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Isuzu Future Models

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  • bluedevilsbluedevils Posts: 2,554
    Here are some tidbits from the Jan. 2001 Wards Automotive article about the 2002 Isuzu Axiom. I believe most of these statements came right from the president of American Isuzu Motors Inc. (AIMI), who was interviewed and was quoted a few times in the article.

    Axiom is based on the Rodeo platform, with the Trooper drivetrain (3.5L V6 and TOD system; I'm not sure about the transmission)

    Diesels will be offered on Trooper starting in 2003! Yes!!! I think the article said the 6.6L Duramax (Isuzu/GM jointly developed; 315?hp, 520 lb-ft torque), one of Wards 10 Best Engines this year, is the one.

    There was also mention that GM and Isuzu plan to do more sharing of engines and other stuff. For example, there is a possibility that the new 4.2L 6 cylinder (270 hp) in the Bravada/Blazer/etc. may show up in Isuzus in the near future.

    President of AIMI expects Axiom to attract a new type of buyer to Isuzu, people who aren't into off-roading and ruggedness as much as current Trooper/Rodeo/Amigo owners. To him, this is a good thing. He said Isuzu expects Axiom to cannibalize (take away) only about 20% of Rodeo sales.

    Also, the article said Isuzu was showing a low-priced SUV, slightly larger than Trooper, that should start around $15,000. I don't know if that will ever happen, but that's what the article said. Yes, 15k. There was a concept-looking SUV there that I didn't look at much (it was roped off). Looked kinda like a Mercedes Benz Gelandawagen on steroids. Pretty cool-looking, but it didn't look like a production-ready unit.

    It seems like the article also said Isuzu plans to enlarge the Trooper and throw in a V8, but I don't remember if that was a dream from last night's sleep or actually in the article. I'll doublecheck.

    That's about all I can remember. I checked the Wards Automotive web site (www.wardsauto.com) and didn't see any links to the article. I will post more info after I have another look at the article.
  • bluedevilsbluedevils Posts: 2,554
    I forgot to mention this: the Ward's Automotive article said 'the Axiom will be available in the 550 Isuzu dealers on April 10.' Don't know if that means available for purchase or just a display model, etc.
  • sdc2sdc2 Posts: 780
    Man, they are really going to have to expand the engine compartment to get a 6.6 liter engine in there, diesel or not!

    What size engine do the overseas diesels get?
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    gets a 3.0l Turbo Diesel.

    The new Trooper is likely to be larger Ala Land Cruiser :)

    Especially if it is gonna have a 6.6 Turbo Diesel in it.

    Can we say towing capacity out the butt!

    -mike
  • gpm5gpm5 Posts: 785
    I am considering a big SUV as my 2nd vehicle to replace our minivan over the next 2 yrs. What I'm wondering is will they make a trooper on the size order of a Yukon/Suburban extended version truck. I'm not that fond of diesel fumes, so I hope they have a gas engine V8. In the Yukon I like the fact that you get 4Lo, 4Hi, 2WD, and 4Hi autotrack--comparable to TOD. I think the next generation trooper should have that 4WD versatility and be available in an extended version. Hopefully, they will have a good price point.
  • gpm5gpm5 Posts: 785
    A trooper comparable to Sequoia (I hope the sky doesn't fall due to that statement), which presumably is very big (haven't been in one) but with additional 4WD options would be great.
  • gpm5gpm5 Posts: 785
    I like the size of the trooper now and its great for offroad, but if they're going to make it bigger, they may as well make an extended version option.
  • bluedevilsbluedevils Posts: 2,554
    I re-read the Ward's Automotive article and it said the Axiom should be priced in the "mid-20s". Who knows whether that means, 24, 25, 26, 27k or what, and whether that's a base price.

    After a second look at Axiom, I remembered that it has some sort of display screen at the top of the controls in the middle of the dash. Don't know if it's for a navigation system (doubtful), cheesy trip computer (likely), etc.

    In case I didn't mention it before, the 6.6L Duramax diesel was one of Ward's 10 best engines for 2001. It develops 300 horsepower and 520 ft-lb torque.

    The concept vehicle I saw that looked to me like an M-B Gelandewagen is the Isuzu GBX. It had 21" tires and apparently was styled after a stagecoach. Short overhangs front and rear, tall passenger cabin, no pillars between front and rear doors.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I think that is the "Information Center" probably a cheesy compass, outside temp, Barometer, Altimeter thing like the Trooper Limited has.

