Ford’s new Everest faces off against one of Australia’s most popular four-wheel-drive wagons – Isuzu MU-X – around town and in the bush to see which is best.
For families that want to mix their business and pleasure in a family hauler, there are some attractive options on the Australian new car market.
We have lined up two of the newest, safest and most impressive for this comparison: the Isuzu MU-X and the Ford Everest.
If you don’t have any aspiration of going off-road, then have a good hard look at a Kia Carnival. But if you’re planning on some camping, four-wheel driving and towing, then these two should be at the pointy end of your consideration set.
Aside from the Toyota Kluger and Nissan Pathfinder, these two vehicles have genuine off-road chops through a ladder frame chassis, low-range transfer case and locking rear differential.
Similar options in the segment look and feel old in comparison to these two. The second-generation (for Australia) Ford Everest made its debut this year, while the Isuzu MU-X first arrived around the middle of 2021.
Both of these four-wheel-drive wagons share platforms with their ute siblings, but trade in leaf springs and big load spaces for a coil-sprung set-up and three-row seating, all on a shorter wheelbase.
While we have a 2022 Isuzu MU-X in this comparison, Isuzu has since brought out a slight refresh of its four-wheel-drive wagon. Along with some cosmetic changes and new wheels, Isuzu has also switched off some of the active safety technology automatically when towing.
How much does the Isuzu MU-X cost in Australia?
What we have here is the range-topping MU-X LS-T, which comes in at a price of $67,400 before on-road costs. However, Isuzu’s determination to stick a seemingly permanent drive-away price of $65,990 means this Isuzu feels like a much sharper deal overall, and strangely makes it less expensive than its lesser equipped LS-U in the middle of the range.
So while looking a rung or two down from the top will often yield the sweet spot in the range, this top-spec model clearly has the strongest value quotient (depending, of course, on what kind of deal you can strike before signing on the dotted line).
Whereas the lower-grade Isuzu MU-X models have cloth interior trimming and smaller wheels, the LS-T ups the ante with leather interior trimming, 20-inch alloy wheels, tyre pressure monitoring, heated front seats, LED interior lighting, remote start, and power adjustment for the front seats.
This comes on top of other things like a powered tailgate, bi-LED headlights, sensor key with push-button start, 9.0-inch infotainment display, eight-speaker sound system, and leather wrapping for the gearshifter and steering wheel.
However, the strange positioning of having the top-spec model effectively cheaper than mid-spec means you’re best served aiming at the LS-T, unless of course you can broker a deal otherwise.
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Toyota’s top-selling LandCruiser Prado should also be considered, although a competitive price point will see you in mid-spec GXL ($67,530 plus on-road costs).
How much does the Ford Everest cost in Australia?
The Everest range comprises four variants with either two- or four-wheel drive, and a choice of the incumbent 2.0-litre four-cylinder twin-turbo diesel, or a meatier 3.0-litre V6 turbo diesel engine. The smaller engine makes 154kW at 3750rpm and 500Nm at 1750-2000rpm, while the larger V6, available only at the upper reaches of the range in Sport ($69,909 plus on-road costs) and Platinum ($77,690 plus on-road costs) variants betters both numbers: 184kW at 3250rpm and 600Nm at 1750-2250rpm.
The range kicks off with the $52,990 plus on-road costs five seat rear-wheel drive Everest Ambiente. Opting for four-wheel drive adds $5000 to the bottom line.
It’s the same impost for the seven-seat Trend variants, priced at either $60,290 for the rear-wheel drive model, or $65,290 for four-wheel drive, both before on-road costs.
The Everest’s rivals include other ute-based SUV’s like the Isuzu MUX, Toyota Fortuner and Mitsubishi Pajero Sport. Buyers might also include the Toyota LandCruiser Prado in their consideration set.
Our test car is the 2023 Ford Everest Trend 4×4, priced from $65,290 plus on-road costs, sitting nicely in the middle of the range and arguably the sweet spot, offering seating for seven as well as genuine off-road capability.
Standard equipment highlights include 18-inch alloy wheels plus a full-size spare, eight-way powered driver’s seat, leather accented seat trim, a leather wrapped steering wheel, and a 12-inch infotainment touchscreen.
There’s also satellite navigation, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, an 8.0-inch digital instrument cluster, wireless phone charging, an electric tailgate, and heated and power-folding door mirrors with puddle lamps. Safety hasn;t been overlooked with the entire Everest range carrying a comprehensive suite of technologies as well as nine airbags – more on this later.
