Toyota Fortuner vs Isuzu mu-X – R800,000 4×4 battle – TopAuto
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Toyota Fortuner vs Isuzu mu-X – R800,000 4×4 battle

The latest bakkie-based SUV on the market is the second-generation Isuzu mu-X, and there is a lot to like.

This new seven-seater arguably has the best chance of knocking the current fan favourite – the Toyota Fortuner – off its pedestal.

To see what these SUVs have to offer in terms of power and features, we compare the range-topping mu-X Onyx and Fortuner VX, below.


Ladder frame-chassis SUVs like the Isuzu and Toyota have always been the more rugged models of the SUV world, not focusing as much on features and comfort as unibody-chassis vehicles.

With these top-of-the-line specification grades, however, the mu-X and Fortuner rival the best with cabin features and equipment.

Electrically-adjustable and heated front seats, dual-zone climate control with rear-seat vents, adaptive cruise control, and advanced camera systems are included no matter which one you choose.

Powered tailgates, keyless entry and start, and multifunction steering wheels turn up the convenience factor, while large infotainment screens – 9 inches on the Isuzu and 8 inches on the Toyota – provide ample connectivity via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The mu-X also offers an eight-speaker sound system with an integrated Wi-Fi hotspot, while the Fortuner brings an 11-speaker JBL setup and Toyota Connect compatibility.

While the top-of-the-range mu-X has a full leather interior, door-trim ambient lighting, automatic windscreen wipers, and automatic bi-LED headlamps with auto-dimming; the Fortuner, surprisingly, does not.

It makes do with partial leather seats, intermittent wipers, no ambient lighting, and automatic LED lights with headlamp levelling.

These SUVs are on more equal footing when it comes to driver assistance and safety systems, however.

On both, you will find front and rear parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, forward collision alert, autonomous emergency braking, lane departure alert, hill start and descent assist, trailer sway control, and ABS with brake assist.

Lane keep assist, pedal misapplication mitigation, traffic sign recognition, and driver fatigue monitoring then sets the Isuzu apart a bit more.

It comes with eight airbags and a 5-star Australasian NCAP score, too, while the Fortuner boasts seven airbags and matches the 5-star rating.


The new Isuzu mu-X is fitted with a 3.0-litre, turbo-diesel engine generating 140kW and 450Nm, connected to a six-speed automatic transmission.

The configuration achieves a combined fuel consumption rating of 7.6l/100km and allows the SUV to tow up to 3,500kg.

Despite the Toyota featuring a slightly smaller 2.8-litre, turbo-diesel motor paired with a six-speed automatic gearbox, it generates a more substantial 150kW and 500Nm.

The additional performance returns a higher fuel consumption rating of 7.9l/100km, and tows a maximum braked capacity of 3,300kg.

The Fortuner also features a maximum water wading depth of 700mm, while the mu-X offers a class-leading 800mm – and moderately more aggressive approach and exit angles.

It’s not all bad for the Toyota, though, as its cargo capacity in five-seater mode comes in at a substantial 716 litres and it offers a ground clearance of 279mm.

This beats the Isuzu’s 235mm, but not its 1,119 litres cargo capacity.

Both SUVs deliver power to all four wheels via a part-time four-wheel-drive system with a rear diff-lock and low-range gears, meaning the driver can switch from 2WD-high to 4WD-high on demand.


The Isuzu mu-X 3.0TD Onyx 4×4 has a South African price of R860,500.

Included in this price is a 5-year/120,000km warranty with roadside assistance and a 5-year/90,000km service plan.

The Toyota Fortuner 2.8GD-6 4×4 VX has a South African price of R837,100.

Each purchase includes a 3-year/100,000km warranty and a 9-services/90,000km service plan.

Isuzu mu-X Onyx

Toyota Fortuner

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