About the Isuzu i-280
The Isuzu i-280 was built on top of the very familiar and reliable Isuzu powertrain. Along with some modifications from GM, the Isuzu i-280 wasn’t a bad pickup truck to own.
The Isuzu i-280 was available in two trim lines: the S and the LS. One engine was available for the vehicle, a 2.8-liter, four-cycle engine that produced 175 horsepower and 185 lb-ft of torque. A five-speed manual transmission controlled the engine. The powertrain controlled a rear drive system, allowing for extra towing power.
The suspension gave some bounce to the vehicle, but that also meant it could perform in off-road conditions. Front independent suspension made for a comfortable ride even in the outback.
The Isuzu i-280 was a compact pickup with an extended six-foot bed. Cargo tie-downs were available on both trim lines of the vehicle. The truck measured 207.1-inches front to back and stood at 66.5-inches. Even though it was small, the Isuzu i-280 could tow 3200 pounds and carry a payload of 1532 pounds. Isuzu i-280 Features
The S trim line had a lot of standard comfort features on the inside of the vehicle. Cruise control, power steering, 12-volt front power outlets, and tilt-adjusting steering, an AM/FM stereo, and four speakers were available as standard. The LS also had 60/40 folding seats in the front for extra cargo storage. The S Plus Extended Package added a CD player to the car. The S Plus Extended Package added two rear jump seats behind the 60/40 split for two extra passengers. Legroom could be tight behind the front bench, so these were really suitable for children, not adults.
The LS trim line added a front seatback storage area, front reading lights, an in-dash CD player with CD-MP3 playback, and speed sensitive volume control. Instead of the 60/40 split front seat, the LS version had bucket seats. The back seat storage area made up for whatever cargo space was lost. Seats were covered in cloth on both models, since it was a working vehicle. A plus package on the LS provided a six-disc in-dash CD player instead of the standard one-disc player, as well as a leather-wrapped steering wheel. Isuzu i-280 Evolution
The exterior of the i-280 closely resembled the GM Canyon and the Chevy Colorado. The S trim line had a chrome grille, variable intermittent windshield wipers, chrome finish bumper, 15-inch painted alloy wheels, and came in a variety of nine-color possibilities. The grille is one area where the i-280 differs from the Canyon and Colorado; the grille is three wide bars with two vertical and one horizontal. Automatic on/off lights were also available. Grand flourishes in the design, which is one complaint from consumers, but the i-280 is meant to be a working truck, so the design is bare minimum.
The Isuzu i-280 had some impressive safety features including standard front-wheel anti-lock brakes, child anchor seats, ventilated front disc and rear-drum brakes, passenger airbag with deactivation, and a driver’s airbag. The LS version adds dusk-sensing headlamps, auto-delay headlamps, an engine immobilizer, and a rear three-point belt. Electronic brake-force distribution also comes standard.
Fuel economy isn’t exactly impressive on the Isuzu i-280, although it does rate better than some larger trucks. The tanks carry 19.6 gallons of unleaded fuel. The engine can run 18/25 mpg city/highway.
A standard 3-year 50,000-mile warranty was available when the truck was first introduced. A six-year rust warranty and a seven-year drive train warranty were available as well, meaning you can still get service to the transmission and other drive train parts, if necessary.
The Isuzu i-280 was never meant to be a luxury vehicle but does do well tugging and hauling materials. On the road, it is fairly agile and responded well to the driver’s requests. Although it is a little less powerful than its larger brothers, the Isuzu is a fine vehicle for the worker who needs a truck of a smaller variety.