Our test car also wore a smattering of options including a shiny $675 coat of ‘prestige’ paint (Meteor Grey), and the $1950 Touring Pack that adds a tow bar, side exterior lighting and front- and rear-vision cameras.
Finally, the $900 Premium Seat Pack adds heated and cooled front-row seats as well as electric adjustment for driver and passenger and driver’s seat memory. Total price before on-road costs runs to $68,815 or around $74,600 drive-away depending on which state or territory you live in.
|Key details||2022 Isuzu MU-X LS-T||2023 Ford Everest Trend|
|Price (MSRP)||$67,400 plus on-road costs
|$65,290 plus on-road costs|
|Colour of test car||Cobalt Blue Mica||Meteor Grey|
|Options||Mica paint – $650||Touring Pack – $1950
– Tow bar
– 360-degree camera
– Exterior side lighting
Premium Seat Pack – $900
– Heated front seats
– Cooled front seats
– Power seat adjustment (front)
Prestige paint – $675
|Price as tested||$66,640 drive-away||$68,815 plus on-road costs|
|Drive-away price||$66,640||$74,600 (Sydney)|
How much space does the Isuzu MU-X have inside?
The interior of the Isuzu MU-X is well presented overall, with a modern design combining well with some practical touches necessary for everyday family usage.
Slide-out cupholders under the outboard air vents are great to have, and the second glovebox on the dash is also handy. Although, its potential is somewhat ruined by an additional box inside, which looks to be there to accommodate a CD player in other markets.
Power outlets include a USB and 12V outlet up front, and additional storage is found in a curved bin in front of the shifter, plus a lidded compartment below where you rest your elbow.
Materials take a step up in this LS-T, with Isuzu adding soft faux-leather patches on important touchpoints around the cabin. This helps, but there is also plenty of basic hard black plastic to contend with.
Electric seats offer good adjustment and comfort, and combine with tilt and reach adjustment through the steering column for good ergonomics overall.
The second row is quite spacious and comfortable as well, without plenty enough room for the likes of larger adults and rearward-facing baby seats to squeeze in. There are air vents in the roof (and a fan speed controller), and a solitary USB power outlet to fight over.
Unlike others in the segment, there is no sliding ability for the second row of the MU-X, which does hurt the versatility stakes somewhat. Although, it has to be said that even with the second row locked in place, the third row offers decent enough space for regular (if not everyday) usage.
Adults will find it pokey and probably a little uncomfortable for anything beyond a short drive. But it’s a pass mark for me, and a little better than some would find in others from the segment.
For a seven-seat SUV, the boot never really feels underdone in the MU-X. With all seven seats up there’s a decent 311L of space, enough for general everyday usage like groceries and school bags. In five-seat mode that grows to a fairly capacious 1119L (and a mostly flat floor), and a van-like 2138L (or enough room for a double mattress) in two-seat mode.
How much space does the Ford Everest have inside?
The old Everest, while offering a decent cabin, always reminded occupants of its dual-cab ute genesis. That hasn’t changed much with this new generation, the difference being the cabin of the new Ford Ranger is a big step up in terms of presentation and comfort.
This mid-level Trend specification feels pretty nice inside. Yes, there are the optional heated and cooled seats, but with plenty of nice materials surrounding you, including the leather-accented seat trim, the Everest presents like a well-specified family SUV should.
Practical touches are aplenty – from the standard cupholders in the centre stack and generous central storage bin with a softly padded lid, to the not one but two gloveboxes and door pockets capable of swallowing bottles, the front row of the Everest doesn’t want for spots to stow your stuff. There’s a wireless smartphone charging pad fore of the gear selector too.
That gear lever is nicely designed and feels meaty and reassuring in hand, while the leather-wrapped steering wheel treads a similar path, solid without being overly chunky and a simple button-style interface on each upper spoke providing intuitive controls for a raft of functions. We also love the traditional dials and knobs for the Everest’s climate controls.
There’s plenty of space in the second row for passenger comfort, especially if row three remains unused by humans. Toe, knee, leg and headroom are in abundance, the latter enhanced by the Everest’s scalloped roof lining that offers just that little bit of extra space for taller occupants.
The second-row seats slide fore and aft to free up space, while the seat backs recline for added comfort. There are cupholders in the flip-down armrest, as well as air vents in the roof, along with fan-speed controls in the back of the centre console, for a bit of extra climate comfort. Visibility remains good, the second row nice and light for occupants.
