By Stephen Macharia & Samwel Doe
Do you want to live adventure and worry-free drive off-road? Well, the new Isuzu mu-X will not disappoint.
The art of motoring adventure is sometimes a necessity. And to achieve it, you need a car that can go that extra mile: a car that perform on road, off-road and even at instances you have to make a road out of a farm field.
At the height of the thrill, you must bury worries that the car may summersault at a graveled road, break or perforate the sump guard or suffer losses after the vehicles suspension suspend your thrill moments. But how many vehicles can give a driver a lasting motoring adventure? Surely, that list excludes many two wheeled machines, leaving a praxis of varieties in the 4-wheel vehicles (4WDs) category.
The newly launched ISUZU mu-X will awaken the hedonistic nuances in you. With about 23 cm of ground clearance, cruising on rough roads should be easy. 18-inch alloy wheels enhance that ground clearance. And on a sunny and windy day in Kipeto, Kajiado County, the Isuzu mu-X majestically made a trip to the region on a test drive mission by these writers.
From Kipeto, the writers made a trip to Namanga town for a feel of the car performance on flat-out road sections. Its performance on the dusty, rocky, hilly and sloppy roads is worth recording in Safari Njema magazine. It is time to whet your motoring adventure appetite because “you have never been on a ride like this before” to use the words of Dr. Dre, an American hip-hop artist. Our ride to Ka jiado was flawless.
The car acceleration is marvelous and calls for self- discipline to drive below 100 kilometers per hour (kph) on transport sections. ISUZU MUX reeks of revolution in motoring technology and presents into the Kenyan auto market a bespoke machine that is centric to passenger comfort and safety. The MUX is an embodiment of motoring sophistication and dependability. The vehicle accelerates effortlessly and remains stable even at high speeds. We did however find the vehicle shaky on tarmac road rubble strips.
In one occasion, we intentionally hit rubble strips at about 80 kilometers per hour and felt the vehicle’s rear dance a little bit. This vehicle has a diesel powered 3.0 litre turbo charged engine spinning the wheels. Isuzu mu-x has a 6-speed automated transmission. On rough roads, the performed well demonstrating excellent grip capabilities uphill and downhill. It also goes uphill without breaking a sweat.
It peaked pretty well uphill, stamping its power of 130 Kw. Even on 2WD mode, which powers the rear wheels, the vehicle performed. We found its turning angle admirable when we subjected the vehicle to a turn on a narrow road. This is a good feature especially for urban driving where a driver sometimes needs to make turns with minimal space. To correct any form of driver malpractice, the vehicle comes with traction control (TC) and electronic stability control (ESC) enhanced by 5 speed automatic transmission.
You can shift from two-wheel drive mode to four-wheel mode at ease at a turn of a button, enabling the vehicle produce more grip and torque on need basis. Its anti-lock braking system (ABS) is fitted with an electronic brake-force distribution and emergency brake assist (EBA). The brake disks are ventilated to allow for expansion in hot conditions. An MUX driver gets assistance from camera and rear parking sensors while reversing the car.
The car is a 7-seater SUV. Five seats can fold flat to provide additional space. Seats easily tumble to access the rear, which lowers to create space for luggage of up to carrying up to one ton.In contemporary motoring needs, fuel economy sits high atop the checklist of a motorist. The vehicle does an average of 100 km with 7 litres of diesel.
This means one can drive from Nairobi to Thika and back, (about 90 kms) and part with about Sh 725 on fuel. As time of gong to press, he price of diesel stood at Sh 103.4 in Nairobi. The vehicle has a fuel tank capacity of 65 litres. Technological innovations of the MUX lie on the car dashboard. The dashboard carries multiple informative elements including a feature that reminds drivers to belt up after the car starts.
The dashboard also has a digital touch display screen. During our test mission, the screen responded well to light touches. The dashboard also boasts of an automated rotary climate control system that serves as the central vehicle aerating mechanism. The interior of the vehicle has an amazing upholstery and black leather seats. The leg and head rooms are spacious for all seven passengers and driver.
Leather- accented seats, kitted with two fabrics, recline for comfort and ergonomics. Driver’s comfort is a priority in the vehicle. The seat has an electronic adjustment system that allows easy adjustments at a touch of a button on the bottom right side of the seat. The steering wheel has sound system control features that allow stereo control that include volume adjustments and radio tuning. To augment the sound system, ISUZU MUX has a 10 inch DVD monitor kitted for passengers seated behind the driver.
Part of the vehicle’s interior includes a roof-mounted air cooling system. Its sound system has six speakers. As with the Bluetooth system, there is a lot that shows the car is made for the 21st century premium transport needs. When receiving a call, the dashboard screen displays the name of the caller as well as call duration. It also constantly displays network signal strength as well as the phone battery charge levels.
This Bluetooth system can support up to five devices at a go. The car has passenger and driver airbags. A unique safety feature though is that the front seatbelt come with pre-tensioners that pull back after airbags are activated. This averts driver and passenger suffocation from the airbag in event of a crash. On the exterior, the vehicle has daytime Bi-LED lamps that remained on throughout our journey. At night, this car guarantees driver’s visibility through its projector headlights with auto-levelling feature.
To give maximum off-road experience, the mu-X is fitted with the rugged protection, which includes front steel plate skid/splash shield and steel plate guards. Internationally, the mu-X has been awarded a five-star ANCAP rating. Standard safety equipment on the LS-U includes Traction Control (TC), Electronic Stability Control (ESC), ABS with electronic brake-force distribution, system with wheel locking steer ability with EBD and EBA (emergency brake assist), reversing camera, rear parking sensors, height adjustable front seat belts, audible and visual seat belt warnings.
It also have ‘Hill Start Assist’ and ‘Hill Descent Control. For child safety, the car is fitted with an ISO fix points on the second row that gives provisions for the owner to buy and fit child seats in the vehicle.