2003 Isuzu Ascender

  • 2003 Isuzu Ascender Base Sport Utility

    Base Sport Utility

    • MAX MPG
    • SEATS
    • ENGINE
      4.2L I6
    • MSRP
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2003 Isuzu Ascender Review

The best SUV Isuzu offers, much like the GMC Envoy.

Reviewed by Automotive on


The 2003 Isuzu Ascender is a mix of Isuzu and GMC engineering. It has been favorably compared to both the Chevy TrailBlazer and the GMC Envoy XL. While there are SUVs available with more refinement and on-road capabilities, it does well off road and provides a great deal of comfort in the cabin. Offered with a choice of six-cylinder or V-8 engine power, it is up to the challenge of day-to-day driving. Depending on the buyer's needs, this SUV could be an excellent used car purchase.

The Range

Body Styles: SUV
Engines: 4.2-liter six-cylinder, 5.3-liter V-8
Transmissions: four-speed automatic
Models: Isuzu Ascender S, Isuzu Ascender LS, Isuzu Ascender Limited

What's New

The 2003 Isuzu Ascender features seating for seven and a choice of six-cylinder or V-8 engines. This model is based on the Envoy XL from GMC.


The 2003 Isuzu Ascender is offered in three trim levels for the 2003 model year. It is a well-equipped SUV with a truck-like front end and grille. It has a distinctive shaped hood and a roof rack. This edition also has modern lines down the sides of the body for an accent as well. It has 17-inch alloy wheels, a rear lift gate window, and a manual lift gate door. It receives a trailer hitch for easy towing. While there are different color options depending on the trim level, it is also available in two-toned color schemes as well. Some of the most popular color choices include Timberline Green, Silver Sand, Onyx Black, and Artic White.


The one thing the 2003 Isuzu Ascender can certainly boast is plenty of space in the cabin. It provides ample room for seven passengers and lots of cargo for the adventurous family or group. The lower trim level offers cloth front bucket seats with split folding, reclining back seats. The third seat is split folding as well. Power door locks and windows are standard along with cruise control. An AM/FM stereo equipped with a single CD player is available as well.

The 2003 Isuzu Ascender upper trim levels are equipped with leather front bucket seats. Both the driver and passenger seat are height adjustable and have manual adjustable lumbar support. Both seats are heated as well. Power heated mirrors join the list of power accessories for this model. Cruise control and air-conditioning are standard as well. The Limited has a trip computer and Bose brand stereo system. The stereo system is complete with a six-CD player in-dash.

Performance & Handling

The 2003 Isuzu Ascender offers decent power and has no trouble keeping up on the road or highway. It has to be noted that it isn’t necessarily the best choice for the demanding driver. Its handling is a bit sloppy and feedback is slow. These traits can be hard to handle for the driver who likes a lot of support and responsive handling. The ride is overall very comfortable, and it is a good vehicle for long trips in terms of comfort.


Equipped much like the GMC Envoy, the 2003 Isuzu Ascender is equipped with four-wheel anti-lock brakes, front and rear ventilated disc brakes, and electronic brake force distribution. It is also equipped with dual front side mounted airbags and front height adjustable headrests. These headrests are intended to reduce the risk of head and neck injury in the event of an accident. Traction control is a standard feature for this model as well. The rear seat is equipped with lap seat belts. Turn signal mirrors are part of the safety package too. An engine immobilizer will shut down the motor when an accident occurs for greater safety.

EPA Fuel Economy

Isuzu Ascender 4.2-liter six-cylinder: 14/19 mpg city/highway
Isuzu Ascender 5.3-liter V-8: 14/18 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Nice interior design
  • Lots of cargo and passenger space
  • Impressive six- or eight-cylinder power options

You Won't Like

  • Unresponsive steering
  • Soft suspension
  • Odd exterior body design

Sum Up

The best SUV Isuzu offers, much like the GMC Envoy.

If You Like This Vehicle

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