When you first set eyes on Isuzu MU-7, take it or leave it is what the car seems to be saying. It looks grisly, ponderous and ungainly. And when you are told that it has a 161 odd bhp engine to pull itself and its occupants along, you start wondering if the price tag of around Rs. 22 lakh has been put there by mistake.
It is not a new car per se in the country. Isuzu has been selling the behemoth MU-7 as CBU since the start of this year. The asking price back then was around INR 24 lakh. We have reports of only a handful of Isuzu’s making it to the roads till now.
After almost a year of import, Isuzu has launched an India made MU-7 and I, for one, can’t see why the price difference between the CBU and the locally assembled car is so minuscule! Basically, before their plant goes functional in Sri City in Andhra Pradesh in a couple of years, MU-7 (along with D-Max pickup) will be contract manufactured by Hindustan Motors via the supplied CKD kits.
The BS3 Compliant MU-7 is priced at Rs 22 Lakh whereas the BS4 MU-7 will cost Rs 22.3 Lakhs ex-showroom Hyderabad. At more than INR 22 lakh, the car finds itself among some really capable contenders like Ford Endeavour, Toyota Fortuner, Santa Fe and Mitsubishi Pajero. Agreed, even a few SUVs listed here are overpriced for what they offer but Isuzu is a new player in the country. Or you could rather buy the Force One 4X4 and save almost a million Rupees.
Doesn’t the MU-7 has any redeeming feature, one might ask. Perhaps there is. If you find, for some reason, the inside of MU-7 a bit cramped and want to tow your house behind it, then you might like the fact that 3.0L common rail diesel pumps up a good 360 Nm of torque to do the job efficiently. You might also like the fact that car comes with ABS and parking sensors.
The reportedly torquey engine and overall ground clearance of 210 mm should also please someone intending to take the car off the tarmac. The interior seems spacious enough for 7 adults to sit in comfort.
Apart from MU-7, Isuzu has plans to increase its dealerships to 60 by 2016 from the current 2! They also intend to launch ‘Isuzu Insight’ to take care of the servicing needs of the customers.
It would be a very uphill task for Isuzu to cut the mustard but they have started rolling. Let’s see when the results start pouring in.