1991 Isuzu Impulse RS 1.6 turbo from North America


A flashy piece of junk


Everything you can think of.

Turbo problems.

Major oil leaks.

Rear wheel hub disintegrated, almost causing wheel to come off car.

Door hinges wore out and had to be replaced.

ABS problems.

A glitch in the engine-control module caused the engine to run very erratically on occasion. Turning off the engine and restarting the car usually solved this problem.

General Comments:

Performance was mediocre--very little low-end torque.

A serious case of turbo lag.

The most unreliable car I have ever owned.

The "Handling by Lotus" badges on the fenders impressed the hell out of people, though.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 2nd January, 2003

1991 Isuzu Impulse RS AWD 1.6 turbo from North America


A very fast high performance car


All mounts and struts went at 55000 km.

ABS went at 62000 km.

The car is hard to start in warm weather, due to problems with the ECM computer.

General Comments:

The best car ever, a real head turner. Only 800 RS models in the world.

The car is very fast off the start. With 0-60mph in only 7.7 seconds. If you get a performance chip, you can knock that down to about 7.0 seconds and add another 30hp.


The car handles very well due to Lotus tuning and the AWD system. Add BFGoodrich tires 215 40 17, and even see more improvements.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th May, 2001

1991 Isuzu Impulse AWD RS Intercooled Turbo 1.6 Liter from North America


A very rare gem!


Nothing, except they stopped making this version of the car the same year they put it out.

General Comments:

I love this car! It is my intent to keep this car forever, and slowly make it the fastest and most comfortable vehicle on four wheels.

Anybody else with the smarts to buy one of these, go to http://www.isuzuperformance.com

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 3rd March, 2001

25th Apr 2001, 20:26

I've owned a 1986 Impulse for 11 years. Normal wear and tear, and a very limited parts supply have made me wary of owning another.

The car has been so dependable and fun, I bought a 1991 AWD intercooled turbo Impulse. It is equipped with the factory Lotus option and is extremely fast. I've added some aftermarket toys, and it runs with any Mustang or Camaro on the road. I've also found out that with this body style, most exterior body parts are compatible with other more common cars. Example: rear body - Geo Storm, doors and body mouldings - Honda Civic. By finding this out, the cost and availability of wings, rims, and ground effect kits has been cut in half.

Good luck with yours,


23rd Aug 2001, 01:00

Can anyone give me the horsepower specs for a 91 RS turbo? I know its a 2.0 4 cyl. but I've yet to get horsepower or 0-60 specs. either would be great.

11th Aug 2002, 20:15

It is a 1.6 liter DOHC Turbo four-cylinder. It's factory rated at 160HP and about 150lb-ft torque. Drive layout is front transverse engine, AWD, 5-speed manual.

I've test driven a 30k miles '91 RS not long ago. Beautiful little car. Simple, solid, and fast. I was offered a price of $4500 and I wish I'd bought it.

The only comparable cars are the Toyota Celica Alltrac and the Mitsubishi Galant VR4/Eclipse GSX.

29th Oct 2002, 16:03

What do you guys know about the '89 Impulse Turbo? Is it compatible with other cars as far as body kits etc goes?

16th Jul 2003, 22:36

Does anyone know if you can put a honda engine such as an h22 into a 91 impulse? I know you could with a lot of custom bracketing and fitting, but do not want to go through the hassle unless I have to, the stock engine in the impulse and the h22 are completely reverse of each other (tranny on other side and basically everything else is reversed too), I want to put the h22 and honda tranny in as smooth as possible, any suggestions?

26th Feb 2004, 10:06

It's nice to see people who enjoy the Impulse.

Well as for as the 91 RS 0-60; it's in like 9.7 or 9.8 seconds.


11th Dec 2007, 21:22

I want to upgrade my Isuzu Impulse 1991 with a turbo. How do I do that?