Isuzu Axiom Research & Reviews

Overview & Reviews

Average Score

4.41/5 Average
238 Total Reviews
Model Overview:

Launched in 2002 and retired just a couple of years later, the Isuzu Axiom came by its name in a thoughtful and democratic way. Its moniker wasn't the result of myriad brainstorming sessions by a cadre of marketing types locked away in some remote steel tower. Rather, Isuzu held a contest to see who could come up with the best name. "Axiom" was picked by a citizen of Redmond, Washington, who got a brand-new Isuzu Axiom for his efforts.

Unfortunately, this degree of thoughtfulness was not reflected in the Axiom's design and overall quality. The Axiom wasn't as new as it should have been: The SUV shared an aged platform with its sibling, the Rodeo. Ergonomics within its cabin were poor; many controls were non-intuitive and illogically placed. Legroom was cramped for those riding in back. And the Axiom's sluggish steering and non-existent road feel didn't exactly enhance its fun-to-drive quotient.

Still, this Isuzu had its assets. A chiseled chin and crossover-like styling gave the vehicle some visual distinctiveness, and its V6 was up for most of the tasks thrown its way. The Axiom's available four-wheel-drive system was also fairly sophisticated. But on the whole, the Axiom was lacking in too many areas. In our editors' ratings, the Axiom earned a "not recommended" score in all the key areas: dynamics, comfort, design/build quality and function. If you're shopping for a used SUV, you would be better served by pretty much any of the Axiom's competitors.

Most Recent Isuzu Axiom

The Axiom was a midsize SUV that was available in just one generation lasting from 2002-'04. There were two trims: base and XS. Base models offered standard features like full power accessories, air-conditioning, keyless entry, a CD changer and a trip computer. XS models stirred in the sugar by way of amenities like foglights, heated front seats and a power moonroof. The options list on base models included leather seats, a power moonroof and a trailer hitch; on XS models, a trailer hitch was initially the sole available option.

It was on the market for just a brief spell, but the Isuzu Axiom still witnessed a few changes. In 2003, the base trim was renamed the S. A CD changer was dropped from the standard features list on S models, instead becoming available as an option; also, chrome wheels and a roof rack were added to the options list for XS models. In 2004, the S model saw further erosion to its standard features list with the deletion of its cassette player. The SUV's speaker count also dropped from eight to six. All Axioms got a new chrome finish on the grille; the optional alloy wheels on the XS also got spruced up with a new chrome finish.

Onboard all Axioms was Isuzu's Intelligent Suspension Control, which utilized sensors to track vehicle variables like speed, engine rpm and braking. These sensors continually adjusted the Axiom's shock valving to match ride and handling to real-time driving conditions. Also, the system allowed drivers to choose between Sport and Comfort suspension modes. In practice, this setup wasn't nearly as impressive as it sounds. In Comfort mode, the Isuzu Axiom exhibited an unacceptable degree of roll and wallow. Selecting Sport mode brought some relief, but we were still disappointed with this area of the SUV's performance.

Isuzu's hauler was powered by a 3.5-liter V6 good for 230 horsepower and 230 pound-feet of torque; the engine was a retuned version of the V6 that motivated the Isuzu Trooper. In 2004, the Axiom's engine benefited from new gasoline "direct injection" technology that served to boost hp to 250 and torque to 246 lb-ft. Two- or four-wheel drive models were offered.

Four-wheel-drive Axioms came with Isuzu's "Torque on Demand" feature. Operated via a dash-mounted twist knob, this system utilized sensors to gauge throttle position and axle speeds, with the aim of predicting wheelspin so power could be transferred to the front wheels in an idealized fashion.

User Reviews:

Showing 1 through 10 of 238.00
  • The Ax on Axiom - 2004 Isuzu Axiom
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    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.

  • Only One!! - 2002 Isuzu Axiom
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    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.

  • As reliable as the sun - 2004 Isuzu Axiom
    By -

    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.

  • Axiom I love it - 2002 Isuzu Axiom
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    I looked for an SUV type vehicle for months. The Axiom styling caught my eye. I love this vehicle. It has just the right mix of luxury options, and standard features.

  • my review - 2004 Isuzu Axiom
    By -

    We have loved our Axiom ever since we purchased it. Its perfect for our family of four. It handles and drives well. We had a Rodeo before the Axiom and loved our Rodeo as well.

    By -

    I purchased my Axiom on 11/26/2001. At the time I was attracted by the zero percent financing and nice look of the body style. The vehicle drinks gas like an elephant. 12.2 mpg city and 18 mpg highway. This is terrible for a six cylinder. The tires are Goodyears and are terrible. They do not corner well and are terrible on the highway. If you are foolish enough to buy this vehicle do yourself a favor and change the tires right away. The sensors for the TOD are expensive and mine went after 37 months. I still owe $9,000.00 on the vehicle and already Im putting big money into it. It only has 30,000 miles on it. I do not recommend this vehicle to anyone.

  • Great Vehicle, Great Price - 2002 Isuzu Axiom
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    Ive owned this vehicle for more than a year and am very impressed. In fact, my wife and I own 2 along with a MB SL500- so I know cars. In sports mode, this vehicle rides as well as many entry- level luxury cars. Power is sufficient to send you on your way in a hurry. The price difference does not merit moving up to a Lexus RX or Mercedes ML for that manner- well maybe an ML55.

  • "Just My Style" - 2004 Isuzu Axiom
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    With my just being retired from working and now having alot of time on my hand, I find myself on the go. I like to shop and my car just didnt have the room for storage. My new 2003 Axiom have enough room for all my hauling. And I decide to dress up and go out on the town, it fix that need as well. It a well built vehicle that handle well and meets many needs.

  • our new ride - 2004 Isuzu Axiom
    By -

    great handling, powerful and stylish wagon, the all wheel drive is great, including in the rain. Interior leather is handsome, the 6 disc cd changer sound is powerful, and the bells and whistles, driver info center all work great.Love the compass and the atomic clock is accurate to the second. Fun to drive, a GPS would be great. gas mileage has been in the 20s, great crusing range.

  • Perfecto! - 2002 Isuzu Axiom
    By -

    A Hot Rod in Wolfs clothing. Smooth awesome power and great handling. Feels like a shot of Nitrous when that dual induction kicks in at 3800 RPM. Drives like a sports car with a total in control feeling all of the time. Just turned 12,500 miles and I know the next 107,500 miles of the drive train warranty period will be just as trouble free. It just feels right! Many compliments on the tan cloth interior and the instrumentation is great. I drive in the Sport mode most of the time but the Soft ride on the highway is almost Lincoln like. I ask my Lady Friend if she had anything to add and she said "Just a cool car, thats all."

Isuzu Axiom Reviews By Year:
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