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Expert Reviews 1 of 3
By Rick Popely
December 1, 1999
Vehicle Overview Amigo is the mightymite of Isuzu's SUV roster. It comes in two-door wagon and two-door convertible styling and is in the same size and price range as car-based SUVs like the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4. Isuzu doesn't build cars, so Amigo is built on a shorter version of the truck chassis used for the Isuzu Rodeo. Amigo uses the same engines, 4WD hardware and front styling as the Rodeo but is nearly 9 inches shorter.
Isuzu has extended the warranty on all its 2000 models to cover major powertrain components (engine, transmission, axles, etc.) for 10 years or 120,000 miles for the original owner, the longest such warranty in the industry.
Interior Isuzu says the Amigo seats five, though that might be optimistic given the modest space in back. The front passenger seat has a walk-in feature that slides the seat forward when the backrest is released, and now it also has a memory feature that returns it to its original position. Cruise control was not available last year, but this year it is standard on all V-6 models.
Among the option packages available on Amigo this year is the Ironman Package (named for the Ironman Competition) with special exterior graphics and floormats, a sound system with a CD changer, and a choice of white or black paint.
Exterior The convertible has a hard top over the front seats with a manual, removable sunroof and a folding soft-top over the rear seats. The hardtop wagon adds a second sunroof over the rear seats in lieu of the folding top. All models wear new front and rear bumpers painted gray, and the headlamps and optional fog lamps are restyled.
Under the Hood A 130-horsepower, 2.2-liter four-cylinder is standard, and a 3.2 liter V-6 with 205 horsepower is optional. The four-cylinder comes only with manual shift, the V-6 with manual or automatic. Four-wheel drive is available with either engine, and it is a part-time system that should be used only on slippery surfaces.