• (3.5) 4 reviews
  • MSRP: $3,180–$7,692
  • Body Style: Sport Utility
  • Combined MPG: 19-20
  • Engine: 250-hp, 3.5-liter V-6 (regular gas)
  • Drivetrain: 4x2
  • Seats: 5
2004 Isuzu Axiom

Our Take on the Latest Model 2004 Isuzu Axiom

What We Don't Like

  • Resale value
  • Roughness on harsh pavement
  • Rear knee space

Notable Features

  • Distinctive, modern appearance
  • New direct-injection engine
  • Intelligent Suspension Control
  • RWD or 4WD

2004 Isuzu Axiom Reviews

Vehicle Overview
What Isuzu calls its most-sophisticated sport utility vehicle debuted for the 2002 model year. A direct-injection gasoline engine for the Axiom will be available for 2004. Fitted with variable valve timing, the new 3.5-liter V-6 engine promises better performance and a 10-percent improvement in fuel economy. Direct injection improves engine combustion by injecting vaporized fuel, under high pressure, directly into the combustion chamber. The direct-injection V-6 produces 250 horsepower and 247 pounds-feet of torque, vs. 230 hp and 230 pounds-feet of torque for the previous 3.5-liter engine. Idle noise has also been reduced.

The Axiom is more curvaceous in appearance than a typical SUV, and it exhibits some characteristics of a minivan. An “intelligent” suspension with Sport and Comfort modes adjusts shock-absorber damping to 17 settings to suit various road conditions. A six-speaker 140-watt stereo is standard in 2004 models, but the cassette player has been dropped and the automatic transmission loses its Power button.

At the same time, the Axiom is fit for true offroad operation, with body-on-frame construction and a Low range for its Torque-On-Demand four-wheel-drive system. A rear-wheel-drive version is also available.

The Axiom is manufactured at a Lafayette, Ind., plant that also turns out Subarus. Base and upscale XS editions of the Axiom are available.

Stylists began with a series of concept vehicles that flaunted a “knife-edge design.” The production model features an arched roofline and sculpted wheel arches over geometric-shaped, six-spoke, 17-inch aluminum wheels. A bold grille displays gaping air intake slots. The Axiom rides a 106.4-inch wheelbase, measures 182.6 inches long overall and stands 67.2 inches tall.

Isuzu claims that the Axiom has a lower center of gravity than typical SUVs, but its ground clearance remains ample. The front bumper height is comparable to passenger cars in order to minimize damage during a collision.

Five people occupy a sculpted-theme interior that features four-way power adjustment for the driver and a split, folding rear seat with fold-down armrests. Because the vehicle’s hip line is lower than usual and matched by a higher belt line, the windowsills are somewhat high.

Standard equipment includes cloth and vinyl upholstery, heated power mirrors, a tilt steering wheel and cruise control. Leather upholstery and heated front seats go into the XS version. Cargo volume totals 85.4 cubic feet when the backseat is folded down.

Under the Hood
Isuzu’s new direct-injection 250-hp, 3.5-liter V-6 engine teams with a four-speed-automatic transmission. The Torque-On-Demand four-wheel-drive system automatically transfers power away from wheels that are slipping and incorporates a Low range for offroad treks. A dashboard switch selects either Sport or Comfort mode.

Antilock brakes are standard, and side-impact airbags are not offered.

Driving Impressions
Drivers can expect rather brisk yet smooth acceleration from a standstill, as well as energetic performance for passing and merging. Excellent automatic-transmission response is another bonus, but a lot of downshifting takes place on serious upgrades. Shifts are clearly felt but aren’t distracting.

Despite a relatively firm suspension, the ride is quiet and pleasant. When the pavement gets unduly harsh, so does the ride. Firm cushioning and moderately supportive seatbacks make the front seats satisfying, but the second-row seats are less spacious.


Reported by Jim Flammang  for cars.com;
Posted on 8/27/03

Consumer Reviews


Average based on 4 reviews

Write a Review

Great style, performance and reliability

by Aimee from Kansas City, MO on October 5, 2014

I bought a 2004 Isuzu Axiom SUV to haul the kids around instead of a minivan. The style reminds me of a sports car, the chrome trim, nice ride and simple to use controls are great. The sound system is... Read Full Review

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4 Trims Available

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Wondering which configuration is right for you?
Our 2004 Isuzu Axiom trim comparison will help you decide.

Isuzu Axiom Articles

2004 Isuzu Axiom Safety Ratings

Crash-Test Reports


There are currently 2 recalls 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