Isuzu had launched its BS6 version of the D-Max pick-up in India after the BS4 specs model had been discontinued in April 2020. The Japanese automaker has added an all-new model the Isuzu Hi-Lander to its Indian product lineup. Prices for the Hi-Lander starts at around Rs. 16.98 lakh (ex-showroom Chennai). The company also re-introduced the mu-X SUV alongside, in a BS6-compliant package with a price tag of Rs. 33.23 lakh.
The 2021 Isuzu range flaunts a bolder and more dominating styling inspired by ‘Cyborg – Orca’. The design looks solid yet sharp with the dominating wedge shape fascia blending aerodynamically in profile with muscular and flared arches that give its aggressive presence.
The Japanese carmaker has introduced the updated V-Cross in three variants that come with different drivetrain options to choose from. There’s a Z manual that gets a 6-speed gearbox with 4×4. The mid-tier Z automatic features a 6-speed torque converter with 4×2. And the top-trim Prestige model packs the best of both world with an automatic as well as the 4×4 capability.
The V-Cross Z Prestige has a premium finish dashboard featuring Piano Black highlights with soft-touch panels and comes with sporty dual-tone brown and grey leather seating. It also comes equipped with Bi-LED Auto-Levelling Projector head-lights giving 50% longer & wider beam throw just like the V-Cross Z variant. Both the siblings get a Shark-Fin Antenna with Gun-Metal Finish, 18-inch alloy wheels and a stylish sidestep to add a sportier look and user convenience.
The V-Cross variants get PESS (Passive Entry & Start-Stop System), a first-in-the-segment feature for the convenience and safety of the riders. The PESS feature allows easy access to the vehicle while adding the convenience of starting & stopping the engine at the press of a button. The new V-Cross pick-ups also come with steering-mounted audio controls and a 7-inch touch screen audio system with USB input, DVD, AUX, iPod and Bluetooth connectivity.
The V-Cross 4WD variant is equipped with terrain command feature Shift-On-Fly drive mode, High Ride suspension that offers high ground clearance, wider track with a longer wheelbase. The V-Cross segment is equipped with reverse parking sensors and a rear camera for ease of parking.
All the Isuzu pick-up models carry a similar design language, however, there are a few differences between the V-Cross trims and the Hi-Lander which is a basic entry-level model. While the V-Cross variants get a 4WD system with a 6-speed manual or automatic transmission options, the Hi-Lander is only available in two-wheel drive form and with a 6-speed manual gearbox. Although to compensate for the absence of a four-wheel-drive system on the entry-level pick-up, Isuzu has equipped it with the High Ride suspension that provides a better ground clearance.
The new ISUZU Hi-Lander sports a bolder look with an attractive grey grille and bumper design. The pick-up gets halogen headlamps, grey outside rear-view mirrors, body-coloured door handles, 16-inch steel wheels and Chrome Tailgate handle. The overall profile looks sleek with the Blacked-out B-Pillar. The Black and Grey interior layout with comfortable and ergonomic seats add a trendy elegance and is designed to make the drive more enjoyable. The AC system comes with the classic three adjustment dials on the centre console. The Hi-Lander is equipped with Parking Sensors mounted on the rear bumper. The Hi-Lander is targeted at the urban Indian looking for a trendy modern personal pick-up vehicle at an affordable price point.
The Hi-Lander and V-Cross trio share the same retuned BS6-compliant version of the previous 1.9-litre, four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine which now makes 163hp and 360Nm of torque. That’s a bump of 13hp and 10Nm over its BS4 alteration.
On the inside, all the 5-seater pick-ups come with a 3D Design Instrument Cluster with Chrome Rings providing a high-intensity display with pertinent information and menu options. The 7.0 inch touchscreen infotainment system is also equipped with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support. The second-row has comfortable rear seats with additional AC vents and the 2nd Row USB Charging Port for fellow passengers convenience. The cabin has an automatic climate control too.
Talking about safety features, the new Isuzu vehicles maintains the renowned tough build quality of the brand. In addition, they are fully loaded with best-in-class occupant safety features including BOS (Brake Override System) which cuts power to the engine in case of panic braking (when the brake and accelerator pedals are being pressed at the same time). The pick-ups get height-adjustable seat-belts with pre-tensioner & load limiter, speed-sensitive auto door lock, co-driver seat belt reminder, front and rear crumple zones, six airbags, cross-car front beam, door side intrusion, collapsible steering column, and underbody steel protection for the drivetrain. On top of that they have a 4-Channel, 4-Sensor ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) with EBD (Electronic Brake Force Distribution) which avoids wheel locking. The vehicles also come with iGRIP platform (Isuzu Gravity Response Intelligent Platform) for long-term durability and stability.
The V-Cross Z Prestige variant has ESC (Electronic Stability Control) with TCS (Traction Control System) and HDC (Hill Descent Control), offering the best driving experience on or off-road.
Coming to the Isuzu MU-X, it comes with the same 163hp, 1.9-litre diesel engine like its BS4 model, which is mated to a 6-speed automatic gearbox. The 4×2 (Rs 33.23 lakh) and 4×4 variants (Rs 35.19 lakh) are also still on the line-up. Other than the lack of the Shift-by-Wire 4WD system, all the variants are identical. They get the same standard feature package of six airbags, rear parking sensors, a rear camera, LED headlights, a power adjustable driver’s seat, powered split-folding second and third row of seats, a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system and cruise control. However, this barely updated seven-seater SUV will have to fight with the likes of MG Gloster, Ford Endeavour, the Toyota Fortuner and the Mahindra Alturas G4 to make its presence felt. Isuzu should have definitely given it a proper BS6 update to keep up with the competition.
Tsuguo Fukumura, Managing Director at Isuzu Motors India, said, “India is a key market for us, and we will continue to bring in the best technology and engineering that Isuzu has to offer globally. Isuzu is globally renowned for making tough, reliable and fuel-efficient vehicles and our new BS 6 range embodies these characteristics.”