    -mike
  • An article in KC Star by Mark Rechtin, Automotive News "executives figure an Axiom with power everything, auto climate control, 140 watt cd player and trip computer should come to around $25,000"
    I have been serious Internet shopping all brands mid size SUVs and have pretty well narrowed down to Pathfinder, Highlander, Trailblazer and now Axiom. I have never paid any attention to Isuzu as a brand before. Straight stuff ladies and gents, how does Isuzu quality, performance and VALUE compare to other brands?
    I don't need off road capability just moderate tow capacity and reasonable cargo capacity (we fill up our vehicle even on a 2 night fishing trip).
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    You came to the right place...

    You may want to look @ the Trooper as well. Same drivetrain, a little larger and you could probably use the 2wd version of it for your needs. They have some nice incentives (a fully loaded 2000 Trooper goes for around $24K right now (including HUGE skylight))

    Isuzu warranty is great! 10/120K, 3/50K bumper to bumper, all standard from the factory.

    I had a '97 Rodeo, went 120,000 miles with only oil changes, and 2 sets of pads and 1 set of tires.

    I now have a 2000 Trooper LS and love it, even after 6 months and 16K miles!

    These are tough no-BS, no gadgetry boxy vehicles. They hold a ton of equipment. I travel 2 weekends a month upstate to my house in the adirondack mountains, putting on 700-1000 miles each time, carrying all kinds of luggage, people, and equipment for the house. As well I tow a 3500lb boat trailer, and I almost got into an accident once while changing lanes, cause i forgot it was there! Overall these vehicles won't let you down, so long as you don't mind not having a Toyota or Big 3 Nameplate on your vehicle.

    Check out my trooper page at http://www.iace.com/ia/trooper

    -mike
  • Here is a disturbing little article I stumbled across. GM really needs to keep there grubby little hands off Isuzu. Surely the Axiom and an updated Trooper will secure Isuzu's success in U.S. for the future. http://www.auto.com/industry/iwirm18_20010118.htm
  • Thanks, will sure consider this brand although posting 43 makes it a little scary to predict future for brand. A prior post lists a Trooper S at 20 K in Portland area. Will check sources for info on Trooper. By the way I visited Hidden Hitch site from your web site. Did you buy direct or through dealer? You install? How much for hitch and wiring? Thanks
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I'll post hitch stuff over in aftermarket area...

    :)

    -mike
  • gpm5gpm5 Posts: 785
    GM didn't say US market, I don't think--they said they lost $97M for the 4th quarter in the SUV market for their 49% share (I think). This may lead to more Isuzu-GM highbreds--possibly as someone indicated awhile back for the new trooper.
  • bluedevilsbluedevils Posts: 2,554
    Trooper would be my choice. Unbeatable quality/reliability/durability (to me, "made in Japan" is a great thing, and they put the Trooper together in Fujisawa). As paisan noted, the Trooper's value is outstanding. Even if the truck were much smaller than it is, it would still be a great value at 20-22k for a base Trooper (still very well-equipped) and 27-28k for a fully loaded one (leather, moonroof, power heated seats, etc.).

    I saw the Axiom at the auto show, and it will have the 3.5L V6 and Torque-on-Demand full-time/automatic 4WD system from Trooper (and presumably Trooper's 4-speed automatic transmission, which is a very solid, proven GM unit). It will be built at the same Indiana plant that builds the Rodeo.

    I like the Rodeo, but I don't think it represents as good a value as Trooper. Rodeo is more popular, and Isuzu has not discounted it nearly as heavily as the Trooper. A solid truck with a peppy 205hp 3.2L V6, available manual trans, truck chassis, etc. I know paisan had very good luck with his Rodeo's reliability, but overall I haven't heard great things.

    It remains to be seen whether Axiom's quality/reliability will land near Trooper since Axiom has the Trooper drivetrain, or if it will fall closer to Rodeo since it's being built on the Rodeo platform at the Rodeo plant. Or it may fall somewhere in between.

    Value on Axiom is also up in the air. If it doesn't sell, it will probably be discounted heavily and be an outstanding value. Even if it's popular, it may be a good value at a price between MSRP and dealer invoice.

    With the 3.5L V6 and a lower total weight than Trooper, Axiom should be a pretty strong performer.

