Isuzu Trooper

The Isuzu Trooper, a sport utility vehicle (SUV), was introduced in 1981 just when SUV fever began to sweep the U.S. The original Trooper ran from 1981 till 1991.

The second generation was released in 1992. Poor sales and negative reviews in publications led to the end of the Trooper line in 2002, seven years before Isuzu left the U.S. market completely.

More on the Isuzu Trooper

The box shape with curved edges that became the staple design of the Trooper for ten years was popular with other carmakers. Acura rebranded the vehicle as the SLX.

About the Isuzu Trooper

The Isuzu Trooper was a real seller for Isuzu, but it was likely due to the time it was released, not for any special features. The early Isuzu Troopers had a weak 2.6-liter engine that seriously underperformed in comparison to the competition. The suspensions on early models were shoddy and didn’t perform well in off-road conditions. Models from the mid-2000s tweaked the suspension, which solved the problem.

The interiors of the Trooper line were nothing to call home about. Later models added new features that improved the value. The difference between the base model and the Limited version was only a few hundred dollars, meaning many Limited models are out on the used market.

The boxy design of the car was geared towards the Range Rover crowd and was a reason why the vehicle was so appealing to young consumers who wanted the look of the Range Rover, but couldn’t fork out the money for an expensive vehicle.

The Trooper suffered under the gaze of a market wanting constant change. Each year brought new additions to the vehicle, but Isuzu could not keep up with the competition. Unless you’re picking up one of the Limited models, it is best to steer clear of the Isuzu Trooper, especially the first-generation vehicles.

The Isuzu Trooper was discontinued in 2002 due to poor sales.

Isuzu Trooper Features

The first generation Isuzu Trooper models were available in two doors only. Later a four-door version was introduced that became popular due to its extra room. The vehicle came with a weak 2.6-liter engine that was upgraded during the run to a V-6 engine sourced from Isuzu’s U.S. brother-in-arms, General Motors. A diesel version of the Trooper was also available.

Early versions of the second generation have a slew of problems. The engines were weak and seriously underperformed when compared to the competition. The base S model had a single cam 3.2-liter V-6 engine that only produced 190 horsepower. Many SUVs of the time were in the 200s. The LS models had a double overhead cam that boosted the horsepower to 190 horsepower.

A short wheelbase two-door Trooper was introduced as the RS trim line in the early 1990s, but was dropped in 1996 due to a lack of popularity. In 1994, heated seats and venting were included on top trim lines. In 1997, anti-lock brakes (ABS) were introduced as standard on all models, greatly improving the safety rating of the vehicle. Shift-on-the-fly four-wheel drive was also introduced in 1997. The Limited was renamed the Luxury trim line. Keep an eye out for these vehicles.

The Trooper Limited that was introduced in 1995 is the best of the breed for its extra luxury items. Included in the Limited trim line were a power sunroof, leather upholstery, heated seats and wood-grain trim on the interior. The 1995 model also had an upgraded suspension that greatly improved the ride quality.

The second generation Trooper was introduced in 1992. The new version was wider and longer than its predecessor with softer curves around the edges with the same boxy shape as previous models; a base model S version and a Limited top trim model were available. In 2000, the LS midlevel model was introduced.

Isuzu Trooper Evolution

Big changes were made to the Trooper in 1998. A 3.5-liter V-6 engine that produced 215 horsepower was introduced, blowing all previous versions out of the water. The body of the vehicle was updated to have a stylish, modern feel to bring it up-to-date.

The Troopers that were released around the 2000s were beginning to struggle to keep up with modern design practices and mechanics. The handling both on road and off road struggled in basic tasks. Fuel economy also suffered due to the weight and the size of the vehicle.

The Limited top trim level had a lot to offer the driver. Due to plunging prices for used models, the higher end Troopers can be a decent purchase with a lot to offer. Look for Troopers from the mid-1990s for the best used models.

Select an Isuzu Trooper Year

2002 Isuzu Trooper

SUV, Utility/Offroad

The first Isuzu Trooper appeared in the Isuzu lineup as an SUV with a tough, sturdy, and boxy in its style with a sparse interior and two doors.

2001 Isuzu Trooper

SUV, Utility/Offroad

The 2001 Isuzu Trooper remains one of the oldest SUVs on the market, and while Isuzu has brought plenty of other entries into the SUV field since, it has always made an effort to keep the Trooper up with the times.

2000 Isuzu Trooper

SUV, Utility/Offroad

The first-generation Isuzu Trooper was rolled out in 1981.

1999 Isuzu Trooper

SUV, Utility/Offroad

The 1999 Isuzu Trooper is a midsize SUV that was sold under various names across the world.

1998 Isuzu Trooper

SUV, Utility/Offroad

1997 Isuzu Trooper

SUV, Utility/Offroad

The 1997 Isuzu Trooper is a very flexible and versatile sport utility vehicle (SUV) that has options and performance, allowing it to perform quite well in almost all situations.

1996 Isuzu Trooper

SUV, Utility/Offroad

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.

1995 Isuzu Trooper

SUV, Utility/Offroad

The 1995 Isuzu Trooper provides a very flexible and versatile sport utility vehicle that has options and performance that allow it to perform quite well in almost all situations.