2008 Isuzu i-290

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$5,480–$9,076 USED Shop local deals
(4.0) 2 reviews
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Key Specs

of the 2008 Isuzu i‑290. Base trim shown.

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • Familiar GM powertrain
  • Available side curtain airbags

The Bad

  • Pending further review

Notable Features of the 2008 Isuzu i-290

  • Increased towing capacity
  • 185-hp, 2.9-liter four-cylinder
  • Extended-cab body style
  • Manual or automatic
  • RWD
  • Based on GM compact pickups

2008 Isuzu i-290 Overview

By Cars.com Editors
Vehicle Overview
Based on GM's compact pickups, the i-290 is the smaller of Isuzu's two i-series trucks, competing with the Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier, among others. Not much has changed for 2008 besides an increase in towing capacity and the discontinuation of the LS option package.

The i-290 holds a 2.9-liter four-cylinder, while the i-370 (listed separately in the Cars.com Research section) gets a 3.7-liter inline-five-cylinder. They join Isuzu's only remaining model in the U.S. market: the Ascender sport utility vehicle, which is also based on a GM product.

With its 185-horsepower four-cylinder and other appropriate equipment, the i-290 has a payload rating greater than 1,500 pounds. It received a 100-pound boost in towing capacity for the new model year, rising to 2,200 pounds for manual-transmission models and 3,200 for automatics.


Exterior
The pickups were developed in a joint venture, so the overall appearance of the i-290 is similar to GM's Colorado and Canyon. Isuzu's version features a bold grille made of three wide bars: one horizontal and two vertical. Viewed as the workhorse of the i-series duo, the i-290 comes only in extended-cab form with two-wheel drive. Equipped with a heavy-duty suspension, the i-290 has 15-inch tires on aluminum wheels. Automatic on-off headlights are standard. The Luxury Package adds fog lamps and a sliding rear window. The LS option package has been discontinued. Radiant Orange Metallic, Midnight Metallic and ...
Vehicle Overview
Based on GM's compact pickups, the i-290 is the smaller of Isuzu's two i-series trucks, competing with the Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier, among others. Not much has changed for 2008 besides an increase in towing capacity and the discontinuation of the LS option package.

The i-290 holds a 2.9-liter four-cylinder, while the i-370 (listed separately in the Cars.com Research section) gets a 3.7-liter inline-five-cylinder. They join Isuzu's only remaining model in the U.S. market: the Ascender sport utility vehicle, which is also based on a GM product.

With its 185-horsepower four-cylinder and other appropriate equipment, the i-290 has a payload rating greater than 1,500 pounds. It received a 100-pound boost in towing capacity for the new model year, rising to 2,200 pounds for manual-transmission models and 3,200 for automatics.


Exterior
The pickups were developed in a joint venture, so the overall appearance of the i-290 is similar to GM's Colorado and Canyon. Isuzu's version features a bold grille made of three wide bars: one horizontal and two vertical. Viewed as the workhorse of the i-series duo, the i-290 comes only in extended-cab form with two-wheel drive. Equipped with a heavy-duty suspension, the i-290 has 15-inch tires on aluminum wheels. Automatic on-off headlights are standard. The Luxury Package adds fog lamps and a sliding rear window. The LS option package has been discontinued. Radiant Orange Metallic, Midnight Metallic and Cool Slate Metallic are new colors for 2008.

Interior
A 60/40-split front bench seat goes in the i-290. Ebony interior trim is standard for Luxury and Limited trims, as well as chrome accents.

Standard equipment includes air conditioning, a four-speaker stereo and vinyl floor covering. The S Plus Preferred Equipment Package adds fabric seat upholstery, carpeting and a stereo system with a CD/MP3 player. Remote keyless entry; cruise control; a tilt steering column; and power windows, locks and mirrors are available, as are an in-dash six-CD changer and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.


Under the Hood
The i-290's 2.9-liter four-cylinder operates with electronic throttle control and develops 185 hp and 190 pounds-feet of torque. Either a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic transmission can be installed. The i-290 comes only with rear-wheel drive.

Safety
Four-wheel antilock brakes are standard. Side curtain airbags and traction control are part of the Luxury Package. A tire pressure monitoring system is standard for all models.


Consumer Reviews

Exterior Styling
(4.0)
Performance
(2.5)
Interior Design
(3.5)
Comfort
(3.0)
Reliability
(5.0)
Value For The Money
(4.5)

What Drivers Are Saying

(4.0)

bought it new in 2008

by Jon from Fort Collins, CO on September 27, 2013

I bought my isuzu i-290 brand new with 20 miles on it in tempe arizona in march of 2008. I am writing this review in september of 2013. The truck currently has 86,000 miles on it. I have put this ... Read full review

(4.0)

I-290 Commuter

by I-290 Commuter from St Louis on March 22, 2013

Nothing fancy here, but reliable, economical and safe! I"ve been driving mine 70 miles each day and while it's not flashy or luxurious it does the job nicely and has given me no problems in 4 years...... Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2008 Isuzu i-290 currently has 2 recalls

Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2008 Isuzu i-290 has not been tested.

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The i-290 received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

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.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

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.

What is included in 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).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

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.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker