Isuzu MU-7: Grand arrival

The winding roads also bring to the fore this burly SUV’s handling skills. There’s lots of noticeable body roll going around the twists and some vertical pitching too. But that’s expected from an SUV this size. The suspension does a decent job of keeping most undulations outside the cabin, with only the particularly sharp ones making themselves felt. Show this two-tonne Isuzu some open tarmac and you’ll be surprised how quickly it crosses the100kph mark, cruising effortlessly at 130-140kph. Straightline stability is good, and so are the brakes, which shave off speed comfortably.

The MU-7 is priced at Rs 23.75 lakh (ex-showroom, Hyderabad). This puts it on par with the Fortuner, which isn’t the best place to be for a new entrant. No doubt, the MU-7 has what it takes to be on top of the chart – tank-like build quality, brawny presence, space, powerful engine and decent handling. For the price, it gets dual airbags, ABS, touchscreen multimedia, reversing camera, but skips some features compared to its rivals.

Plus, you’d have to shift base to either Hyderabad or Coimbatore to actually buy one and get it serviced. But none of this takes away from the fact that it’s a pretty well-sorted premium SUV. So, if you live in the vicinity of these two cities, you now have a good alternative to the usual three candidates.

(Words: Devesh Shobha, Photos: Rajeev Gaikwad)