LS 4×2 A/T is priced at P1,300,000, making it the most affordable entry level mis-sized SUV with an automatic transmission on the market. It’s great value for people who want to “move up” from sedans, AUV’s or MPV’s.
Text and photos by Neil Pagulayan