Isuzu MU-7: Grand arrival

Anyway, so on first impression, the MU-7 blows you away with its sheer size. Where carmakers are leaving no stone unturned to buck the four-metre mark, the MU-7 just about manages to stay under five metres long.

With those beefy front bumpers, wide toothed grille and bonnet-top air scoop, the Isuzu looks every bit the villain from the Cars animation franchise. The flared wheel arches, chunky footboards and slightly less dramatic rear finish the butch look. Plenty of chrome all around, but that extra-long wheelbase makes the MU-7 look a bit out of proportion – still, we aren’t complaining since that translates into a roomier cabin.

Open those hefty doors and you see the cabin is dominated by shades of grey. Ingress is quite effortless unlike with the Fortuner, which requires you to climb rather than walk in. The wide front seats are well padded and comfortable, and finding a suitable driving position is not an issue. The dashboard design may not be outright modern, but it takes pride in its simplicity and functionality. There are acres of good-quality plastics all around and the dash with its black faux wood and aluminum inserts gives it a much needed breather. There’s black leather in abundance, from the seats to the steering wheel, from gear knob to door trim.

Hop into the back and the sheer space on offer will put a smile on your face – it’s more spacious than your average Mumbai apartment. The third row too gets sufficient legroom, thanks to the sliding middle-row seats. However, that third row sits on the floor, as it does in the Rexton, and you therefore sit in a knee-up position. All three rows get individual AC blowers and cup holders.