Isuzu pickup dons active wear, SUV goes dressy

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Isuzu D-Max X Series

THE two-wheel-drive variants of Isuzu’s pickup and SUV have new special renditions.

Freshly released by Isuzu Philippines Corp. (IPC) on Feb. 23 were the new X-Series version of the Isuzu D-Max pickup and the Luxe line of the Isuzu Mu-X SUV. The former received a sportier treatment while the latter packs more premium items.

The 2018 D-Max X-Series — “dressed to be more edgy,” according to IPC — is marked out by a grille, roof rails, chin spoiler and 18-inch wheels finished in black. Body color-keyed cargo bed spoiler and rear skirt are also new. Red garnishes on the Isuzu logo, skirts and fog lamp surrounds brighten up the truck’s fresh pieces.

In its cabin, the latest D-Max variant is fitted with a rocker panel that has an illuminated Isuzu logo and more USB ports.

Colors available for the D-Max X-Series are Freestyle White and Black Hawk. The truck is priced at P1.355 million or P1.420 million, depending whether if it’s the five-speed manual or the five-speed automatic transmission that’s chosen.

Isuzu Mu-X Luxe
New Mu-X Luxe has signature paint job.

“Keeping our lineup fresh is key to [addressing the requirements of a] very demanding market,” said Hajime Koso, president of IPC.

As such, the Mu-X Luxe “brings together superior features that deliver the statement… of a premium SUV,” IPC said in a news release. The company noted the newest Mu-X line is defined by fender flares and a lower fascia finished in light gray, which match the variant’s signature Red Spinel body paint.

Joseph T. Bautista, IPC marketing head, said on the sidelines of the vehicles’ launch program that the Philippines (along with Australia) is the top destination of the Thailand-built Mu-X. “That is why we can ask for certain [special] specifications, like the red paint job,” he said, while noting red is not a popular color choice for vehicles in Thailand.

Other items unique to the Mu-X Luxe are a power-operated tailgate, illuminated scuff plate and a 3D-surround sound system.

Both the D-Max X-Series and Mu-X Luxe retain mechanical specifications found in some other variants. The two are propelled by Isuzu’s clean diesel, Euro4-compliant, four-cylinder, 3.0-liter engine — branded Blue Power — that through an intercooled variable geometry turbocharger and common rail direct injection is able to output 174 hp and 380 Nm. The engine can be matched to either a manual transmission or an automatic gearbox in the case of the D-Max X-Series, or solely with the automatic in the P1.895-million Mu-X Luxe. — Brian M. Afuang