1994 Isuzu Trooper S 3.2 SOHC from North America


Rain, shine, Apocalypse, whatever, it will get you from point A to point B no questions asked


Water pump went out after 195,000 miles.

Timing belt tensioner was clicking when we got it; replaced it at about 194,000.

Spark plugs were covered in oil, and the engine would start slowly near the end of my ownership.

0-60 in about a month, but what can you expect from a 3 ton shipping crate on wheels.

General Comments:

Overall, this car was fantastic, and built like a tank. Mine was a forest green 4 door manual that I bought for 1,300 for high school, and it rarely let me down for being such a high mileage car.

The Trooper was fantastic in the winter, and its 4WD autolocking system was great for snow and off-road use. The interior was spartan, but nice at the same time, and my model had an aftermarket stereo, which was nice as I hear the stock ones were terrible. The plastics were solid, and overall the interior felt extremely solid. Same with the exterior as well. Isuzu did a remarkable job putting it together and building it with quality parts. My vehicle had very little rust on the body, but the frame did have some rust, though my mechanic said that was no problem due to the overbuilt nature of the truck.

On road performance is nothing to write home about, and you are not going to win any races in this truck. However, highway traveling was surprisingly comfortable, and I found the seats to be very supportive for longer road trips. I observed an average of about 8 mpg, which makes sense, considering the amount of mileage on the engine and its less than thrilling mpg ratings when new. My Trooper was equipped with the 5 speed manual, which I found wonderful for everyday driving. This also helped on power delivery and driving in difficult terrain and conditions.

Overall, I loved this car and I was sad to have to sell it. Despite that I bought it for 1300, it looked better and was more reliable than cars that kids bought for 10 times as much. Its simplicity was a plus, and I loved its usefulness, as I could haul 4 people, myself and a ridiculous amount of goods comfortably anywhere anytime.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th November, 2011

19th Nov 2011, 10:14

We had a '93 manual Trooper, and I actually did win a race with it. This punk in a Geo Storm with the loud muffler and mismatched body kit on it thought he was easily going to take me at a light. I totally smoked him. He was beeping and flashing the high beams at me, he was so mad about it... I was laughing about it for a week. It isn't easy, but if you speed shifted, those Troopers would get up and go fairly well for their size. Our next Trooper was a '99, and it was a AT with the larger 3.5 engine.

You are right, they are the best in the snow. We got forced off the road on Christmas Day, but I was mad because the Trooper was just cruising along and there was over a foot of snow on the roads. We got to an exit about three away from where we were going, and the state trooper was waving everyone off of the road. I never felt like we were going to get stuck with that truck. I've not had any SUV since that I felt as confident with.

1994 Isuzu Trooper 3.1 turbo diesel from UK and Ireland


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.

General Comments:

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