    Personally, I own a '98 Trooper with 40,000 miles (bought as a corporate service vehicle with 7,000 miles). Before that, I had a '96 Trooper S that was unfortunately totaled. I love both of them.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    The same tranny that's in the Trooper is also in the following vehicles:

    Holden Commodore
    Opels
    Caddy Catera
    Rodeo
    BMW Z3 Roadster!

    Not a bad group to be a part of.

    -mike
  • First...sorry I haven't contributed lately but work has tied me up almost constantly. Still, I know I'm supposed to be a co-leader of this board.

    Thanks to Mike, though, for doing a great job and also to all the other "regulars"...you know who you are!

    Just a few words on Isuzu's future and pricing. If Isuzu continues to have to offer huge incentives just to sell products that we all know are worth more (the Trooper in particular) then I think it's only reasonable to expect both Isuzu and their partner GM to continue to loose money even beyond the fact that their sales have fallen somewhat. What I would like to see is for GM to quit whining and, in addition to the big push for the Axiom, get their ad geniuses going with some promotion on the TROOPER! Maybe ads kind of like the old Toyota ads where they showed satisfied owners standing with their vehicles and giving verbal endorsements. Then when (if) sales increase...CUT OUT THE INCENTIVES!. The incentives that we've all come to love on the Trooper could kill it in this market. While I am glad that I got my Trooper as cheap as I did, I certainly wouldn't mind paying closer to list next time if it's popularity increased and the resale values went up as well. I hope the Axiom IS popular enough that it will sell without the huge incentives. Remember Audi and the "unintended accelleration" debacle of the '80's. I had a friend that bought his first Audi at a huge discount. By the time he was ready for his second, the popularity had started to rise again and although he didn't get the discount he had before the resale on his first Audi had risen to the point that he still got a fair deal. Recently he just purchased his third Audi, an A6 after receiving another very fair deal. My point is, Isuzu and GM I think, could turn this whole thing around, both to their advantage and ours. Simplistic? Maybe, but definately possible!
  • bluedevilsbluedevils Posts: 2,554
    Your reasoning is pretty sound, but my impression is that auto manufacturers never make decisions based solely on simple, logical reasoning.

    Chances are that GM & Isuzu will start sharing more parts in an effort to cut costs, particularly on the Isuzu side. I don't know how many vehicles Isuzu sells in other markets, but I doubt the numbers are very large. It's expensive to design and manufacture vehicles when the numbers are so small.

    I can live with Isuzu sharing some GM parts, but it's definitely not the best-case scenario. I wish GM would leave Isuzu alone and promote the brand based on its strengths. Owner loyalty seems to be a big one.

    If/when GM starts building Troopers on GM assembly lines, that's when I'll head for the door. I have never felt GM is a maker of quality automobiles, and I see no signs that they are turning it around.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Well, the new S-10/S-15/Hombre will be an Isuzu designed vehicle from the ground up. My prediction is that the Rodeo's next itteration will be a modified Trailblazer/Envoy/Jimmy platform vehicle. Which makes sense since the SIA plant will be cranking out Axioms. If you notice, there is a LOT of GM parts in our trucks already (Transmission, ECU by Delphi, Rodeo radiators have GM stamped on them) GM uses the Isuzu diesel 6.6l engine in the top of the line pickups now. Outside the US the Jackaroo/Bighorn is a big seller. IIRC somewhere I saw that it falls right below the Landcruiser and Pajero (Montero) in the rest of the world.

    If it were up to me, they could stretch the trooper 6 inches, widen it by 2 inches, and put in an Isuzu DOHC V8, maybe around 4.5 or 5 liter. Add a 3rd row of seats, and a better center console, multireflector headlights, Oil Pressure, Amp/voltage Guages, rear mounted power port, rear defroster wire on the 30% section of the door, and a door ajar lamp. As others have noted, upgraded speakers can go on that list as well. Anything else you guys would like to see in the next itteration?

    -mike
  • bluedevilsbluedevils Posts: 2,554
    I've got a file on my PC with some ideas on how to make the Trooper better. Some of them are pretty minor, but here's the list anyway. I know not everybody agrees with all of them - heck, there are some on here that I don't agree with. I put this list together from mostly my own thoughts plus some ideas from others who posted either in the Edmund's Trooper forums or on itog.com (I can't remember which).

    Basically, I would like to see a larger, roomier, more powerful Trooper with a 3rd row seat and more of the comfort/convenience features that other SUVs have been offering the past few years.

