Isuzu Ascender

The Isuzu Ascender is the product of collaboration between GM and Isuzu. Isuzu introduced the Ascender in 2003 as a replacement for the Isuzu Trooper and produced it until 2008 when Isuzu left the American market. Final production of the Ascender was completed in Moraine, Ohio.

More on the Isuzu Ascender
About the Isuzu Ascender

The Isuzu Ascender closely resembles GM’s Chevy Trailblazer model. But the Ascender did differentiate itself with a different body design as well as several trim models that upped the quality of the interior.

However, the Ascender lacked features that were available on other SUV models at the time. For example, a third row seat was never available. This limited the amount of passengers that could fit inside this massive SUV.

The Ascender did have several safety features included in the later years. A tire pressure monitor, daytime running lights, electronic stability, anti-lock brakes, and driver/passenger airbags were all included standard. If you are looking for a vehicle with the best safety features available, make sure to purchase an Ascender from 2008. The final year of production was the only one in which side curtain airbags were provided as a standard feature.

Isuzu Ascender Features

There were also several recalls of the vehicle due to minor glitches in design. The 2003 model was recalled for a fault in the automatic transmission, visibility issues due to windshield wipers, turn signal faults, and a faulty door latch. The 2004 model had problems with the turn signal. The 2005 model windshield visibility issues, but this time, due to the glass. The 2006 had a serious issue with hoses, piping, and connections inside the steering hydraulic power assist. If you are considering one of these vehicles, check the NHTSA report for these faults against the serial number of the vehicle.

The Ascender is not reported to be an exciting ride. Decent power under the hood gives the vehicle good acceleration, but the handling of the steering is loose and unresponsive in fast turns.

The Ascender is known for being a big vehicle even without the third row seat.

Although handling can be sloppy, the suspension is pretty decent on the Ascender. The suspension is made of a five-link system that allows the tires to bounce over objects without shaking the entire vehicle too much. The control system is automatically engaged when necessary. You can switch it into automatic mode for the highway or for better traction, a four-high or four-low option is available when you’re in snow or sand.

Isuzu Ascender Evolution

When the first generation Isuzu Ascender was introduced in 2003, there was only one option available: a seven-passenger vehicle with an extended wheelbase. A smaller, five-passenger Ascender was introduced the next year. It was also available in both rear and four-wheel drive.

Standard on the Isuzu Ascender was a powerful 4.2-liter inline six-cylinder engine that produced 275 horsepower and 275 lb-ft of torque. Earlier models of the vehicle also had the option of a 5.3-liter V-8 that produced 285 horsepower. To improve fuel economy, a V-8 with Active Fuel Management, also known as Displacement on Demand technology, was introduced. Before this, it was considered a huge gas-guzzler. The L and LS models had a fuel economy of 14/19 mpg city/highway, whereas the Limited was rated at 14/18 mpg city/highway. The V-8 models, as well as the seven-passenger, models were discontinued in 2007.

Several trim lines of the Isuzu Ascender were available throughout the car’s run. The standard vehicles were fairly sparse and unimpressive. The top of the line vehicles set the Ascender above the rest with their accessories. Standard equipment on the high-end Ascenders included dual-zone climate control, as well as read controls for back-seat passengers, a CD player, and several advanced power controls. Options for the vehicle were also plentiful. Power mirrors and an adjustable driver’s seat were available for purchase. Keyless entry, power adjustable pedals, cruise control, and sunroof could be added to the vehicle. Some later models of the Ascender can go for around $11,000, especially when the high-end accessories are included.

The interior was rather stylish on the Ascender and was considered to be one of the places the design really shines. Wheel-mounted touch controls were a nice feature, as well as the faux wood grain styling around the doors and along the dash. Ascender interior colors were limited to gray or beige unfortunately, leaving little chance for the purchaser to decide on color scheme.

Select an Isuzu Ascender Year

2008 Isuzu Ascender

SUV, Utility/Offroad

The 2008 Isuzu Ascender is a midsize sport utility vehicle (SUV) manufactured by General Motors for Isuzu Motors.

2007 Isuzu Ascender

SUV, Utility/Offroad

2006 Isuzu Ascender

SUV, Utility/Offroad

The 2006 Isuzu Ascender is a sport utility vehicle (SUV) that comes in two versions: the S Five-Passenger and S Seven-Passenger.

2005 Isuzu Ascender

SUV, Utility/Offroad

The Isuzu Ascender is a midsize or full-size SUV built by GM for the Isuzu brand.

2004 Isuzu Ascender

SUV, Utility/Offroad

2003 Isuzu Ascender

SUV, Utility/Offroad

The 2003 Isuzu Ascender is a mix of Isuzu and GMC engineering.