Entering the third row is tight but manageable, with some contortion required to navigate the fold-down second-row seats that reveal adequate aperture to clamber through.
Once ensconced in seats six and seven, there’s an okay amount of space for adults. It’s not class-leading by any stretch – Kia Sorento and Toyota Kluger arguably do it better – but there’s enough room to not feel completely cramped. That’s the benefit of having second-row seats that can slide forward, freeing up valuable legroom in the third row without impacting too much on second-row comfort.
Headroom is good in row three, too, with that scalloped roof again coming to the fore. There are air vents back there as well as cupholders, tangible signs that Ford hasn’t treated passengers six and seven as an afterthought.
It’s likely adults will find row three pretty tight on space, but for shorter journeys it’s not too bad. Smaller kids, of course, will be comfortable.
While boot space in seven-seat SUVs has never been a strong point with all three rows in use, the Everest’s is actually okay and has grown by 10L over the older model, now measuring in at 259L, which is perfectly adequate for a week’s worth of groceries.
Fold the third row away – not quite flat but almost – and there’s 898L available, expanding to 1823L with the second row also stowed.
There’s an additional little cubby under there revealed by lifting the boot floor, which is ideal for stashing laptops, tablets and smaller bags away from prying eyes.
|2022 Isuzu MU-X LS-T||2023 Ford Everest Trend|
|Boot volume||311L to third row
1119L to second row
2138L to first row
|259L to third row
898L to second row
1823L to first row
Does the Isuzu MU-X have Apple CarPlay?
Infotainment in the MU-X comes via Isuzu’s relatively new 9.0-inch display, with its own operating system calling the shots in the background. There is native navigation available in this specification, along with digital radio and wireless and wired Apple CarPlay connectivity but wired-only Android Auto.
It’s a decent system with a good size, but the operating system isn’t as slick or intuitive as others out there. This seems to be one area of new vehicle design that is moving rapidly, and one only needs to look at the Ford Everest – even in base specification – to see what kind of slick firepower is available.
Relatively speaking, this Isuzu system is a little slow to load and respond, and doesn’t have much in the way of party tricks. But it gets the job done.
In front of the driver is a relatively basic colour display, which gives you access to a handful of things. Along with the usual suspects (like a trip computer and digital speed readout), you can also control some of the active driving and other convenience features.
And here’s the tip: if you’re not a fan of how much the MU-X is boinging and donging at you, you can help control and ease such things through here.
Does the Ford Everest have Apple CarPlay?
This Everest Trend specification scores the larger 12.0-inch portrait-style touchscreen (Ambiente models make do with a 10.1-inch screen). It runs Ford’s Sync 4 operating system that provides a pleasant user experience with sharp graphics and an easy-to-use menu structure.
Wireless (and wired) Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard fit, as is native satellite navigation, digital radio and FordPass connectivity, which brings remote start, location services and locking and unlocking to the table controlled via an app on your smartphone. We find a lot of these ‘connected’ features a bit gimmicky. Others might be more enamoured.
Connecting wirelessly to Apple CarPlay proved simple and efficient; however, there was a tendency for the system to drop in and out of connection, and frustratingly so. We ended up reverting to cabled connectivity and that mitigated the problem.
In terms of charging options, as well as the wireless charging pad, there are USB-A and USB-C plugs in the front row, while the second row also scores USB-A and USB-C charging options.
The 8.0-inch digital instrument cluster is nicely integrated and offers a decent level of configurability – from minimalist with the barest of data to information-rich screens with a host of driving and trip data.
The overall technology on offer looks good and is easy to use, but we can’t help but be a little disappointed that wireless connectivity proved so hit-and-miss. It’s a minor miss in an otherwise decent array of modern tech.
Is the Isuzu MU-X a safe car?
The Isuzu MU-X carries a five-star safety rating, with a 2020 date stamp, based on crash test data from the structurally similar D-Max along with with additional tests conducted by ANCAP.
The MU-X range carries an 87 per cent rating for adult occupant protection, 85 per cent child occupant protection rating, 69 per cent vulnerable road user (pedestrian) protection, and an 84 per cent safety assist systems rating.
Is the Ford Everest a safe car?
The new Ford Everest range wears a five-star ANCAP safety rating, awarded earlier this year, built on the back of an 86 per cent score for adult protection, while child occupants fared even better at 93 per cent.
