The SUV segment in India is not short of any competition. SUVs like the new MU-X and the popular Toyota Fortuner have taken the competition to a much higher level. The Isuzu MU-X shares its exterior designing elements from the D-Max V-Cross pickup van and is launched on the May 11, 2017.
The Toyota Fortuner, on the other hand, has been in the market for a longer period with the new generation. This new Toyota Fortuner was launched towards the end of 2016 and has been one of the best selling SUVs since then.
However, the Fortuner is priced at a slightly higher range than the Isuzu MU-X. But are the features of the two SUVs good enough to justify their premium price tag. Moreover, is the MU-X good enough to compete with the mighty Fortuner? Let’s find out how these cars perform if they are thrown against each other.
The Isuzu MU-X has the perfect physical traits that you would want an SUV to have. It is big and muscular and looks utmost premium. The front section gets generous amount of chrome on the grille. The bumper is blacked out and houses a pair of fog lamps. The headlamps are slightly stretched and sweptback with projector headlamps. The wheel arches are very bulgy and prominent. Moving towards the rear, you will find the setting to be equally attractive. There are chrome lining on the bootlid. The rear lights section are underlined with a strip of chrome. To make it more attractive, the rear lights split at the tailgate lining.
The Toyota Fortuner, on the contrary, is not at all curvy but yet holds a wonderfully big and and butch as always. The headlamps are sleeker in shape than that of the MU-X and houses the same projector headlamps. The Fortuner too gets a generous amount of chrome on the grille. The fog lamps lower down are also covered surrounded by a strip of chrome. The bumper is extremely muscular. The wheel arches are plain and not very bulgy as the MU-X but get a thin lining of black cladding on them. At the rear portion, the premiumness is absolutely evident. The bootlid handle gets chrome treatment and the name “FORTUNER” embossed on it. The tail lights are wraparound and sleek and split at the tailgates.
The Isuzu MU-X has received a very attractive looking interiors. The inside gets a dual-tone paint scheme of Ivory and Grey. The upholstery is made of soft leather. Up at the front dashboard, there is a 7-inch infotainment system which acts as a display unit for the rear camera. Premium features like automatic climate control with AC vents on all the three rows, cruise control, keyless entry, etc., make the car stand very much in competition with the others. Moreover, speaker system is mounted on the roof, which makes the surround sound experience better.
The new Toyota Fortuner, by far, is almost a kind of winner in the the segment. It is not just a ditto copy and paste job from the Innova Crysta, unlike the previous generation which was very much similar to the Innova. The company has managed to get the space on the interiors on the higher side by getting slimmer seats and thinner dashboard. From the outside, you might feel that the deck of the car is high, but when you get inside, you will realise that the seat height is ample and high without compromising much with the headroom. The dashboard is not very stylish but is detailed at the same time. The seats are wrapped with premium quality leather.
Engine and Transmission
The Isuzu MU-X is offered in just one engine trim. The SUV is powered by a 3.0-litre diesel engine which makes a maximum power of 174 bhp at 3,600 revs per minute and a peak torque of 380 Nm at 1,800-2,800 revs per minute. The power is transmitted to the wheels via 5-speed automatic transmission gearbox. It comes with a 4X4 drive train as well which comes in high as well as low ratios.
On the contrary, the Toyota Fortuner has many options to choose among petrol and diesel engines. The petrol variant has a 2.7-litre engine which delivers a peak power of 164 bhp at 5,200 revs per minute and a peak torque of 245 Nm at 4,000 revs per minute. The 2.8-litre diesel engine is capable of making a maximum power of 174 bhp at 3,400 revs per minute and a peak torque of 450 Nm at 1,600 revs per minute. The transmission duties are done by a 6-speed manual manual or a 6-speed automatic transmission gearbox. However, the 4×2 drivetrain version gets a 5-speed manual transmission gearbox.
The Isuzu MU-X is a relatively a new product for the Indian SUV market. The USP of this car is definitely the exterior designing. It looks like the perfect combination of aggressiveness and style. There aren’t many extra-ordinary stitches and designing cuts on the outside, which makes the design flawless. The Toyota Fortuner, on the other hand, looks bigger and bulkier. However, this bulkiness is for the better. When you spot a Fortuner on the road, it looks no less than a king-sized car.
There’s just one factor that you might not like about the newly launched Isuzu MU-X. The new SUV is available is just the diesel engine. Hence, the customers preferring a petrol car will have to look for other available options. The Fortuner, on the other hand, gives you the freedom to choose between its petrol and diesel engine options which is further subdivided into 2WD, AWD, manual and automatic transmission trims, offering you a lot of option to choose from.
Till now, the entire ball was in Fortuner’s court, but there’s one great aspect where the MU-X tends to pack a punch and revive the entire scheme of things i.e. pricing. The Toyota Fortuner, with all of its premium features, is retailed at an exclusive showroom price of Rs. 26.81 lakhs (ex-showroom, Delhi) for the base variant. On the other hand, the new MU-X is available at a base price of Rs. 23.99 lakhs (ex-showroom, Delhi) only.