Isuzu MU-X to add 1.9-litre diesel engine option in Australia next year

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The Isuzu MU-X 4WD is set to add a smaller 1.9-litre engine as an option – with less power but improved fuel economy – in 2024.

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The Isuzu MU-X four-wheel-drive SUV is due to add the option of a smaller 1.9-litre diesel engine in Australia sometime in 2024 – nearly three years after it joined the related D-Max ute line-up.

The 1.9-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine develops 110kW and 350Nm, and promises lower fuel consumption than the existing 3.0-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine and its 140kW/450Nm outputs.

Prices are yet to be confirmed by Isuzu Ute Australia, and it remains to be seen if it is exclusive to the base-model LS-M, or will be available on mid- and top-of-the-range MU-X models as well.

The 1.9-litre diesel engine was added to the Isuzu D-Max ute range in Australia in 2021, after it was introduced overseas on the previous model in 2015, albeit in an earlier form.

In the D-Max line-up it is offered exclusively with select versions of the cheapest model, the SX, with a $2000 lower price before on-road costs.

However the difference in drive-away pricing on the entry-level 4×2 single-cab manual version is about $10,000, as the 1.9-litre variant is sold with a discounted $31,990 drive-away ‘special offer’, but the 3.0-litre model uses its full retail price, equating to about $42,000 depending on state and territory of registration.

A spokesperson for Isuzu Ute Australia (IUA) said in a written statement to Drive: “IUA plans to introduce the Isuzu 1.9L engine available in some current D-Max variants to the MU-X range in 2024.

“Exact timings and model range at this stage is not confirmed, but we will provide more information when it becomes available.”

There is a chance the addition of the 1.9-litre engine could coincide with a facelift for the MU-X range – matching a styling update unveiled for the D-Max in October 2023 – as the latest MU-X was unveiled and introduced a year after its D-Max twin, making it due for a facelift late next year.

However this is yet to be confirmed, and such a facelift – if one is planned – may not arrive in Australia until 2025 as Drive has previously reported the updated D-Max unveiled in Thailand may not reach Australia until early 2024.

The 1.9-litre MU-X will become the least powerful vehicle in the ute-based four-wheel-drive category, as most four-cylinder rivals offer between 130kW and 150kW – and between 420Nm and 500Nm.

It is fractionally lighter than the 3.0-litre model, by about 65kg based on Thai specifications.

Using the D-Max as a guide – in which the 1.9-litre engine cuts claimed fuel use by about 14 per cent – the 1.9-litre MU-X could claim fuel consumption of 6.7 to 7.2L/100km, and become one of the most frugal vehicles in its category


Alex Misoyannis has been writing about cars since 2017, when he started his own website, Redline. He contributed for Drive in 2018, before joining CarAdvice in 2019, becoming a regular contributing journalist within the news team in 2020.

Cars have played a central role throughout Alex’s life, from flicking through car magazines at a young age, to growing up around performance vehicles in a car-loving family.

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