Vulnerable road users scored 74 per cent, while the Everest’s safety assist systems picked up an 86 per cent score, the latter on the back of a wide range of advanced safety technologies detailed below.
|At a glance||2022 Isuzu MU-X LS-T||2023 Ford Everest Trend|
|ANCAP rating & year tested||Five stars (tested 2020)||Five stars (tested 2022)|
|Safety report||ANCAP report||ANCAP report|
What safety technology does the Isuzu MU-X have?
Isuzu’s IDAS safety suite is standard, incorporating autonomous emergency braking with intersection, pedestrian, cyclist activation, and road sign detection via two windscreen-mounted cameras.
Rear cross-traffic alert is standard, as well as blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, lane-departure warning, post-collision braking, and drive-attention assist. Eight airbags are also standard, including curtain airbags, which extend into the third row, along with a front centre airbag between the front seat passengers.
What safety technology does the Ford Everest have?
A full suite of advanced safety technologies help underpin the Everest’s five-star ANCAP rating.
Standard across the Everest range are autonomous emergency braking (including reverse low-speed braking), intersection detection, lane-keep assist (with road edge detection), lane-departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, front and rear parking sensors, and automatic headlights.
A comprehensive suite of nine airbags includes the latest front-centre airbag that mitigates heads clashes between occupants in the event of an accident.
There are also driver and front passenger knee airbags, along with curtain airbag coverage that extends to the third row.
How much does the Isuzu MU-X cost to run?
Isuzu offers a seven-year, capped-price servicing program, which is set to cost $1467 for three years and $2315 for five years. Running the full duration will cost $3689, which works out to be $527 per year on average.
The warranty offering is solid: six years and 150,000km. So if you’re going to do more than 25,000km per year, you will run out of warranty before the car is six years old. In comparison, most other manufacturers offer five years but unlimited kilometres.
Insuring an Isuzu MU-X like this one costs $1767 per year based on a comparative quote for a 35-year-old male driver living in Chatswood, NSW. Insurance estimates may vary based on your location, driving history, and personal circumstances.
Compared to a claimed fuel economy of 8.3 litres per 100 kilometres (on the combined cycle), we saw an average of 8.5L/100km overall. It’s a good number, but worth noting that it included a few long highway runs that brought the average down.
If you’re using your MU-X more exclusively around town and through stop-start traffic, expect it to use a bit more. Isuzu quotes a claim of 10.3L/100km on the urban cycle.
How much does the Ford Everest cost to run?
Ford covers the new Everest range with its five-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty, while service intervals for the Trend are every 15,000km or 12 months, whichever comes first.
Maintaining the Everest Trend runs to a total of $987 over three years, or $1651 over five, with capped-price servicing costing $329 per year for the first four years, and rising only slightly to $335 for the fifth year.
Maintaining your Everest with an authorised Ford dealer also brings free Ford Road Assistance for 12 months as well as an Auto Club Lifestyle Membership to your state-based automobile club (RACV, NRMA, RACQ, RAA, RAC, RACT and AANT).
An indicative insurance quote for the Ford Everest Trend came in at $1543 per annum. This is a comparative quote for a 35-year-old male driver living in Chatswood, NSW. Insurance estimates may vary based on your location, driving history, and personal circumstances.
Ford says the Everest Trend will sip 7.2L/100km of diesel on the combined cycle. Our week with the large family lugger, over a variety of conditions – from urban runabout to long highway stretches, some rural back roads and even a bit of mild off-roading – returned an indicated 8.8L/100km, which is a touch high against Ford’s claim
The fuel tank measures in at 80L.
|At a glance||2022 Isuzu MU-X LS-T||2023 Ford Everest Trend|
|Warranty||Six years, 150,000km||Five years, unlimited km|
|Service intervals||12 months or 15,000km||12 months or 15,000km|
|Servicing costs||$1467 (3 years)
$2315 (5 years)
|$987 (3 years)
$1651 (5 years)
|Fuel cons. (claimed)||8.3L/100km||7.2L/100km|
|Fuel cons. (on test)||8.5L/100km||8.8L/100km|
|Fuel tank size||80L||80L|
What is the Isuzu MU-X like to drive?
Three litres worth of four-cylinder turbo diesel has been a mainstay of the Isuzu line-up, for utes and wagons alike, for many years now. The current iteration of this feels like one of the best yet.
