First drive of the 2024 Isuzu MU-X: Five key points we took away

By Evan Spence 5 Min Read

Last week, Unsealed 4×4 was invited to the launch of the updated 2024 Isuzu D-MAX and MU-X range. It was great to see some significant updates, as well as some visual facelifting. The biggest change would be introducing the RZ4E-TC 1.9 litre turbo diesel engine across the MU-X line-up.

Firstly, the 3.0 litre engine is still here to stay, don’t worry. We’ve spent heaps of time driving that proven motor, and for 2024 it is mechanically unchanged. This time, we wanted to see what makes the 1.9 litre 2024 Isuzu MU-X tick.  

Now with 1.9L Engine option 

The 1.9L engine produces 110Kw and 350Nm of torque at 3,600rpm. Compared to the 4JJ3-TCX 3.0 litre turbo-diesel engine Isuzu also uses in their 4×4 vehicles, it’s down on power 30kW and 100Nm of torque. It really doesn’t seem like this would be a good engine package on paper, but I was surprised at the performance of the little 1.9 litre.

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It’s definitely slower, it has to be, but it has a sweet and distinct powerband – when sitting in its happy place, the motor pulls well for what it is. For my needs, however, I don’t think the $2000 savings and promise of better fuel economy would be enough for me to not choose the legendary 4JJ3 motor. However, it’s nice to have options.  

1.9 litre cheaper and uses less fuel

Yep, you’ll save $2000 at time of purchase if you choose the 1.9L over the 3.0L. As well as use a claimed 10% less fuel. Isuzu claims a combined figure of 8.3 L/100km with the 4×4 3.0 litre MU-X, and 7.4 L/100km with the 1.9 litre. This is naturally the best-case scenario, and it would be very interesting to see how much this number changed when both vehicles are fully loaded over a longer distance. Luckily, we’ll be spending more time in both vehicles very soon. 

The same 6-speed gearbox with the 1.9 litre

At this recent launch event, I asked the team at Isuzu Ute Australia if the 1.9 litre engine will get the same 6-speed AISIN gearbox as used behind the 3.0 litre, and a variety of other 4x4s. The answer I received, was yep – same gearbox. So you know it’s going to stand up to the power output of the 1.9 litre. In saying that, I was informed that gear ratios are different between the gearboxes, to suit the performance characteristics of each engine. 

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Towing capacity reduced 

As you’d expect, Isuzu has reduced the maximum braked towing capacity of 1.9 litre powered MU-X. The 1.9-litre can legally tow 3,000kg, with the Gross Combination Mass (GCM) coming in at 5,500kg. Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) is dependent on drivetrain, with 4×2 and 4×4 models coming in at 2,700kg and 2,800kg, respectively. 1.9-litre models have increased payload capacities, with the MU-X LS-M 1.9L 4×4 able to carry up to 735kg. 

Safety up across the board

Isuzu said at the launch event, safety was a key focus. As such, they have implemented their safety systems, known as (IDAS), across the board. These safety features include:

  • AEB with Turn Assist
  • Forward Collision Warning
  • Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop and Go
  • Traffic Sign Recognition
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Lane Departure Prevention
  • Lane Keeping Assist
  • Emergency Lane Keeping
  • Blind Spot Monitoring
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert
  • Trailer Sway Control
  • Eight airbags.

Grades and pricing

There are three grades and nine variants in the Isuzu MU-X line-up for 2024; priced from $47,400 to $67,990 (these prices are not drive-away, and were correct at time of publishing).

– Isuzu MU-X LS-M 1.9L 4×2: $47,400
– Isuzu MU-X LS-M 3.0L 4×2: $49,400
– Isuzu MU-X LS-U 3.0L 4×2: $55,900
– Isuzu MU-X LS-T 3.0L 4×2: $63,400
– Isuzu MU-X LS-M 1.9L 4×4: $53,400
– Isuzu MU-X LS-U 1.9L 4×4: $59,900
– Isuzu MU-X LS-M 3.0L 4×4: $55,400
– Isuzu MU-X LS-U 3.0L 4×4: $61,900
– Isuzu MU-X LS-T 3.0L 4×4: $69,400 ($67,990 drive away – yes not a typo) 



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