The 2021 Isuzu D-Max pick-up and MU-X SUV have been launched in India with prices starting at Rs 16.98 lakh and Rs 32.23 lakh (ex-showroom, Tamil Nadu), respectively. Both models have been reintroduced after they had been discontinued in April 2020, when the BS VI era began. Isuzu India has opted to continue with the previous-gen models, though the next-gen MU-X and D-Max have been introduced aborad.
Isuzu has introduced the updated pick-up in three variants - Hi-Lander, V-Cross Z and V-Cross Z Prestige, all of which are powered by a BS6-compliant version of the previously available 1.9-litre, four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine. However, as it now makes 163hp and 360Nm of torque, the BS6 unit is 13hp and 10Nm more powerful than its BS4 counterpart.
One of the major differences between the Highlander variant and V-Cross trims is that the former is only available in two-wheel drive form and with a 6-speed manual gearbox. The V-Cross variants get a 4WD system and 6-speed manual and 6-speed automatic transmission options.
Tsuguo Fukumura, MD, Isuzu Motors India said, “Isuzu’s passenger vehicles range of pick-ups and SUVs have been consistently well-received since launch. Being a game changer, they have been able to create positive impression and satiate the aspirational vehicle needs for discerning customers. We are delighted to expand our offering in this segment with addition of the Hi-Lander and V-Cross Z 4x2 AT variant to cater to a larger audience. The new Isuzu passenger vehicles are developed to truly enhance the value proposition with best-in-class design, performance, comfort, safety, and driving pleasure for our valued customers. India is a key market for us, and we will continue to bring in the best technology and engineering that Isuzu has to offer globally. Isuzu is globally renowned for making tough, reliable and fuel-efficient vehicles and our new BSVI range embodies these characteristics.”
Ken Takashima, deputy MD, Isuzu Motors India said, “The Indian market for SUVs is now coming of age and we are excited to be present here in these times with our latest offerings. We are proud to have set the benchmark in presenting India with its first ever lifestyle adventure utility vehicle and are happy to carry forward this success story with our newly launched Isuzu Hi-Lander and the new V-Cross Z AT variant from the V-Cross range. We are confident that with this wide range of aspirational products, we shall be able to address the needs of the emerging urban consumers and further strengthen our position in the segment.”
The new entry point to the D-Max range, the new Hi-Lander variant (Rs 16.98 lakh) comes with dual front airbags, ABS, rear parking sensors and ISOFIX anchors as standard. The driver's seat comes with 6-way adjust and the rear seats split and fold in a 60:40 ratio. A new digital colour MID sits between the analogue dials, 12V front and rear sockets and power windows are on offer, as is a manual AC unit.
The Isuzu D-Max V-Cross Z trim (Rs 19.98-20.98 lakh) is equipped with features like LED projector headlamps, keyless entry and go, auto climate control, a 7.0-inch infotainment touchscreen, steering-mounted controls and a rear parking camera.
The V-Cross Z Prestige (Rs 24.49 lakh) adds features such as side and curtain airbags, ESC, traction control, shift-on-the-fly 4WD, leather seats, 8-speaker sound system, a powered driver’s seat and auto cruise control.
As before, the Isuzu MU-X is available with the same 177hp, 3.0-litre diesel engine, which is mated to a 5-speed automatic gearbox. The 4x2 (Rs 33.23 lakh) and 4x4 variants (Rs 35.19 lakh) have also been retained. Other than the lack of the 4WD system, the variants are identical and get the same features - six airbags, rear parking sensors and a rear camera, LED headlights, a power adjustable driver’s seat, a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system and cruise control are standard.
Back in 2018 when we compared the Isuzu MU-X to its seven-seat body-on-frame rivals, it felt dated and less sophisticated and refined in comparison. Now, this space is even more competitive with contenders including the MG Gloster (Rs 29.98-36.88 lakh*), Ford Endeavour (Rs 29.99-36.25 lakh), the Toyota Fortuner and Legender (Rs 30.34-38.30 lakh) and the Mahindra Alturas G4 (Rs 28.74-31.74 lakh). It remains to be seen how this barely updated MU-X pans out for Isuzu.
All prices, ex-showroom, Delhi
*MG Gloster prices, ex-showroom, India, barring Kerala