Overview & Reviews
For now, Isuzu SUVs and trucks are all that you'll see at your local Isuzu dealer; it's been quite a few years since there's been an Isuzu car. The company's specialized lineup is more a function of circumstance than choice. In recent years, Isuzu has seen its share of hard times; a lack of funding for both new product investment and marketing has forced the company to rely heavily on its partnership with GM. Both of the models in its line are derived from existing GM products.
Isuzu, which means "50 bells," is the name of a river that flows through a province dotted with ancient Shinto shrines in Japan. The company's roots date back to 1916, when Tokyo Ishikawajima Shipbuilding and Engineering Company first decided to broaden its business to include automobile manufacturing. The company forged a technical union with the U.K.-based Wolseley Motor Company in 1918. Its debut licensed offering, the A9 car, soon followed, as did its first truck, the CP. By 1949, the company's name had been changed to the more succinct Isuzu.
In the postwar years, production of Isuzu trucks boomed. The company's vehicles played a significant role in Japan's reconstruction effort, and were used to ferry clothes, food and other essentials. In 1953, Isuzu rolled out the Hillman Minx passenger car, the product of a technical union with Rootes, a U.K. outfit.
The 1960s saw the launch of passenger cars like the Florian, the Bellett and the 117 Coupe, as well as trucks like the WASP. In 1971, Isuzu entered into a partnership with General Motors. The Gemini, released a couple of years later, was the first Isuzu vehicle to be produced from the pairing.
By the 1980s, Isuzu had landed on American shores. The Pup was the first Isuzu sold in the U.S. market. The Trooper, an SUV available in two- or four-door form, was introduced in 1983 and quickly became popular in that new market segment. The company entered into a joint venture with Subaru in 1987, a union that spawned the Isuzu Rodeo and the Isuzu Pickup. Less popular than the trucks were the cars, such as the dated I-Mark sedan and the handsome, Italian-designed Impulse sport coupe.
The company's sales were relatively strong in the 1990s, thanks in part to the increasing success of the Trooper, which by that time had grown in size and luxury. The Trooper was one of the models responsible for the massive popularity of the SUV vehicle category during that decade. In 1999, GM upped its stake in Isuzu to assume the role of majority shareholder.
The new millennium brought bad news, however. Previous bestsellers like the Rodeo and the Trooper were outclassed by newer, fresher competition, and sales plummeted. The Rodeo and the Axiom (a crossover SUV) were dropped from the lineup in 2004. Currently, Isuzu's lineup comprises just two vehicles — a truck and an SUV, both of which are based on GM products.
User Reviews:Showing 1 through 10 of 1,099.00
The Ax on Axiom - 2004 Isuzu Axiom
By Landover - December 29 - 2:00 am
The sporty looking 4 door midsize suv from Isuzu is supposed to be the replacement vehicle for the Trooper. Although smaller its appeal is more appealing.
Do Not Buy it - 1999 Isuzu Rodeo
By FOOBARED - December 29 - 2:00 am
I have been having problems with the car right from the start. 1st yr, a side door wire short. Had to leave my car with the dealer for 4 days before they could figure it out. 2nd yr, the electric on the remote key entry got screwed up. 3rd yr, The problem with the wire short resurfaced, the dealer kept the car for 2 days, the car was out of warranty, left me with a bill for 500. 4th yr, an engine noise started dealer said, carbon build up in the engine, fuel light always on, another 350 bucks...rear axle seal rupture. Did the 60k servicing, out for 1500 bucks, engine noise persists. Last year itself I have spent 2500 for the car. FOOBARED DO NOT BUY.
