I just purchased a 2000 Trooper. It had 76,000 and was very clean. My previous car was a 1994 2 WD Rodeo with 230,000 and never had any problems.
I had a rather extended test drive and beyond the Trooper seeming a little sluggish, which I attributed to the extra weight an 4WD, I was satisfied. After driving about 300 miles and having the car in all types of conditions I had some 2nd thoughts.
One thing I found that hasn't been mentioned is the fact that the 3.5L engine does not use regular spark plug wires and the coil system from the reliable 3.2L engine. On the 3.5L engine, each cylinder has it's own coil which cost anywhere from $100-250 each. I think I am experiencing this now.
I can't blame the dealer because the car does drive and I've had it over 70mph. It ran smothely just sluggish. They probably didn't go "looking" for things wrong.
The plus side is the Trooper is a very comfortable, roomy vehicle. It aged fairly well and doesn't look too dated. After years of reliable Isuzu ownership I hope this is one minor and unexpected issue. I do not like this feature and would much prefer the old plug wire set up.
When I read the negative comments about the Trooper, I wonder if the maintenance has been kept up like it should have been. Come on, you can't drive any vechicle and never change the oil or flush the transmission. Routine maintenance is the key to keeping any make or model on the road. Give me a new Yugo (if they were still built) and I could keep it running for 100,000 miles with no problem. The secret is MAINTENANCE. I own a 1995 Trooper, it's not perfect, I bought it with 87,000 miles on it. I have owned it for 30 days and it now has the tranny flushed, the AC repaired, new tires, oil and filter change, new plugs, and of course a through cleaning. Now it's ready for 1,000's of miles of care free driving. If something breaks, fix it!