This weeks ride is a Trooper from Isuzu and albeit yet another SUV it is pretty respectable. It reminds me of the Land Rover, especially with its high center of gravity look and feel. The rear door is unique in this category of sport utility in that it has “swing out” doors. The two rear doors are split about 70 and 30 and although the design is different and may find acceptance by some, in the final analysis all they are is different and not better. I don’t expect they will be all the rage.
This model is equipped with the largest sunroof you’ll find anywhere. The cloth seats are comfortable and I especially like the Captains chairs in the front. The 60/40 split rear seat is convenient too. It is large inside and will seat 5 comfortably with lots of storage space in the rear. It is the flagship of the SUV line for Isuzu so it has nice features like a screen cover over the cargo area and lots of nooks and cranny’s to store stuff.
Handling & Performance: High center of gravity gave me the Heebie Jeebies in the turns. Not unlike most of the SUV’s out there. Lots of power in the V6 215 horsepower engine.
Styling: Cookie cutter, but I don’t like the Spare mounted on the back or the Hard Plastic cover idea. For one, it was a constant obstructive irritation for the rear view. Second, the design of the swinging doors with all that weight looks like it will brake something or at best be a noise annoyance sooner or later.
Fit and Finish: Very nicely done except where they chose the placement of the Radio and Climate control. It’s a reach and it would have been better to put the Air controls on the bottom since you usually set it and forget it.
All the features you’d expect from an upscale SUV.
Range is $26,950 – $34,698 and about what I’d expect.
Recommendation: The competition is awesome and Isuzu has obvious problems in capturing much market away from this lineup.
Acura SLX $36,300, Jeep Grand Cherokee $26,895-34,635, Land Rover Discovery $33,350-34,150, Lexus RX 300 $33,005-34,605, Mercedes M class $35,300-64,900.
It has everything you want from an SUV, comfort, clean lines, powerful.
Usual bad gas mileage for SUV’s, swing out doors bound to be a problem.
3.5 liter V6 215 horsepower engine, 4-speed automatic transmission with power and winter modes, dual air bags, 8-way power driver and 4-way passenger seat controls, antilock brakes, air conditioning, power windows and door locks, tilt steering wheel, cruise control, stereo with cassette and CD, sunroof.
15 City and 19 Highway MPG.
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