1985 Isuzu Trooper 1.9 Liter Gas from North America
Solid, reliability, off-road performance, build
Two tires were fairly worn and had to replace those.
Replaced the windshield wipers.
Drivers seat is torn on side.
Side window lock on passenger side needs replacing.
Gas cap needs replacing, fits too loosely.
I've owned 4-wheeled drive vehicles off and on for a number of years, including some classics like a 1952 CJ3A, a 1973 Chevy Blazer with full removable top, and a 1974 IH Scout II. Up until this time a Jeep had to be pre-Chrysler built, or the vehicle had to be a V-8 and made in America. This little Isuzu Trooper has totally changed my mind about the hardiness of imported 4x4's.
I live in the mountains of Southern Oregon, and there is a steep drop-off that runs along one side of my driveway of about 15 feet. Last night as I was backing down, I cut it a bit too wide and ended up dropping the driver's side tires over the edge of the driveway onto this steep incline. My first thought was it's going to roll and I prepared for the inevitable, but it didn't happen. As a matter of fact it felt solid even though it was now sitting at a pretty dramatic angle. Several attempts at trying to get it back up onto the driveway only succeeded in having it slide further down the incline. The only way it was going, was down. Carefully I turned my front wheels so they were pointing down the incline, then with a bit of a prayer I gave her gas, let out the clutch and hung on for dear life.
Not only did it survive the controlled fall to the bottom of this ravine, through a large blackberry bush, and over several half-rotted logs, it easily traveled across over 100 yards of ruts, more logs, rocks and wet clumps of grass without as much as a cough sputter or hesitation. At the other end of the ravine was a steep climb back up to my backyard which it made with no problems on the first attempt.
It may seem a bit anemic on the highway, and somewhat clumsy on city streets, but when it comes to off-road use it's won me over hands down. At $1,250 I knew I had a bargain, I just didn't realize how big of a bargain it really was.
All this and I still average over 20 mpg, can seat 5 comfortably and still have room to carry all the camping gear we need. I'm sold on Isuzu.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 2nd December, 2003