The wait is finally over, and customers who wanted more power out of a midsize SUV can now place orders for the two new 3.0-liter MU-X variants at an Isuzu dealership. And because the heat is also on in the pickup segment, the Japanese carmaker has likewise released four new 3.0-liter variants of the D-Max.
As for the prices? Drum roll, please.
|MU-X 3.0 VGS||4x2 LS-A AT||P1.398 million|
|4x4 LS-A AT||P1.708 million|
|D-Max 3.0 VGS||4x2 LS MT||P1.090 million|
|4x2 LS AT||P1.160 million|
|4x4 LS MT||P1.360 million|
|4x4 LS AT||P1.430 million|
"We are giving our customers the freedom to choose between our current 2.5-liter engine and the new 3.0-liter VGS turbo," said new Isuzu Philippines president Hajime Koso in a statement.
Under the hood of these new variants is the 4JJ1-TC (HI) 3.0-liter diesel CRDI engine. Like the 2.5-liter mill, this is equipped with an intercooled variable geometry system (VGS) turbocharger, so drivers shouldn't expect lag (and their wallets should be happy with the fuel efficiency). Rated at 161hp, this new powerplant packs 27 horses more than its 2.5-liter counterpart. Its torque figure is 380Nm, 60Nm more than the 2.5-liter oil-burner. This engine is not Euro 4-compliant yet, but according to Isuzu Philippines marketing and product-planning head Joseph Bautista, it actually produces even less emissions than the older engine.
Isuzu added some aesthetic and safety features on the new 3.0-liter variants. The MU-X sports LED daytime running lamps to increase visibility on the road. To complement the chrome finish of the door handles, the rear door garnish and the front grille, the MU-X also gets a chrome muffler-cutter tailpipe.
Meanwhile, parking the new D-Max variants would be easier now that they are fitted with a reverse camera. The seven-inch touchscreen entertainment system displays the rear view and doubles as a GPS navigation system.
The MU-X 3.0-liter variants are available in Splash White, Cosmic Black, Titanium Silver, Aqua Blue, Outback Brown and Silky Pearl White paint jobs. Customers who prefer the Silky Pearl White color will have to shell out an additional P10,000.
The D-Max 3.0-liter variants, on the other hand, have the new Venetian Red color option. Other exterior color choices include Cosmic Black, Garnet Red, Titanium Silver and Splash White.
Will the increase in engine power come with a boost in sales for Isuzu (which, by the way, has reached the 200,000-unit sales mark in the country)? One thing's for sure: This will intensify the already-cutthroat midsize-SUV and pickup segments.
Photos by Tracy Carpena