The Isuzu Ascender is a midsize or full-size SUV built by GM for the Isuzu brand. The Ascender is a rebranded GMC Envoy. The seven-passenger model replaced the Isuzu Trooper for the 2003 model year and the five-passenger model replaced the Isuzu Rodeo for the 2004 model year. The GMC Envoy continued production until 2010 at which point GM replaced these models with the GMC Terrain and indirectly with the seven-passenger GMC Arcadia as production of the Ascender began winding down.
The 2005 Isuzu Ascender is noted for providing a very quiet and comfortable ride, with a descent amount of power within its class. It offers similar features compared to other SUVs and is competitively priced.
Body Styles: SUV
Engines: 5.3-liter V-8, 4.2-liter six-cylinder
Transmissions: four-speed automatic with overdrive
Models: Isuzu Ascender S 4x2 five-passenger, Isuzu Ascender S 4x4 five-passenger, Isuzu Ascender S 4x2 seven-passenger, Isuzu Ascender S 4x4 seven-passenger
Since Isuzu dropped the Axiom and the Rodeo from the model line, the Ascender is Isuzu’s only SUV. It receives an S trim for all models sold in 2005. Both the five- and seven-passenger versions had already been introduced and exterior changes are minimal.
The 2005 Isuzu Ascender has a very traditional midsize or full-size SUV profile. The front end features a distinctive grille with three large chrome bars; one horizontal through the middle and two vertical with the Isuzu logo in the center surrounded by two square headlights and a prominent grey bumper below. The hood rises gradually toward the body, and the body is prominent and bulky. The rear is slightly rounded giving it a less boxy appearance. It features overfenders and bodyside moldings, 17-inch alloy wheels, and a roof rack. Overall, the 2005 Isuzu Ascender has an attractive look, similar to the GMC Envoy.
The 2005 Isuzu Ascender extended version seats seven while the shorter version seats five. Both models have a 65/35-split second row seat, which folds down for increased cargo space, and the extended models have a 50/50-split third row that seats two and folds down for additional cargo space. The second-row seats use a flip-and-tumble feature for easier access to the back. Standard interior features include dual-zone air-conditioning, power windows, power locks, and a CD player. The control layout is simple and well-placed. Different interior trims and materials are available, and the inside has an overall comfortable and attractive appearance.
Performance & Handling
2005 Isuzu Ascender models come equipped with a 4.2-liter inline six-cylinder which gets up to 275-hp. For a 5.3-liter V-8 model, the seven-passenger gets up to 300-hp and 330 lb-ft of torque. Both are coupled with a four-speed automatic transmission. Fully-equipped, the 300-hp model has a 7200 pound towing capacity.
Both engines demonstrate quick acceleration and merging and high-speed passing are not a problem at all. The Ascender runs very quietly and provides a very comfortable ride. It handles well, even the extended versions, and makes driving easy. However, the extended version may become difficult to maneuver in busy city traffic, and parking in tight spots can be difficult. Visibility is comparable to other SUVs in its class.
The 2005 Isuzu Ascender comes standard with daytime running lights, anti-lock brakes, and two-row side curtain airbags.
EPA Fuel Economy
Isuzu Ascender S, LS, Luxury five-passenger: 14/20 mpg city/highway
Isuzu Ascender S, LS seven-passenger: 14/19 mpg city/highway
Isuzu Ascender Limited seven-passenger: 13/19 mpg city/highway
- Quiet ride
- Comfortable ride
- Interior space in seven-seat models
You Won't Like
- Fuel efficiency
- Hard seats
- Resale value
- Bulky exterior
A very comfortable ride with plenty of power.
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