The Isuzu MU-X is a big seven-seater, I loved the old 2017 MU-X so I was looking forward to re-testing it and making a video this time for our BabyDrive audience!
I loved the previous model for its simplicity and easy ride and not a lot has changed. I found the MU-X didn't tick all the BabyDrive boxes with not having a modern media system etc but it was still just a great car that I didn't have to think too much about and could just jump in and go anywhere with no worries!
Isuzu has kept the same fantastically simple controls on the dash, central console and steering wheel that I loved in the previous model. It is perfect for minimal fuss and saving my attention for the road and the kids! However, I do feel the interior could be due for an update next time around so that it doesn't start to feel out of date.
There were ISOFix and top tethers in all three second-row seats, which is a fantastic BabyDrive feature. I found the second row seats weren't wide enough to have all three child seats using the ISOFix though. I had to move the rear-facing child seats out to the edges of the two outer seats and use the seatbelts in order to squeeze three seats across.
The seat belt clips were buried underneath the child seats and hard to locate. Installing the three seats isn't straightforward as you have to raise the seat backs of the third row of seats slightly in order to attach the top tether straps on the second-row seats, because the top tethers are positioned in the bottom of the backrests of the second row of seats, at just the point where the third-row headrest is when flat! So make sure you install child seats before loading up the boot!! Bad design! The top tether points just needed to be an inch higher to avoid this problem. There are no top tethers or ISOFix in the third-row seats. Any size dog would fit easily in the boot with only the second-row seats in use.
Accessing the third-row seats you have to uninstall a child seat in order to climb through to the third-row seats. The second-row seats do not slide so the legroom behind is fixed, I found a 184cm passenger could easily travel in the front passenger seat, with 31cm knee room when in front of a rear-facing capsule but not behind in the third-row. I am 162cm and I fitted in the third row with a fair amount of head and with 20cm of knee room.
The boot has great storage capacity when the third row of seats are not in use, holding 17 shopping bags but when the third-row seats are in use it would hold just five shopping bags.
All varieties of stroller fitted in the boot with shopping bags when the third-row seats were not in use, however when the third-row seats were in use only the Mountain Buggy Nano compact stroller would fit with two shopping bags.
The retractable roller blind storage box, underneath the boot floor, doubled as a separate storage compartment when not holding the cargo blind.
There was no cargo blind in this test car but in the previous model I drove, it was definitely the MU-X’s weakest link. It was very light and made of a thin waterproof material that rolled out revealing two elastic loops and two thin straps with plastic clips as the method to fasten it in place. Although it is very lightweight, making it easy to manage and manoeuvre, it seemed obvious to me that the elastic loops, straps and clips would last six months tops before they were broken, frayed and fallen off! Lost to the world of I'll get around to fixing that, knowing that you never will!!! Also, they are all very fiddly methods of attachment that took a lot of time with two hands, which I don’t get much of, and for those needing a seven-seater, I’d imagine you get even less!? The parcel shelf seemed like very much an afterthought! So you'd definitely want to check in the new model if you are looking at it.
There was a lot of storage compartments in the front of the MU-X but nowhere in the car would hold a large refillable water bottle than one cup holder in the third-row, which is just too far away when you're driving!!
The MU-X scored a five-star ANCAP safety rating in 2013 and has 6 airbags as standard, including curtain head airbags that do extend to the third row.