1995 Isuzu Trooper 3.2 SOHC


Extremely durable


Starter motor at 90k and 180k miles.

Plastic radiator header cracked at 200k.

Fuel pump failing at 190k.

Few leaky gaskets replaced. That's it.

General Comments:

Extremely durable and reliable. Never any issues after 18 years on the road.

Interior is good quality and hard wearing. Paint is only just fading after 18 years in the Southern California sun.

Chronic hydraulic valve lifter noise intermittently from 100k miles onwards. Doesn't seem to bother it.

Plan on getting at least 300k on the original engine and transmission. Have seen Troopers at 400k+ on the original engine, that have never had the heads removed.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th June, 2012

1995 Isuzu Trooper LT 3.2 SOHC


It's the best vehicle I've ever owned


Replaced starter at 90,000, and again at 160,000.

Replaced transmission at 80,000 - my fault for not attending to transmission oil leak sooner. Manual transmissions on the Trooper have a breather tube that will slowly leak fluid when driven at high speed (70 mph or higher). The manual transmission uses 5W-30 motor oil so this leak can be confused with a rear seal leak on the engine. Just keep the transmission fluid topped up.

I have had the ticking sound but regular oil changes combined with using an oil change solvent seem to help.

All other maintenance I would characterize as standard interval replacements (brakes, tires, battery, etc.). I have never even replaced any of the light bulbs.

General Comments:

The Trooper is a reliable utility box on wheels. It is sure footed in the snow and holds its own in off-roading situations. I use it to tow a small trailer without any issues.

Yes it is a bit underpowered, and fuel mileage could be better (17 city/20 hwy for the 14 years I've owned it). But it is amazingly rugged and can always be counted on.

I am looking to replace it with a Toyota 4Runner, but I just can't get rid of it when everything continues to work so well.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th June, 2009

21st Oct 2009, 18:14

You'll be disappointed with the 4runner after the Trooper - particularly in off-road situations.

22nd Oct 2009, 15:41

"You'll be disappointed with the 4runner after the Trooper - particularly in off-road situations."

The 4runner is EXCELLENT in offroad situations. If you get a 4runner stuck, it's because you just have no idea how to drive. And at least the 4runner's frame won't rust in half like the Isuzu's.

7th Jan 2017, 15:19

Really, the 4Runners frame won't rust in half? Have you looked at one lately or a Tacoma? How many were replaced under warranty?

Joe in NH

4th Apr 2017, 00:52

With respect to both of you, neither of them will have significant rust issues unless you live in an area like the upper midwest or on the coast, and at that, they won't do any worse than any other make. Post-1990, all Japanese vehicles are built with galvanized steel, and because of this, their body durability improved significantly.

1995 Isuzu Trooper S


Lifters making noise at 60,000, was told it was normal for Trooper by a friend who once was a service advisor for a Nissan/Isuzu dealer. He stated that the most reliable vehicles in the shop were the Nissan Pathfinder and the Trooper.

General Comments:

This vehicle is very spacious, can fit my family of four on a weeks vacation. And my buddies hunting.

Very solid suspension off road.

I was hit by a 1992 Volvo Wagon last winter, she was doing 50 mph, I was going around 20mph during a snow storm. Her vehicle was totaled. I replaced a fender and door. SOLID SOLID SOLID!!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th June, 2001

21st Feb 2004, 21:51

Do you have lifter problems with this 95 trooper? If so what did you do to resolve this problem? I have been told to switch my oil from 10w/30 to 5w/30? just trying to get rid of the knocking noise. Any suggestions would be great.

22nd Sep 2004, 21:35

I was told by my Maintenance advisor that it could be either a clogged oil pickup tube in the pan or the lifters. This seems to be a reasonable cause of the ticking problem either way next Monday I will be having the lifters changed and the tube checked. I have 168000 miles on this vehicle and have been very happy with it. Hopefully it'll be running for another 10 years.

9th Apr 2010, 21:19

I just received an Isuzu Trooper. It also has the strange knocking sound. I was told it was lifters. I just wanted to know if anybody knew of a cheaper method of mending the lifters, other than have them replaced?

8th Jul 2010, 10:41

The best thing for the rocker noise is Wynns hydraulic tappet oil treatment. It's extremely good at clearing any dirt or obstruction in the head. It can be used in diesels and petrol motors, even turbo charged! It's worked wonders on a few cars where I've had tappet noise. I use it in conjunction with clean oil and filter!

29th Aug 2015, 01:09

The lifter noise is actually the hydraulic timing belt tensioner. I replaced mine and it went away. I asked a fellow Isuzu tech and he says that's common.