• (4.3) 3 reviews
  • MSRP: $1,940–$8,792
  • Body Style: Sport Utility
  • Combined MPG: 17-18
  • Engine: 275-hp, 4.2-liter I-6 (regular gas)
  • Drivetrain: 4x2
  • Seats: 5-7
2005 Isuzu Ascender

Our Take on the Latest Model 2005 Isuzu Ascender

What We Don't Like

  • Exterior size of seven-passenger model
  • Fuel economy
  • Hard seat bottoms
  • Resale value

Notable Features

  • Five- or seven-passenger capacity
  • Inline-six-cylinder or V-8
  • Available automatic 4WD
  • Premium amenities

2005 Isuzu Ascender Reviews

Vehicle Overview
Isuzu's latest sport utility vehicle went on sale for 2003 and replaced the company's long-lived Trooper. The Ascender shares its platform with General Motors' midsize SUVs. Even though the original seven-passenger Ascender is larger than a midsize model, it's smaller than typical full-size SUVs.

A shorter five-passenger version joined the lineup for 2004 and was powered by a 275-horsepower inline-six-cylinder. Seven-passenger models can be equipped with the six-cylinder or a 5.3-liter V-8.

As the 2005 model year began, Isuzu dropped its other two SUVs: the Axiom and Rodeo. The Ascender's V-8 gains GM's Displacement on Demand technology, which automatically deactivates four cylinders when feasible to reduce fuel usage.

Five- and seven-passenger Ascenders come in S trim with either rear-wheel drive or on-demand four-wheel drive. The four-wheel-drive system has four modes: automatic, 4-Low, 2-High and 4-High.

Several option groups that are comparable to additional trim levels are offered. The LS package includes traction control, a limited-slip differential, a sunroof, a six-CD changer and a roof rack. The Limited package, offered only with V-8-equipped models, adds running boards, leather upholstery, heated front seats, power-adjustable pedals, Bose sound and GM's OnStar communication system. Leather and Luxury packages are available for six-cylinder models.

Exhibiting a traditional two-box SUV profile, the Ascender features 17-inch alloy wheels, overfenders and bodyside moldings. The Ascender features body-on-frame construction and rack-and-pinion steering.

The extended-length Ascender seats as many as seven occupants, and the shorter model holds up to five. Second-row passengers get a 65/35-split folding seat, while the 50/50-split third-row seat in the seven-passenger model holds two. The second-row seats have a flip-and-tumble feature for easy access to the back row. Ascenders have dual-zone air conditioning, power windows and locks, and a CD player.

Under the Hood
The Ascender's 4.2-liter inline-six-cylinder generates 275 hp. Buyers of the seven-passenger Ascender can step up to a 5.3-liter V-8 that develops 300 hp and 330 pounds-feet of torque. Each engine teams with a four-speed-automatic transmission. Maximum trailer-towing capacity is 7,200 pounds with the V-8 and proper towing equipment.

Daytime running lights and antilock brakes are standard. Two-row side curtain-type airbags are optional.

Driving Impressions
The Ascender isn't exactly a standout in the crowded SUV field, but at least it falls at the appealing end of the spectrum. The inline-six-cylinder Ascender runs quietly and accelerates vigorously from a standstill. Handling is confident for an SUV, and the ride is quite compliant. The seat bottoms are somewhat hard, and the seatbacks have virtually no side bolstering to keep occupants in place during turns.

Consumer Reviews


Average based on 3 reviews

Write a Review

hard to find parts and get repaired

by fishinggeek from eau claire, wi on May 29, 2012

i love my ascender with a few exceptions. the interior door broke and the panel busted because my german shepherd was standing on the window. i've been looking for parts for weeks!!! i cant find anywh... Read Full Review

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4 Trims Available

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Wondering which configuration is right for you?
Our 2005 Isuzu Ascender trim comparison will help you decide.

Isuzu Ascender Articles

2005 Isuzu Ascender Safety Ratings

Crash-Test Reports


There is currently 1 recall for this car.

Safety defects and recalls are relatively common. Stay informed and know what to do ahead of time.

Safety defects and recalls explained

Service & Repair

Estimated Service & Repair cost: $4,800 per year.

Save on maintenance costs and do your own repairs.

Warranty Coverage

What you should get in your warranty can be confusing. Make sure you are informed.

Learn More About Warranties

Warranties Explained


Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.


Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

Roadside Assistance

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

Free Scheduled Maintenance

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

Other Years