MU-X invades eSwatini, what a ride experienced by all and sundry…

ITS true that South Africa is a developing country, that’s until you travel to another State.

The above was affirmed after visiting our neighbours The Kingdom-eSwatini for the 2024 MTN Bushfire.

I, and my colleagues, were fortunate to be offered the upgraded Isuzu MU-X for this sojourn, thanks to the hills and mountains associated with the Kingdom, but for this SUV it was a pleasant ride worth taking…

For this 7-seater bakkie based adventure SUV, it was seamless from leaving SA at the Border Gate on Friday evening, that was teeming with guests from mzansi, that the cut-off time had to be extended to allow thousands of travellers who were transiting to improve the economy of eSwatini for the next five days or so…

Clogging at 1230-km trip or so, MU-X was packed from tents- enjoy camping, to blankets, thick winterjackets and water, food and other utensils- since consuming water in other regions might prove futile at times.

The Onyx comes with the3.0TD 4×4 that produces 140 kW/450 Nm and drives the wheels via a 6-speed auto transmission.

There are genuine off-road credentials such as shift-on-the-fly 4-wheel drive, a low-range transfer case, 235 mm of ground clearance and a rear diff-lock. So, gravel roads and off-roads seemed a small walk in the park, though there were less potholes upon our entry in the Kingdom, if my memory still serves me well…

Back to my opening stanza on the development: the upgraded MU-X was a head-turner to such an extend some of the local Police Officials, took snaps without my approval, tjrrr.

So, by the time Izusu senior representatives are busy enjoying this article, shall be awaiting my commission, or kanjane?

Most turbodiesel-powered bakkie-based SUVs have the aerodynamic properties – and mass – and the Isuzu MU-X is no exception.

For what it’s worth, the MU-X 3.0TD Onyx consumed 7.6 L/100 km, with a full-to-empty range of 1 053 km thanks to its 80-litre tank.

Although the unfortunate happened- had to make a U-turn in Witbank, luckily, after I forgot my Passport, imagine if I only realised this at the Border Gate, it could have been worse.

We only topped up in eSwatini on Sunday afternoon, having left SA with full tank on Friday, that’s how economical Isuzu brands are when coming to fuel consumption, from diesel perspective.

While most of the routes comprised driving on the open road, we still think this 14.5 km/L figure is commendable, considering the additional weight of the passengers and cargo.

The advantage of 7-seater is that you’ll have no shortage of cargo space at your disposal, since all the spaces were full.

During the road trip, both passengers seated in the 2nd row of the 3.0TD Onyx appreciated the generous leg- and headroom .The roof-mounted aircon controls were easy to figure out and both USB ports were used to charge devices, since we were camping.

For additional convenience, there’s a 220V plug socket too, which did make the remote-working crowd happy. It did work for our colleagues from Radio 2000, who were struggling to recharge their mobile phones, that’s after obtaining new Swazi SIM Cards, obviously.

The cabin is well laid out and fitted. They include Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity, autonomous emergency braking, heated seats and climate control.

Image (The interior of the MU-X is appealing due to its comfortable space, especially on a long haul, supported by latest features on the dashboard).

Fortunately, we knew our way to Malkerns, the venue for the fest and camping, thus we needed no GPS.

We get the impression that Isuzu has focused on longevity and reliability with the MU-X and for the rugged and long distance like we experienced.

It proved an excellent road-trip vehicle, it’s a spacious family car that can comfortably transport its occupants over long distances and it’s surefooted on gravel.

Happy adventuring, since what happens in eSwatini, remains at the Kingdom!

Other good news: It has also been confirmed the facelifted Isuzu MU-X has been revealed overseas, with the refreshed version of the 7-seater adventure SUV even gaining a new RS flagship derivative.

Though the refreshed MU-X is already on sale in Thailand (where SA-spec MU-X models are produced), it’s not yet clear when Isuzu Motors South Africa plans to launch the updated SUV in the local market.

Image (Picturesque of eSwatini, fronted by the upgraded Isuzu MU-X at the annual Bushfire).

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