Isuzu has silently entered the Indian market without making any official announcements but thanks to our reader Sivakumar Janakiraman, we have got all the details of the Isuzu MU-7. The Japanese automaker is test marketing their products in the South, before investing heavily in marketing and dealership expansion. Isuzu is not new to India and has been supplying engines to Hindustan Motors for ages now. The company has launched two products in the Indian market, the Isuzu D-Max pick-up truck (in single and double cab variants) and the Isuzu MU-7 SUV.
The Isuzu D-Max is priced at Rs. 6.89 lakhs and Rs. 8.10 lakhs for the single and double cab versions respectively. The Isuzu MU-7 is priced at Rs. 24.18 lakhs (all prices ex-showroom, Hyderabad). The high price difference between the pick-up and SUV is due to the import duty, which is higher on passenger vehicles. These vehicles are imported as CBUs from Thailand and commercial diesel vehicles are charged at just 10% while the MU-7 is subjected to over 100% excise duty. Thus, even though the MU-7 is based on the D-Max, it costs drastically more.
The dealer in Hyderabad (Mahavir Isuzu) has started taking bookings for the MU-7. The initial booking amount is Rs. 51,000/- and the Isuzu MU-7 commands a waiting period of 6 months, as Isuzu has allotted only 60 units for 2013. Only the 2-wheel drive version (rear-wheel drive) is available currently and the 4-wheel drive version will come after 2 years. However the MU-7 offered is in top model trim and is available in 3 colours – white, black and silver.
The Isuzu MU-7 is powered by a 3.0-litre 4-cylinder diesel engine which produces 163 PS of power at 3600 RPM and 360 Nm of torque between 1800-2800 RPM. Weirdly though, this engine is not BS4 compliant but only BS3 compliant. It is mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox. Performance is decent and 0 – 100 km/hr takes 10.7 seconds while the top speed is 175 km/hr. This 7-seater SUV has a massive wheelbase of 3050 mm and weighs 1900 kgs.
We are not too sure about the ride quality as this ladder frame SUV uses leaf springs at the rear. ABS, EBD, dual front airbags, rear entertainment system and manual AC is offered on the MU-7. Clearly the Isuzu MU-7 doesn’t come across as a very value for money offering with the features list not bettering its chief rivals like the Toyota Fortuner and SsangYong Rexton W. The company plans to set up a manufacturing plant in Andhra Pradesh soon.