The MU-7 is Isuzu’s first product under its own badge. Will this massive SUV make a name for the latest entrant to the Indian market?
Published on Apr 26, 2013 08:47:00 PM
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The MU-7 is powered by a 2999cc, direct-injection turbocharged common-rail diesel engine. It breathes through four valves per cylinder and makes a healthy 161bhp and 36.7kgm of torque. Slot into first, get off the clutch and you’ll find an engine that pulls well from as little as 1000rpm with little turbo lag to speak of. Power delivery is also quite linear and it pulls all the way to 4000rpm with surprising vigour. In traffic, this engine works well and responds to taps on the throttle with convincing urge – a byproduct of the rather short gearing; first gear maxes out at an indicated 40kph, second at around 60kph. This short gearing helps the MU-7 overcome its 1900kg kerb weight and hit 100kph in a quick 11.7sec. Grouses come in the form of the slightly mushy gearshift quality and a clutch that’s just a wee bit heavy. Also, the engine is quite audible at all times. It’s not as refined as the Rexton and gets especially vocal when you’re revving it.
On the move, the MU-7’s long wheelbase gives it good stability and Isuzu has done a good job of working around the limitations of the leaf-spring, live-axle combo. It rounds off most bumps well and doesn’t kick as much as an Endeavour over the sharper ones. What’s also impressive is the way you can confidently pummel it over bad patches – it feels tough enough to take the hammering.
And when you start to hustle it through corners, it behaves predictably. Sure, there’s quite a bit of body roll, but the MU-7 never feels unstable and manages to keep its composure quite well. The hydraulically assisted power steering has good weight and is direct enough too. Still, this car is not much of a handler and the Fortuner feels a lot better to drive in the way it responds to steering inputs and in its composure at speed.
Also, the MU-7’s brakes feel a bit soggy and could use some more bite; they are much better than the Rexton’s, but that’s not saying much.
As expected, the turning circle is a massive 12.2 metres, which is on par with the Endeavour, but a Fortuner will be more nimble through those three-point turns. Still, the MU-7 is rather easy to drive in traffic thanks to the raised seating position, the slim pillars and the big glass area.
Isuzu has a reputation for making hard-wearing cars with bulletproof reliability, and this car embodies exactly that. It feels tank-like in its toughness, the styling is right and it has a strong engine.
₹ 19.68 - 23.74 lakh
₹ 39.36 - 41.68 lakh
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