Ad Radar

1996 Isuzu Trooper

Get A Dealer Quote

Compare Dealer Clearance Prices and SAVE

  • Review

1996 Isuzu Trooper Review

Straddles the line between a minivan and an off roader.

Reviewed by Automotive on


The 1996 Isuzu Trooper is more expensive and versatile than the American-made SUVs but less expensive and less competent than European- and other Asian-made SUVs. Its success has been its incredible durability, reliability, off-road capability, and personality.

The 1996 Isuzu Trooper addresses one of the major issues with the model by upgrading the horsepower output of its 3.2-liter V-6, although it remains underpowered in comparison to many other SUVs. Other updates include more standard equipment and shift-on-the-fly capability in the new SE model.

The Range

Engines: 3.2-liter V-6
Transmissions: four-speed automatic, five-speed manual
Models: Isuzu Trooper S, Isuzu Trooper LS, Isuzu Trooper Limited, Isuzu Trooper SE

What's New

The 1996 Isuzu Trooper provides an engine that gives an additional 15 horsepower. It may not sound like much, but the 175-horsepower output of the previous year was among the lowest in the sport utility class for a six-cylinder engine. Due to the high curb weight, this was a necessary update in order to bring its power-to-weight ratio closer to its competitors. The SE model debuts, which includes new shift-on-the-fly technology to switch between two- and four-wheel drive with more ease. More equipment has also been made standard at the different levels to provide greater value.


The 1996 Isuzu Trooper hasn't changed much since the 1991 redesign, and it remains one of the difficult points to overcome. It is very tall and angular with obtrusive body work at the bottom. The slight offset between the door windows and the rear windows causes people to stop and look and not in a good way.


The 1996 Isuzu Trooper comes functionally equipped as a base model, and the high-end SE model is packed full of features and amenities. Available features on the base S model are power locks, power heated mirrors, power windows, cruise control, a CD player, and cruise control. It has plenty of room for four or five adults with rear-seat legroom on par with large luxury sedans. Cargo space is also great, with 90 cubic feet available in the rear with the seats down. The seats are relatively comfortable. The dashboard and controls are laid out fairly well but not ergonomically perfect. The big windows allow for plenty of visibility, but the large pillars do create minor blind spots.

Performance & Handling

The 1996 Isuzu Trooper off of the road is hard to beat. While the V-6 engine is far from the most powerful engine, it has plenty of torque to move through the dirt and brush. The height that was mentioned earlier comes in handy when off-roading since it has almost nine inches of ground clearance; it won’t get hung up on rocks or branches or in shallow ruts. The suspension is also tuned to deal with off-roading, as is the steering. On paved roads, it works well with enough power to keep with traffic. While it's built for off-roading, the suspension and steering do not create any problems on the road but also don't make for the best rides or city maneuverability.


The 1996 Isuzu Trooper come equipped with driver and passenger front airbags as standard equipment. The S and LS have standard rear-wheel anti-lock brakes and available four-wheel anti-lock brakes, which are standard in the Limited and SE. Due to the high center of gravity, there are some rollover concerns but is not a major issue as long as the driver recognizes this and drives accordingly. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave three out of five stars for driver and passenger front impact protection.

EPA Fuel Economy

Isuzu Trooper: 13/17 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Durable and reliable
  • Top-notch off-road capabilities
  • Lots of interior room

You Won't Like

  • Poor fuel economy
  • A little on the expensive side
  • Base S model is almost too basic

Sum Up

Straddles the line between a minivan and an off roader.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Toyota Land Cruiser
  • Land Rover Discovery
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee

Similarly Priced Vehicles