Isuzu Axiom

You could see Isuzu struggling in the American market throughout the 2000s, but in no vehicle is this more apparent than in the Isuzu Axiom. Released in 2002, the Axiom was only available until 2004.

The name, Axiom, was a bit of a gimmick. The name was picked from a contest held by the car company from consumers. The winner from Redmond, Washington won an Axiom as a prize.

More on the Isuzu Axiom
About the Isuzu Axiom

The Axiom is unfortunately known for its lack of innovative qualities and aging platform. The Axiom was built using the chassis from the Isuzu Rodeo, which was also old at the time. The inside of the vehicle was not set out properly; controls were in the wrong place for proper use, and the seating wasn’t very comfortable. The legroom was also cramped in the back of the vehicle, meaning passengers had to suffer through every ride.

Along with the poorly-made interior, the steering system was loose at best, and the car didn’t want to work with the driver.

Styling of the Axiom seemed to be the most dwelled-over feature by the designers at Isuzu. The car does resemble a knife; the angles are sharp and distinct at the front, while the back of it is as blunt as a knife handle.

There are several other choices for a cheap, used midsize sport utility vehicle (SUV) from the same period that perform better on the road, offer better styling and accessories, and are comfortable on the inside in ways the Axiom designers couldn’t even dream.

The Isuzu Axiom was discontinued in 2004, and Isuzu pulled out of the American market altogether in 2009. As such, no one is expecting any new Axiom models in the future.

Isuzu Axiom Features

It seemed that Isuzu was trying to make the S model as unappealing as possible. In 2004, the S lost the cassette player and two of the eight speakers were removed from the cabin, making the entertainment options inside the vehicle linger behind the competition. To make up for this, the already-distinctive Axiom body got a chrome grill, which improved the aesthetics of the vehicle. The alloy wheels of the XS model were also upgraded to chrome.

The Axiom did have some flair under the hood; the engine was a 3.5-liter V-6 that produced 230 horsepower and 230 lb-ft of torque. The 2004 model had a direct injection system to further increase the horsepower to a big-250 and the torque to 246 lb-ft. The four-wheel drive models came with a Torque on Demand feature that was controlled by a knob on the dashboard. You could control the throttle position and axle speeds of the vehicle while lugging large trailers or during off-road driving. Power was distributed to the wheels for ultimate stability, which proved to be a nice feature.

The Isuzu Intelligent Suspension Control was another impressive feature that allowed you to monitor variables in performance such as speed, brake times, and RPM. The sensors adjusted the shocks of the vehicle to accommodate for changes in driving performance. The suspension control system also allowed the driver to change between a Sport and Comfort mode, depending on the driving conditions. Unfortunately, the modes didn’t work very well. Comfort mode was sloppy, and the Sport mode didn’t do any better as it didn’t add any really significant performance boost.

Isuzu Axiom Evolution

The Axiom was introduced in 2002 and only lasted for one generation and two years.

The Axiom was offered in two different trim lines: the base Axiom and the XS. Both vehicles were available in a two-wheel or four-wheel drive version. The base model had a variety of features including air conditioning, keyless entry, CD changer, and power features. XS features included integrated fog lamps, heated front seats, and a moon roof.

Several nice options were available on the Axiom as well. The base model could include a hitch, leather seats, and the aforementioned moon roof. Oddly, the trailer hitch was the only option offered on the XS model.

In 2003, the base version of the vehicle was renamed the S line. It dropped the CD changer and was made as an option instead. The XS did see two new features: chrome wheels and a roof rack, but these were not standard and offered only as options.

Select an Isuzu Axiom Year

2004 Isuzu Axiom
ESTIMATED RESALE: $3,427

MPG
17-23
Seats
5

2002 Isuzu Axiom

SUV, Utility/Offroad


The 2002 Isuzu Axiom has a curvier body than its SUV competitors, and designers looked to obtain sedan-like qualities including comfort, nimble handling, appealing performance, and easy-control dimensions.

ESTIMATED RESALE: $3,449

MPG
16-20
Seats
5

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