Unlike previous models, this engine is slightly delineated from the commercial vehicle offerings of Isuzu’s light trucks. However, it’s still very closely related. Isuzu’s own website promotes the benefits of things like scissor gears, timing chains and a wear-reducing split camshaft design, which all come from Isuzu’s many decades of building gruff but reliable engines.
And while this new MU-X has made forward strides in terms of refinement, it’s still got a bit of rattle and vibrating humph to deal with when working hard.
But because of the torque feeling like it’s available in a wide range of revs, the engine never really feels stressed or overworked. It’s happy to lug along in the lower and middle rev ranges, and only needs to explore beyond 3000rpm when really working hard.
The 450Nm peak torque rating is less than the likes of an Everest and Fortuner (both have 500Nm available), but there is some devil in the detail here that a general spec-sheet rundown misses out on. Beyond the wide range of revs (1600–2600rpm) where that torque is available, it feels there is still ample supply to call upon.
Isuzu’s own figures quote that 400Nm is available between 1400rpm through to 3250rpm, while 300Nm comes on tap at 1000rpm. This doesn’t mean the MU-X is a rocket ship, but rather a lazily strong performer. More Frans Malherbe than Freddie Stewart, for example.
Previous experience with the MU-X indicates that it’s a stout and unflustered performer when towing, which says a lot about the nature of the powertrain.
The six-speed automatic gearbox – shared with the Toyota HiLux and Fortuner (as well as the D-Max, of course) is dutiful and restrained, shifting smoothly and smartly to get the most out of the engine. It’s not a fast shifter, but it’s quick enough for the application. And I’d prefer one that takes its time to get it right, over one that can feel fast and flustered any day of the week.
One area where the LS-T specification takes something of a sideways step (in my view) is the inclusion of 20-inch alloy wheels, in comparison to the 17-inch and 18-inch wheels available elsewhere in the range. They might pack extra street appeal to some, but can add an edge of fidgetiness to an otherwise good ride quality in the MU-X.
Bumps are well absorbed – especially larger ones – and the body does exhibit a sense of roly-poly wallowing in comparison to more car-like large SUVs. This is a body-on-frame four-wheel drive don’t forget. And looking from that point of view, the ride and general driving experience feel quite fit for purpose.
The steering – lightweight but accurate – is good, and makes the MU-X easy to live with around town and on the highway. The MU-X is no standout in terms of roadholding and dynamic driving, although I would once again say that it’s plenty good enough for the application.
Off-road, the MU-X is a solid offering. Adding in a locking rear differential and an off-road driving mode makes it a much more competent offering than the previous-generation model, which lacked both of those things.
Unfortunately, you cannot use both of those at the same time, and that can present something of a problem. We all know how beneficial a locking rear differential can be in tricky situations, but a well-tuned off-road traction-control system can operate on all four wheels, forcing the driver to choose between two good and effective options.
And I have to say that during our testing, the Rough Terrain Mode button did yield some smart response from the onboard computers, and grabbing wheels smartly and quickly to direct torque in the right direction.
But, of course, you’d be well served to get some more off-road-oriented wheels on the MU-X (17s would do nicely), and your choice of tyres would also commensurably improve the MU-X off-road.
What is the Ford Everest like to drive?
We’ve long lauded the Ford Everest for its driving characteristics. It’s been one of the nicer ute-based, body-on-frame SUVs in the segment, certainly from behind the wheel.
That was the case with the previous-generation Everest when it took out overall Drive Car of the Year honours when it was launched way back in 2015. And that was still the case in 2021, when the older Everest again claimed Drive Car of the Year silverware, this time in the Best Off-road SUV category.
This new-generation Everest has upped the ante again, certainly in terms of how it handles the road.
In this Trend grade, the Everest is powered by Ford’s tried and trusted 2.0-litre, twin-turbo four-cylinder diesel mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission. While both are carryover from the previous generation, both have been given a tweak to offer a more refined experience behind the wheel.
Outputs for the 2.0-litre are rated at 154kW at 3750rpm and 500Nm at 1750–2000rpm, which is actually down 3kW on the outgoing model. You’ll be hard-pressed to feel the difference. Torque remains the same.
Acceleration isn’t what you would call brisk, but it’s perfectly fine for the application. The 10-speed transmission offers the biggest change over the outgoing model. While it’s carryover technology, Ford has upgraded it with a new torque converter and the improvements are obvious. The biggest noticeable change is that the transmission isn’t as busy as it was in the older model, which had a tendency to constantly hunt for gears.
