The 2006 Isuzu Ascender is a sport utility vehicle (SUV) that comes in two versions: the S Five-Passenger and S Seven-Passenger. Because of its partnership with GM, Isuzu relied heavily on GM products to help its cash-strapped bottom line and its product lines. Although the Ascender borrowed its engine from the GMC Envoy; the bumpers, wheels, headlights, taillights, and grille are different.
The 2006 Isuzu Ascender has plenty of space in the passenger and cargo areas. Even though the body is virtually the same as the Envoy, the Ascender features a powerful engine, and boasts one of the best warranty programs on the market. The basic warranty is three years or 50,000 miles and seven years or 75,000 miles on the drivetrain. The warranty also covers corrosion for six years or 100,000 miles and offers roadside assistance for seven years or 75,000 miles. However, with the uncertain future of Isuzu, the resale value of its cars may suffer.
Body Styles: SUV
Engines: 4.2-liter V-6
Transmissions: four-speed automatic
Models: Ascender S Five-Passenger, Ascender S Seven-Passenger
The 2006 Isuzu Ascender received stability control as a standard safety feature.
The 2006 Isuzu Ascender is an SUV that is available in five-passenger and seven-passenger sizes. Both models have 17-inch alloy wheels, body side moldings, and over-fenders. Power windows and locks come standard, and the Preferred Equipment Package for the two-wheel-drive model adds keyless entry and cruise control. If consumers opt for the four-wheel-drive model, they will get the Preferred Equipment Package as standard. An LS Package adds traction control, limited slip differential, 17-inch wheels, roof rack, and a moonroof. The Limited Package adds power-adjustable pedals to models that are equipped with the V-8 engine. The Luxury Package adds monochromatic paint, upgraded exterior mirrors, automatic windshield wipers, and power-adjustable pedals.
The five-passenger model has a second-row 65/35-split folding seat, and the seven passenger model adds a third-row 50/50-split seat for the additional two passengers. The second row seats folds down to allow easy access to the rear. Standard features for the 2006 Isuzu Ascender include dual-zone air-conditioning, and a CD player. The Preferred Package for the two-wheel-drive model includes power driver seat, but the four-wheel-drive model has this as standard. The LS Package adds an in-dash CD changer and steering wheel-mounted audio controls. The Luxury Package adds leather upholstery, heated seats, and a Bose stereo system. The Limited Package adds a power passenger seat and driver’s seat memory.
The interior of the 2006 Isuzu Ascender is clad with low-grade materials, even though the Limited Package includes leather and wood trim. The controls are easy to see and operate, but the climate controls are mounted a little lower on the dashboard and they require that drivers take their eyes off the road to operate them. The seats are comfortable, but do not provide adequate support, especially for extended rides. There is plenty of leg and head room, even in the seven-passenger third-row seats, which provide enough room for a six-foot-tall person to sit in the third row without feeling cramped.
Performance & Handling
The 2006 Isuzu Ascender is equipped with a 4.2-liter, dual overhead cam (DOHC), inline six cylinder engine that gets 291 horsepower at 277 lb-ft of torque. ""Displacement on Demand,"" boosts fuel economy by using only half of the engine’s cylinders when cruising. It has a double wishbone suspension in front and a solid live axle rear suspension.
The steering is vague and requires a lot of correction, especially when driving on the highway. In sharp turns, the 2006 Isuzu Ascender exhibited marked body lean. The suspension provided a smooth ride, but the lack of air suspension causes the car to bounce when driving over dips in the road. The brake system sufficiently stops the car, but sudden stops causes the car to nosedive and drift to the side. The engine is relatively quiet, but the wind noise is noticeable when traveling on the highway.
The 2006 Isuzu Ascender’s standard safety equipment includes four-wheel anti-lock brakes, daytime running lights, and stability control. Side airbags are optional on both trims. In government testing, the 2006 Isuzu Ascender received three out of a possible five stars for frontal impact protection. When it is equipped with the optional side airbags, it received five out of five stars for side impact protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) marked it with the second-lowest rating as ""Marginal"" for frontal-offset collision protection.
EPA Fuel Economy
Ascender S 5-Passenger:14/20 mpg city/highway
Ascender S 7-Passenger:14/19 mpg city/highway
- Strong six- and eight-cylinder engines
- Simple interior design
- Plenty of cargo room
- Plenty of passenger room
- Long warranty
You Won't Like
- Spongy suspension
- Numb steering
- Subpar interior materials used
- Poor resale value
Roomy interior, strong engine, and a generous warranty.
If You Like This Vehicle
- 2006 GMC Envoy
- 2006 Jeep Grand Cherokee