From the first sound of it, Isuzu is related to mostly heavy and medium commercial vehicles and is also operational in India through a joint venture with Swaraj-Mazda limited (now SML-ISUZU). Isuzu is a Japan based company which is known for heavy duty trucks and also for their equally heavy duty diesel engines. Isuzu’s India entry was also based on the same grounds that it powered the Swaraj Mazda trucks with their diesel engines. But the Japanese automobile company is now set to launch a utility vehicle in the Indian market soon.
Spotted testing around Pune was the Isuzu Alterra. The Alterra is based on the same platform as that of the Isuzu pick-up truck Dmax. First launched as the MU-7 in Thailand, the same is also on sale in the Phillipines as the Isuzu Alterra. The test mule in discussion was wearing an MU-7 badge, although this doesn’t confirm whether the Indian version will be called the MU-7 or the Alterra. These versions feature both a 4×2 and 4×4 drive options which we too can expect it here in India.
Speaking on the lines of design, the Isuzu Alterra looks big at the front with generous chrome work. There is a huge grille with equally huge headlamps and also a big air scoop on the bonnet. Personally I am a big fan of the front part of the car. The side profile of the car looks way similar to the Force One except the One is not so extended at the rear. The overall length is somewhat weird but in a way it could be providing a lot of space in the third row. The chrome work continues on the side at the door handles and at the bottom. The rear is quite decent with big vertical oriented tail-lights and a chrome strip at the centre. At the first look of the rear, I thought it was a Santro Xing, does it?
The Alterra possesses a 3.0-litre CRDI, four-cylinder diesel engine with turbo intercooler which churns a peak power of 161 BHP and a peak 360 Nm of torque. The Alterra will be offered with a four-speed automatic transmission in a 4×4 variant and an automatic or five-speed manual transmission with the 4×2 variants. The Isuzu SUV will be in competition with the Toyota Fortuner and the Ford Endeavour considering the 3000cc displacement they too provide. Initially the Alterra will follow the CKD route and eventually increased localization will reduce the prices. Although this may prove a bad start for the SUV on pricing grounds. Isuzu is a new name in the passenger car front and for it to get established in India it is the pricing which must be given utmost importance.
Source – Autocar India