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1996 Isuzu Hombre Review
A GMC truck knock-off.
Reviewed by Automotive on
The 1996 Isuzu Hombre is essentially a clone of the Chevrolet S-10 and GMC Sonoma with different sheet metal. It replaces the unoriginally named and severely-aging Isuzu Pick Up design but improves very little. It provides a limited platform and no real available upgrades at the same price of the Sonoma. It also comes without the decades of reliability that supports its competitors and with an awkward exterior.
Engines: 2.2-liter inline four-cylinder
Transmissions: five-speed manual
Models: Isuzu Hombre S, Isuzu Hombre XS
The 1996 Isuzu Hombre is a completely new vehicle that actually has nothing new. It's essentially a clone of an older GMC Sonoma with very few options in terms of powertrain or amenities. Only one engine is available, and it is not particularly powerful. It's also only available with a manual transmission and only available in two-wheel drive. The bed is small, and no extended cabs or beds are offered. The interior is quite basic, and the upper-level XS model offers very little in the way of upgrades. Front legroom is diminished, and the turning circle is equal to that of a mid-size truck.
The 1996 Isuzu Hombre managed to take the blueprint for the GMC Sonoma and adapt a strange-looking exterior. The front slopes downward and curves into the front fascia with a grille that looks small and plastic. From the front, it looks cheap; from the side, it looks unfortunate and does not fit with the other current models.
The 1996 Isuzu Hombre is extremely basic and has little in the way of upgradeable features. The S model comes with a vinyl floor and only air-conditioning and a stereo as options, while the XS comes with cloth upholstery and carpeted floors. It also doesn't have more than air-conditioning and a stereo as available options. There are no power options, no advanced climate control options, and no cruise control; it is ergonomically simple. But it doesn’t really have anything to actually put in the dash to create an ergonomic problem. Moreover, visibility is fine with no real blind spots.
Performance & Handling
The 1996 Isuzu Hombre offers very little in the way of performance. The 2.2-liter engine puts out a ridiculously anemic amount of torque and horsepower. The 118 horsepower is less than most compact cars. The 130 lb-ft of torque is at the bottom of the pick-up truck category. Payload capacity is low as is towing capacity. In terms of handling, the turning radius is ridiculously poor for a small pick-up truck. Braking is great, but that’s because the four-wheel antilock brakes have very little to stop.
The 1996 Isuzu Hombre comes equipped with standard four-wheel anti-lock brakes and a driver front airbag. That is, unfortunately, all that is available. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gives three out of five stars for driver frontal crash protection. But with no airbag and very little legroom, the passenger is exposed, and the NHTSA gives their worst rating for passenger protection with one out of five.
EPA Fuel Economy
- Engine and drivetrain parts interchangeable with GM parts
- Fuel economy
You Won't Like
- Weak engine
- No automatic transmission
- Very few options and amenities
- Unknown reliability
- Sloppy exterior
A GMC truck knock-off.
If You Like This Vehicle
- GMC Sonoma
- Chevrolet S-10
- Ford Ranger
- Dodge Dakota