The SUV meets the classic bakkie

THE new Isuzu mu-X is definitely my favourite in the Isuzu offerings.

This is a bold statement to make up front, but after a week of driving this vehicle through torrential rains with seven adults and crashing into a rock, I have reason for saying this.

Coming from a city (Durban) where Isuzu is a favourite among bakkie lovers, the introduction of this SUV will see lovers of the brand and families flocking in for a test drive.

This stunning vehicle comes packed with the luxuries of an SUV and the power of a work-horse bakkie.

In terms of the exterior, Isuzu stayed true to its design and brand. In terms of the interior, this is where Isuzu has definitely paid attention to detail.

It comes equipped with all the bells and whistles and more, providing both practicality and luxury.

The centre and back seats (yes, it is a seven-seater) fold away for those who want to transport large items or large pets.

The easy to use system with touchscreen and the latest technology is definitely a plus for gadget fundies. (I did not experiment too much with the system as I don’t pay too much attention to tech in cars, but this one was not too difficult to figure out.)

I drove the 4x2 derivative and when I discovered it is a seven-seater, I thought this is the perfect opportunity to pack up the extended family and head to the Midlands for the weekend.

Seven adults and a child set out for the road on a Thursday morning and this is where Isuzu’s engine came to life.

Loading seven adults into the vehicle was not too difficult either. We packed extremely light due to very limited boot space when the vehicle is being used as a seven-seater, but there was room for everything.

The trip to Pietermaritzburg was not an uncomfortable one and despite the load, no hill proved too difficult for the Isuzu.

We arrived in Howick and welcomed the torrential rains and I was very grateful to be driving one of these vehicles as the road handling in wet conditions was excellent.

Having booked on a farm, it also meant we had to drive the vehicle on muddy roads.

To be honest, I found it difficult to say I struggled on any surface with the mu-X — I trusted the safety features with my entire family and despite horrible conditions, I felt at ease on the road at all times.

I also had the chance to sit in the rear seats. For some perspective, I am 1,58 cm tall which is about average height and I fitted in comfortably for the 45-minute journey.

There are also little luxuries for those who are in the rear seats — cup holders on either side and vents to allow the air-conditioner to cool the whole vehicle.

In terms of fuel consumption, the vehicle gives you anything between seven litres per 100 km to eight litres per 100 km.

When driving long distance it can be lighter and in terms of city driving this can go up to 10 litres per 100 km.

For a vehicle of this size and power, this is excellent, whether you’re travelling with the entire family or on your own.

The Isuzu mu-X 3.0 4x2 AT6 is available from R568 000.