    Observations apply to 1998 and newer Troopers only unless otherwise stated.

    Items to Add:
    * Additional 12V power outlet(s) (Trooper currently has only one)

    * Underhood engine light

    * Lighted trim ring around ignition

    * Third row seats that are easily removable(foldaway as in Odyssey would be ideal but not necessary).

    * Full-time 4WD available with manual transmission - currently, the TOD system is not available with the manual trans

    * Premium sound system option (JBL, Infinity, Bose, Alpine etc.)

    * Rear climate control system – separate controls too.

    Improvements:
    * Make rear seats able to be folded into rear footwell to make the length of flat cargo floor longer for both cargo and people sleeping back there (either instead of or in addition to current method of folding seat down and tipping it forward against the back of the front seats).

    * Gauges are bad - they look outdated

    * Voltmeter and oil pressure would be nice – TOD display takes up their spot on dash (my '96 Trooper had both of these)

    * Gas gauge doesn’t have enough markings and the low fuel light doesn’t come on until it’s almost too late (the low fuel light doesn't bother me; IMO, a low fuel light should be a true warning, not a statement that your tank still has 1/8-1/4 left)

    * TOD display is cheesy and distracting because of the green lights and takes up too much space

    * The center console needs to be redesigned — both the compartment and cup-holders are not big enough and there is a lot of wasted space.

    * Cup-holders for rear passengers are a joke--can't they put a bigger magnet on that thing? I've seen a couple SUVs with rear cupholders integrated into the doors/armrests.

    * More powerful headlights - current headlights are not bright enough.

    * Paint is too thin / not durable enough, especially on the bumpers and overfenders.

    * Better stock shocks

    * Bigger tires – a meatier 16” tire and/or a 17” option would fill out the large wheel wells much more nicely than the current 245/70/16 size.

    * More aftermarket parts available, such as those available in Japan.

    * More adjustments for seats in S and LS models. Lumbar adjustment, height adjustment, seat cushion angle adjustment, etc. These are nice creature comforts for passenger and driver alike.

    * Larger, more powerful engine - improved 3.5L V6 specs and/or V8. Actually, the 270hp 4.2L 6 in the new GM SUVs would we a welcome addition. Also, the Axiom's version of the 3.5L V6 will have 230hp, so it seems likely that the Trooper will have 230 hp in the 2001 or 2002 models.

    * Better-sounding standard sound system - the stock speakers are particularly bad; the head unit seems okay.

    * Independent rear suspension

    * Flip-up liftgate with separately opening glass – for cover when loading/unloading/tailgating

    * Longer, softer front armrests

    * 5-speed automatic transmission - much of the competition is now providing a 5-speed auto instead of a 4-speed. Explorer has had it for several years. A 5-speed auto might be one way to squeeze more highway fuel economy out of the Trooper.

    * More comfortable, wider front bucket seats

    * More powerful climate control system

    * Spare tire mounted under the vehicle

    * 5mph front and rear bumpers

    * Lighted vanity mirrors that work all the time - it took 2 trips to the dealer before they told me my lighted vanity mirrors were working fine, but that they don't come on unless the headlights are on. To me, that's an example of the engineers over-thinking.

    Even though this is a fairly long list, I love my '98 Trooper. There are way more things on the list of items that Isuzu should not change than there are on this list of improvements.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    There are a few items I have to disagree with...

    TOD Lights are absolutely imperitive. I wouldn't have known my system was out of whack if it didn't show the torque split, cause mine would only do 15% split, even when spinning the rear tires before the dealer fixed it. I wouldn't have known had the indicator lights not been there.

    Underside Spare- I feel the rear mounted is far better than underneath... Have you ever tried to get one of those things off the bottom when you get a rear tire blow out? Or if it's really rainy, you get soaked.

    Lift Gate- I like the lifting glass, fold down tailgate of my Rodeo, but the 70/30 split doors are far better. A lift gate should stay on mini-vans.

    Wider seats? I have a rather large rear end, and even I find the 2000 LS bucket seats to be very comfy, except the arm rest should be longer. My driver seat is 8-way power, wish the pass. was 8 way also.

