Thanks to the Auto Policy 2016-21, Pakistani auto consumers are about to witness a lot of competition in auto sector in 2018/19. Existing players are in process of introducing newer models while new players are currently in process of testing the possible vehicles that will make their way in Pakistan.
The pickup segment was solely enjoyed by the Toyota Hilux until now, however the Hilux will soon face some competition as Foton Tunland and Isuzu D-MAX are about to join the party. Sensing this, Indus Motors has upgraded their Hilux and Fortuner range with a new 2.8 liter 1GD-FTV engine to better face the competitors.
However the Isuzu D-MAX that is being brought in by Ghandhara Industries Limited (GIL) will offer not one but 2 engines, a 2.5 liter 4JK1-TC TCX and 3.0 liter 4JJ1-TCX, thus will cater to a wider variety of consumers. The D-MAX is expected to be launched by mid 2018, we will have to wait to see how well does it performs in the market, and how well its received by the public.
In addition to the D-MAX, the other vehicle that Toyota should worry about is the Isuzu MU-X, the 7 seater mid-sized SUV that sits on the same D-MAX platform, and carries the same engines too. Just like the relationship between Hilux & Fortuner!
The MU-X name is an acronym itself, which is derived from the fact that the car “Makes U eXciting”. Currently the MU-X is sold in India, Australia, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines, but Isuzu Motors has plans to market it overseas in 50 countries. Which makes it possible for us to believe that after D-MAX, the MU-X might be the next to reach Pakistan, perhaps by 2019.
In terms of features, the Isuzu MU-X houses an electrically-adjustable driver’s seat, second row seats with one-touch fold and tumble, a power outlet each for all three rows, automatic climate control, cooling vents for all three rows, a roof-mounted 10-inch DVD monitor, cruise control and a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with 8-speakers and iPod and Bluetooth compatibility. Furthermore all variants of the MU-X sold internationally are equipped with leather seats.
Related: 6 Upcoming SUVs in Pakistan
Sold in either a four-wheel-drive or two-wheel-drive combinations, the MU-X comes mated to a 5-speed Rev-tronic automatic gearbox. In certain markets a 6-speed Rev-tronic gearbox is also available in addition to a 6-speed manual. It gets independent double wishbone suspension in the front and a penta-link setup in the back with shock absorbers. The MU-X also boasts a 5-star ANCAP crash test rating.
The MU-X is a rugged and reliable vehicle with good performance, decent fuel economy and positive reviews from markets where its available. It has all the potential to compete well against the Toyota Fortuner, but it all depends on the success of the D-MAX that is set to launch in Pakistan by mid 2018.