Isuzu celebrates its 85th anniversary this year and marks the occasion with an anniversary package for the Trooper, its largest SUV. The package is available on the LS model and includes polar white pearl paint, 12-spoke alloy wheels with white accents, leather and woodgrain interior trim, chrome side steps and a Nakamichi audio system.
General Motors owns a stake in Isuzu, and when a new Trooper arrives in 2003, expectations are that it will be based on GMs 2002 midsize SUVs such as the Chevrolet TrailBlazer instead of an Isuzu design.
Trooper has conventional SUV features with square, upright styling and four side doors but a unique arrangement at the rear. Vertical cargo doors are split 70/30 like a refrigerator/freezer combination and they open to the sides. The spare tire attaches to the outside of the larger door.
At 188 inches front to rear, Trooper is nearly a foot shorter than the new Chevrolet Tahoe, but at 72.2 inches, it is nearly as tall as the Tahoe.
The base S model adds standard front captains chairs this year. All models have ample room for five people (two in front and three in the rear). Cargo room expands to a generous 90 cubic feet when both sides of the split rear seat are folded.
Troopers driving position is buslike because the steering wheel is more horizontal than in most vehicles.
Under the Hood
The only engine is a 3.5-liter V-6 that produces 215 horsepower and comes with a four-speed automatic or five-speed manual transmission. With the manual shift, 4x4s have a part-time 4WD system for use on slippery surfaces. With the automatic, 4WD can be engaged on dry pavement.