1994 Isuzu Trooper 3.1 turbo diesel
Very, very reliable; not the most refined, but for the price: excellent
Reconditioned alternator 2 months into ownership.
Replaced front bumper mounting brackets 6 months into ownership (for first MOT).
One new rear shock absorber (for second MOT).
New steering box (breakers yard unit).
Replaced one n/s CV joint gaiter a couple of months back.
Sometimes the things you buy to tide you over turn out to be the best buy in years.
Before this, it was probably my Volvo S70. After a couple of mishaps with Fords, I bought this Trooper to tide myself over for 6 months until I could afford something better, and never was a better tide-me-over bought.
Parkers have described the Trooper as 'old school manners, on the road' and I'm still trying to understand what this exactly means: it handles like a large vehicle without particularly heavy handling, starts first time and stops (happily, first time too).
One of the reasons I bought it was as a tow car, and what an investment that was; when people say 'the car tows like there's nothing on the back' I think this is about as close as it could be. Up the road, onto the motorway, up to 60 into fifth gear, left arm on the armrest (this is the UK guys) and Bob, as they say, is your uncle.
The interior is hugely dated compared to modern standards, the 'extras' buttons all hidden away out of view in the most non-ergonomic fashion and the rear centre armrest designer was on a huge hangover that day. But the vehicle is a tool for a job, and that job is getting from A to B with the minimum of fuss.
And the reliability of the engine is second to none.
Downside? They rot beautifully underneath, along the chassis rear cross member, around the chassis mounting points and the chassis in general. Main thing to check: chassis, chassis.. oh yeah and the chassis.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 18th February, 2010