Story & Photos by Ronald Rey M. de los Reyes
THIS writer has always been a fan of the king of diesel engines. It was practically the family’s ride ever since my early days in Ateneo and it, indeed, lived up to what it stood for—a reliable partner.
Today, after 20 years in the industry, it still consistently continues that legacy to be that ever-steadfast companion on the road—unwavering, never failing.
In fact, according to Isuzu Philippines Corp. (IPC) President Hajime Koso during their anniversary a few months ago, the three key elements to their success were market proximity, product quality that ensures drivability, reliability and efficiency; and their excellent after-sales service.
“IPC has achieved successful growth. In fact, it has attained the biggest growth in the Southeast Asian region during the past 20 years,” he said in his speech.
The Isuzu Mu-X and D-Max are equipped now with their newest Blue Power Technology, which were both launched alongside their commercial trucks during the said celebrations.
Recently, we were invited to a three-day event, which was meant to test the units in a suitable environment—picturesque roads with a perfect mix of hilly terrain and a combination of urban and rural pathways. The Blue Power D-Max and Mu-X, which now sport the new 4JJ1-TCX Euro 4 engine that can deliver up to 177 PS and has a maximum torque of 380 N-m was truly a “reliable partner” in such landscape—always dependable. During the affair, I was riding together with Vince Pornelos of Autoindustriya.com, Joseph Bautista and Abby Calalo from IPC onboard the new Isuzu mu-X 3.0 LS-A 4×2 AT. With my fellow colleague at the helm, I could just feel that deep-seated thrust every time he pushes the pedal during a few occasional uphill onslaughts. There was clearly power when you needed it complemented with that necessary frugality in fuel efficiency, especially during long drives.
It, too, has loads of technologies that made our cruise along slopes and edges smooth and comfortable, such as: a new Hill Start Assist feature and many others. Coziness is never compromised with the Mu-X’s new instrument panel with MID, and an 8-inch entertainment system with USB link and text-to-speech navigation. Plus, its plush cabin interior now boasts of premium leather quilt-stich design seats and door trims, while a sophisticated blue ambient light and piano black garnish found on each door.
Still the swaggering beast I’ve come know it from the outside, the Mu-X is now fitted with the new Bi-LED projector headlamp with integrated day time running lamps equipped with an auto-headlight leveling—helps the driver’s visibility while on the road. A redesigned chrome radiator grille coupled with the aerodynamically designed front bumper was also thrown into the mix, coupled with the latest horizontal type with LED positioning rear lamps. Thus, capping its robust panache are newly designed 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels, giving its slicker ride that touch of much-needed flair.
Though I personally wasn’t able to drive it since I was too busy preparing for an industry event, I, on the other hand, was able to get behind its wheel prior the Bohol trip during our recent Car Awards Group Inc. testing last month. All the testers were impressed by the midsized sport-utility vehicle (SUV), together with its brother the D-Max—which, in fact, resulted in both their wins as both Best SUV 4×2 and Best Pick-up Truck 4×2. In short, they blew us away.
This whiz of a machine now comes in the new Havana Brown color along with its existing color lineup of Cosmic Black, Titanium Silver, Obsidian Gray and Silky Pearl White. Prices start at P1.648 million for the Mu-X 3.0L LS-A 4×2 A/T; P1.958 million for the Mu-X 3.0L LS-A 4×4 AT; additional P10,000 will be added for the Silky Pearl White color. As for this drive in Bohol, I will leave you with a quote from Pierre Teilhard de Chardin:
“A sense of the universe, a sense of the all, the nostalgia which seizes us when confronted by nature, beauty, music—these seem to be an expectation and awareness of a great presence.”
Again, kudos to the king of diesel engines.