Baahubali, the name invokes masculinity in
its purest form. You imagine brawn in epic dimensions and strength
insurmountable. That’s the name that came to my lips when I set eyes on this
mighty Isuzu mu-X sports utility vehicle. Is the new Isuzu MU-X really the Baahubali
of SUVs? I was only too eager to test it out.
2999cc, 4 Cylinder, Turbocharged Diesel
235 - 1830 litres
Independent Double Wishbone
Penta Link Suspension
The Isuzu mu-X has a very clean, yet bold
looking demeanour. The vehicle looks muscular from all angles. The company says
the design is inspired by the Tiger. In front you have the shiny double slat
chrome grille. A two-tone front and rear bumpers add to the aggressive looks of
the vehicle. The vehicle stands tall on multi-spoke 17 inches diamond-cut alloy
wheels. Crowning these wheels are muscular flared wheel arches. The projector
headlamps give this huge vehicle its strong eyes. The headlamps come with daytime
LED lights, while there are fog lamps also for this vehicle.
Enhancing the aesthetic appeal of the
vehicle are the roof rails that also carry loads up to 60kg. At the rear is a
roof spoiler which improves the aerodynamic character of the vehicle. Mounted
on its middle is a brake light. While the front has a bold design, the rear too
carries forward this character beyond the D-pillar where the rear windscreen
seems to be spreading its wings. Broad side steps enable passengers easy entry
and exit. These also protect the body sides from minor scratches. The vehicle
comes with electrically adjustable and retractable body coloured ORVMs. The
Isuzu mu-X is big in size. It is 4825mm long, 1860 mm wide and 1840 mm tall.
There is something very masculine about the
interiors of the mu-X. It’s subtle, practical and yet not overloaded with
technology. The interiors are spacious too. There is ample room inside the
cabin in all three rows with extremely comfortable seating for 7 persons. The
third row has adequate knee room and headroom for seating 2 adults but it can
get a tad bit cramped if you are taller than 5'7”.
The Isuzu mu-X comes with power adjusted
driver seat, 7 inch touch screen infotainment with navigation and connectivity
for USB, AUX and Bluetooth, steering mounted controls, roof mounted 10 inch
entertainment screen for 2nd & 3rd row, automatic climate control, 3-row
cooling with separate controls for the 2nd & 3rd rows, passive entry and
Start/ Stop button ignition, cruise control and one touch easy tumble seats for
the second row.
All these features enhance the comfort and
convenience of the passengers. Isuzu has added plenty of cubby holes and
storage space throughout the cabin. Sadly, the steering is adjustable only for
rake and not for reach. The mu-X has a boot space of 235 litres which isn't
something to be too proud of, but that is with all three rows up. The boot
space can be extended to 1830 litres which is quite a bit. Even with just the
third row folded flat one gets 878 litres of storage space.
The mu-X is powered by a 3.0 litre, 4
cylinder, turbocharged diesel engine. This 4 cylinder mill is good for 174 plus
horses and whips up a beastly 380Nm of torque. Peak power comes in at 3600rpm
while peak torque lasts from 1800-2800rpm. The engine has been mated to a
5-speed automatic transmission. No manual transmission is being offered in
either of the variants. The mu-X comes in two variants: 2-Wheel drive and 4-wheel
drive. We drove the latter
Isuzu is offering this transmission with a
shift lock function and the driver can also manually select gears. What is
more, you can select between 2WD High to 4WD High on the fly upto a speed of
100kmph. This transmission also offers brake shift lock and lock up torque
converter on the 3rd, 4th and 5th gears for fuel saving. It also holds the gear
on varied gradient ascents and automatically selects a gear on descents to
match speed with engine braking. All of this simply adds to this SUV's
capability and convenience, I personally did not feel the need for a manual
The suspension setup on the Isuzu mu-X is
what thoroughly impressed me. Driving over bad roads, broken tarmac or just
over rubble, the suspension gobbles up all undulations with ease, absorbing
most of the shocks and jolts.
Flooring the accelerator will give you the
feeling of a 'Baahubali' flexing his muscles. The 3.0 litre Hercules sitting
under the hood will roar as the mu-X surges forward. The punchy response from
the engine ensures a very spirited and peppy drive on highways and smooth
up-shifts cater to a jolt-free ride. In the city the ride is quite smooth and
carefree. Take the mu-X on a broken path or down a slushy slope, this SUV will
not disappoint you. The ground clearance of this SUV stands at 220mm and it
gets a 30.1 degree approach angle which also happens to be the best in the
segment. The mu-X has a departure angle of 25.1 degrees and a gradability of 30
degrees. To those who don't make much of these figures, I shall be plain in
saying the mu-X is immensely capable off-road as well.
Be it crawling over rocks or small
boulders, driving over gravel or through slush, the mu-X will take all in its
stride without even flinching once. The mu-X comes with features such as ABS
with EBD, Traction Control System and Electronic Stability Control. With all
these driver aides kicking in at just the right time, the Isuzu mu-X also
proves to be a very safe ride on and off tarmac. Noise insulation in the cabin
needs to be improved though.
The vehicle comes with discs on all four
wheels. While the rear ones are larger measuring 318mm the front discs measure
300mm. Braking is progressive and inspires a lot of confidence. Even over loose
surfaces we found panic braking to be quite effective with the 4 channel - 4
sensor ABS working spot on. Isuzu has also added EBA (Emergency Brake Assist),
2 Airbags, Hill Start Assist, 3 Point retractable seatbelts with an emergency
locking retractor, anti intrusion bars in the doors and many more functions to
ensure the safety of occupants.
The mu-X is indeed the “Baahubali” of SUVs
and has a lot to offer in terms of features, safety and technology. It gets the
right blend of materials with excellent fit and finish. Not just its behemoth
proportions, but even its capability off the beaten path will surely impress
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