A few months after launching its new mu-X and D-Max powered by their Euro-4 compliant Blue Power engine, Isuzu Philippines Corporation (IPC) introduced new 4×2 variants of its popular midsize SUV and workhorse pickup. Interestingly, the bells and whistles in these new variants are the fruits of the valuable input and work of Filipino developers—and hence, are both fitting and ideal for the Filipino taste.

This latest release of the mu-X is called the “Luxe” variant, which from the name alone, hints on a more upmarket, better-appointed iteration of the vehicle. True enough, its sound system gets upgraded to 3D Surround; and it now comes equipped with a very convenient Power Lift Tailgate that allows strength-challenged Filipinos with thin, wobbly arms (like myself) to easily close the rear door with a simple push of a button.

And the advantage of this new Power Lift Tailgate does not end there; it also benefits vertically challenged people (like me again) because it is capable of storing memory, and can be programmed to open only up to a certain height—one that you can easily reach, so you don’t have to pull off any embarrassing, basketball dunk moves every single time you need to close the door.

Also, the automated tailgate has a cool safety feature: It doesn’t close all the way if it senses an obstruction. Hence, if you have children who like playing in the luggage compartment and dangling their legs while sitting with your stuff in the back, you can be assured that the Power Lift Tailgate won’t cause them harm, making the MU-X Luxe a fitting mom-mobile.

Moreover, the degree to which the tailgate opens can be controlled by the driver. This may be particularly handy when entering parking houses with security checks at the entrance. The driver may control the tailgate in such a way to allow for the guards to take a peek, but restrict it from opening wide enough that it becomes easy for third parties to try to steal anything. So as you can see, these features were applied while keeping typical Filipino life in mind.

Looking at its face, you’ll notice that the Luxe struts protective, gray fender flares. When you open the door, you’ll spot a classy, blue-illuminated scuff plate on the floor. Also eye-catching is an attractive new color called “Spinel Red”—exclusive to this mu-X variant.

Meanwhile, the new D-Max X-series is a more aggressive-looking and snazzier rendition of Isuzu’s hardy pickup. Right in your face is its deep black radiator grille, adorned with a racy red Isuzu badge. The red accents spill all over the X-series—from the front and rear skirts, to the fog lamp bezels, to the black, 18-inch alloy wheels, and meticulous stitching inside the cabin.

Consistent with the distinctive red touches, once you open the door, you will find a rocker plate decorated with an Isuzu badge in the same flaming red.

The D-Max X-series now comes with a matte black roof rail that can carry up to a 60kg load. It also strides around with a color-keyed cargo spoiler and now offers its driver and passengers more USB ports for more engaging multimedia options.

The X-series will be sold in the sporty colors of Black Hawk and Freestyle White; and will be available both in automatic and manual transmissions.

IPC President Hajime Koso was very excited to share the vehicles’ new features, which were all tailored for the Filipino taste. And you know a company’s got it right when they make efforts to improve design, based on local demands and circumstances.

Pricing will be announced once they become available at local dealerships.