The Isuzu Trooper was introduced in the early 1980s, which was Isuzu's first foray into the manufacture of sports utility vehicles. Because of popular demand, the Trooper sold well in spite of its fairly plain, box-like, utilitarian appearance. The early two-door versions were lacking in power compared to more recent models, offering only 2.2-liter 4-cylinder engines. This model ran from 1981-1991, with a diesel version being offered as well. The roomier four-door model debuted in 1992, offering a V6 engine along with more luxury amenities, including a power sunroof and leather upholstery, among other things. In the 1990s, as sales waned, the Isuzu Trooper was redesigned to compete with other SUVs.
The second-generation Isuzu Trooper offered a more rounded design and was wider, longer, and taller than the original model, with added features like antilock brakes and a more powerful 3.5-liter 215 horsepower V6 engine. It also offered full-time four-wheel drive, as well as two trim levels, base S and upscale Luxury LS trim. The base model had a single-cam 3.2-liter V6 engine, while the LS employed the twin-cam version with 190 horsepower. The new engine was quieter, offering a smoother ride, and the interior offered more space, particularly the enormous cargo bay. Good suspension damping ensured a less rocky ride, although the Trooper handled less smoothly on curved roads, requiring that driving be done at slower speeds. After ten years, however, this model was discontinued, mainly based on falling sales due to negative reviews. A consumer agency claimed the Isuzu Trooper tended to roll over during auto testing. Although a lawsuit resulted largely in Isuzu's favor, the reviews ultimately ended up tarnishing the Trooper's image, and Isuzu chose to discontinue the line in 2002.
The second-generation Isuzu Trooper ranges in price from $28,000 to $36,600, and offers 19 miles per gallon on the highway, and 15 miles per gallon in the city. Internationally, it has gone by other names, including the Isuzu Bighorn, Opel Monterey, Vauxhall Monterey, Holden Jackaroo, Chevrolet Trooper, Honda Horizon, and Acura SLX. The descendant of the Trooper is the Isuzu Ascender and the Isuzu Axiom, which are currently available for purchase on the market.
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