    -mike
  • You read my mind on most of these. I have a 98 S with Tube steps, in-dash changer and a few other odds and ends. I added Polk Audio speakers in self defense - the OEM speakers look like they came out of a 57 Chevy!
    There are a couple of areas that could definitely use some help. More power, improved economy come to mind. This can be and is being done by other manufacturers. A 4.5 liter V-8 with around 275hp and 280 lb. ft. of torque with the around the same mileage as the present V-6 would be heaven!
    I think the 6.6 Duramax is probably overkill, but a smaller version (5.5l.?) would really be great and still have good power. According to Motor Trend, the Duramax gets about 18 MPG - not bad for a 300 hp torquemonster.
    Styling? I really don't mind the "rounded square" look, but I'm sure Isuzu will Go Farther on the next Trooper.
    Better speakers of course are imperative and the Nakamichi system from the Anniversary edition would be a plus.
  • sbcookesbcooke Posts: 2,297
    Since you started:

    *I am happy with the rear axle. Front independent and rear axle give the best of both world. The rear is heavy duty and provides the same ground clearance no matter what the load.

    *If the tire is to go below, definitely inside. Underneath it gets destroyed, especially if you have an alloy rim. On the back is designed for offroading.

    *I like the split rear, what I would add is glass that can be lowered inside the door for long items.

    *A real roof rack available.

    *Better wipers/lights

    All things considered, I like the S model the best, simple (with enough amenities) and durable. Even though the truck is sold as an up scale SUV in the US I think it is more of an offroad/work truck in the rest of the world. This is at least what I have gotten from the international reviews I have read.
  • Local "super" dealer ran ad on 01 S model with 4wd for $ 22998. Took a good ride and look. Ups: Solid, well built, comfortable, good price.
    Downs: stodgy looking, gas pig (aren't they all?), acceleration below average, step up too much for my 70ish wife although I guess we could get boards or steps put on, no 2WD in stock but salesmen said he could order, maybe 500-800 cheaper. Rodeo was peppy but almost as expensive. Another local dealer has an '00 left with 2wd, quoted 21 K, I suppose would come off a bit. This S Model but with 6cd changer. I don't need 4wd and don't own any cds. Guess I could buy 6. Dealer had a crappu little brochure on Axiom, tells almost nothing but this truck looks super great (to me). Hope this truck and maybe pricing will be available by time of KC Auto show. Cheers!
  • bluedevilsbluedevils Posts: 2,554
    I'd say the Trooper delivers more value than the Rodeo. Axiom pricing remains to be seen, although they are supposed to be at dealers (available for purchase?) in April. I did see a couple Axioms at the Detroit auto show. Nice looking vehicle, with some interior updates/improvements vs. Trooper.

    I did install side steps on my 98 Trooper, and it makes entry/exit a bit easier. My wife needed some assistance since she's pregnant and drives the truck during the week.
  • Got directed to www.suv.com on this beauty. Review was favorable but sounded like it was written by a "valley girl". Launch was from some California winery. But, lots of pics and I love it, gotta have it. Definitely not an off road vehicle but that's ok by me. I have accumulated a lot of data and specs on this beauty. A bit bigger than Tribute, similar to Pathfinder in all dimensions except more leg room in back seat. Go look (Sorry I don't know how to post link).
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I went over the http://www.suv.com and checked out the Axiom. It looks better on there than first thought it would. I like the idea of a switch for the 4wd Lo, instead of a leaver (which didn't really do anything other than activate the vaccum lines to put the car in Lo range) My prediction is that we may see the rodeo be delegated to the Rodeo Sport models within a few years.


    -mike

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Well folks, I got to speak with a relatively knowledgeable Isuzu "Product Specialist" yesterday at the Philly Auto Show. Here's the scoop...

    VX 2001: Last year for the VX, the dies for the body panels are worn out and so they won't be able to make any more.

    2003 Trooper: Isuzu V8 engine, slightly wider, stretched a bit, 3 rows of seats. Will be built in Japan.

    Axiom: Dropped down Rodeo platform, shooting for the soccer moms

    Rodeo: Aimed at the off-roaders, as opposed to the Axiom

    Hombre: Even though Isuzu is designing the new S10/S15 trucks, Isuzu will likely not get a sister vehicle.

    Ironman Sponsorship dropped, it was getting too expensive w/o enough payback. So you won't see anymore "ironman" editions.

    -mike
  • bluedevilsbluedevils Posts: 2,554
    I remember hearing before the Vehicross was released that the dies would be the limiting factor in the number of units that could be produced. Isuzu planned all along to make them as long as the dies held up.

    I hope the Trooper info pans out, though I wouldn't consider anything from somebody like an Isuzu auto show rep to be rock solid.
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