The shifts are smoother, too, with less intrusion felt in the cabin whether shifting up or down.
It does revert to that busy nature when ascending sharpish hills, effecting several shifts in the hunt for peak torque. But the Everest isn’t alone here.
On the road, and thanks to some nice fat rubber shod on sensible 18-inch wheels, the Everest handles the daily grind of patchy roads with comfort and poise. There’s a supple nature to the ride that belies the Everest’s ute underpinnings, with good bump absorption and a willingness to settle after bigger obstacles.
The steering is nice and direct, too, nicely weighted yet light enough to twirl around town in slower, tighter situations. And thanks to the – optional – forward- and rear-facing cameras, parking the big family hauler is actually pretty straightforward.
Certainly in an urban environment, the Everest feels relaxed at any speed, a polished and refined accompaniment to everyday driving.
And for those who want to venture off the beaten track, the new Everest still delivers. Independent suspension up front is joined by a live rear axle and a Watt’s linkage control arm set-up at rear. A sophisticated automatic four-wheel-drive system, connected via an electronically controlled clutch pack, can split drive equally between the front and rear wheels, which is ideal for less serious off-roading.
The Everest’s switchable modes also include a selectable two-wheel drive and four-wheel-drive low-range. A locking rear differential underscores the Everest’s off-road potential.
Towing is rated at 3500kg braked, an increase over the older model’s 3100kg. And for those who do need to tow, Ford offers two optional packs. The more affordable is the $1700 Tow Pack that adds a tow bar with an integrated brake controller, while the slightly more expensive ($1950) Touring Pack adds a 360-degree camera and exterior side lighting.
Off-road ability in this Everest is quite good, thanks to the four-wheel drive system being able to fully lock into a 50/50 front/rear split. There’s a locking rear differential and some basic off-road driving modes (Mud/Ruts and Sand) to use, but we noted that Mud/Ruts still induced a fair amount of wheelspin in order to activate.
However, in comparison to the MU-X, 18-inch wheels felt much more at home off-road.
|Key details||2022 Isuzu MU-X LS-T||2023 Ford Everest Trend|
|Engine||3.0-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel||2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel|
|Power||140kW @ 3600rpm||154kW @ 3750rpm|
|Torque||450Nm @ 1600–2600rpm||500Nm @ 1750–2000rpm|
|Drive type||Part-time four-wheel drive,
locking rear differential
|Part-time four-wheel drive (with auto mode),
locking rear differential
|Transmission||Six-speed torque converter automatic,
low-range transfer case
|10-speed torque converter automatic,
low-range transfer case
|Power to weight ratio||64kW/t||65kW/t|
|Spare tyre type||Full-size||Full-size|
|Tow rating||3500kg braked
Should I buy an Isuzu MU-X or a Ford Everest?
The 2023 Ford Everest Trend offers, in some ways, the best of both worlds. A capable urban family hauler with seating for seven and refinement on the road, the Everest is also more than capable off the road, and able to tackle rough terrain with aplomb and purpose.
The Everest combines drivability with a well specified and, importantly for the segment, spacious interior. The improvements over the previous generation are tangible, not just in terms of presentation, but also in how the Everest conducts itself both on and off the road.
However, there’s plenty to like about the Isuzu in the Ford’s company. There’s good reason to think of the Isuzu MU-X as a good choice in this not-so-massive four-wheel-drive wagon race. For those who see the likes of a LandCruiser, Prado and Patrol as just too big and expensive, this Isuzu is a fine choice in terms of space, comfort, safety and technology.
It might not have the polish of a Ford Everest, but there is a certain sense of security that comes with Isuzu’s gruff 3.0-litre, single-turbo engine, and equally reputable six-speed automatic transmission linked up to a part-time four-wheel-drive system.
It’s good enough around town to suit the remit, and gets better once you hit the open road. And once you consider towing and some off-road action, then the MU-X continues to impress.
In direct comparison, the MU-X also manages to have value on its side. This is mostly thanks to Isuzu’s reluctance to drop that enticing drive-away deal.
However, the Ford does prove to be the better vehicle overall. It’s a more polished driving experience, with better integration of technology into the grind of everyday usage.
If the old Ford Everest filled some pretty big boots, then this new generation has gone up a shoe size, or even two.