Only One!! - 2002 Isuzu Axiom
By elite_iv - December 27 - 10:00 am
This SUV is nothing short of amazing. The alternate transmission and suspensions options make it so much fun to drive. You can feel like your driving an X5 or a Landcruiser. I have driven both and neither have anything on the Axiom. I have the two-tone leather seats which are extremely stylish and comfortable. I put about 16,000 miles on her so far without any problems. My average gas mileage is 18MPG, which is great for an SUV. I get 20MPG on trips. It is quiet, smooth, and, yet, powerful. The looks are unbelievable and the drive is luxurious. Get one as soon as you can. I have had it 6 months and have only seen 1 other one. Another unexpected perk.
satisfied - 2004 Isuzu Rodeo
By isuzu guy - December 16 - 5:03 pm
Just went over the 90k mile mark on my 04 Rodeo I purchased new almost 5 yrs ago (my 4th Isuzu since 88). Bought the extended warranty but never had to use it. Ive been extremely happy with this ride. No surprises (knock on wood). Still get over 20 mpg on trips and 15 mpg in town. With all the rebates, I keep my eye on new SUVs but really cant justify the expense as the equivalent value in todays market is just too steep. Id hate to unload this Rodeo, it still runs so well. Timely maintenance and an honest mechanic are key. I have no reservations about taking this Rodeo on long trips. I feel real fortunate to have owned this SUV, having a ride in the shop is no fun.
You can count on Isuzu - 2001 Isuzu Rodeo
By Dkeller - December 15 - 2:00 am
My Third Isuzu, other two were 94 and 89 Troopers. These things run without problems and low low maintainence.
My zuzu needs work after 120k, but hey! - 2000 Isuzu Trooper
By kr in fl - December 13 - 5:53 pm
Bought about 18 mos ago. Never thought Id want to drive an SUV, but somehow its NOT big and cumbersome. Everything Ive read about power, cargo, visibility, handling I must support. Its great! Had an overheating problem but a new thermostat fixed it. The A/C fan does need to be beefier (mine is out now) and my trans has been failing for 6 months or so. One week it drives fine,and the next is awful- suddenly free-spinning and losing speed in traffic. Im told there is a leak, but its a "closed system", I cant check or add tranny fluid. The tranny must be REPLACED, cannot be rebuilt. I found a local shop that will do it for 1600.00. Every other owner I run into raves about their Trooper
As reliable as the sun - 2004 Isuzu Axiom
By mike696 - December 8 - 2:25 am
Have had this truck for nearly 10 years and put over 150k miles on it. Was great for helping move my friends drum kit, hauling a tent trailer up a mountain, and going off-road. The Axiom has great power and control. Was more fun to drive than a V6 Altima. Cant even imagine replacing this with anything else.
0% can hurt - 2001 Isuzu Rodeo
By Rude Dog - December 4 - 10:00 am
Decent auto. Enjoyed the comfortable leather and smooth ride. Was disappointed when a body seam broke after only a couple months of driving, which created an annoying rattle. Had it fixed no problems, but everyone knows how inconvenient is it to have your vehicle in the shop. Overall, I really enjoyed the SUV. We realized upon purchase, but with the 0% they offered, we knew that overabundance of Rodeos, the resale would be terrible. We purchased an LSE with all the added extras (was featured in the KC, MO Autoshow, so it was souped-up) for around $29000. Traded it in 2.25 years later for $14,500. Amazingly, thats about $750 over KBB.
best in price range - 2003 Isuzu Rodeo
By pete corrigan - November 28 - 10:00 am
ive owned domestic all my life.this time i bought japanese.next time japanese and japanese ect.quality and reliablity is far superior...i was tired of bringing back my chev,ford to the dealer every other day.
Reliable - 2000 Isuzu Rodeo
By deckards - November 17 - 5:56 pm
With a forward thinking grill design and overall body shape, this doesnt look like a 10 year old mid-sized SUV sitting in my driveway. Bought over a year ago, Ive put 30,000 miles on it...bringing the total to 161K. Major repair was a throttle body when idling issues appeared but has been running perfectly ever since. 200K shouldnt be a problem. Overall a really good purchase for a safe vehicle that me, the kids and the dog enjoy.