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Isuzu Axiom



  • amigo_johnamigo_john Posts: 107
    Edmunds seems to hate anything Isuzu. I dunno what gives, but most of their reviews are pretty harsh.
  • k2rmk2rm Posts: 205
    I think you answered your question when you stated "ownwers seemed pretty happy." After all, we are the ones who have had the vehicle for more than a short test drive, but here are my thoughts.

    The seating position does remind me more of a sportscar than a truck. Nothing wrong with that though, I find the visability great and the seating position very comfortable. The ride is very smooth and it drives great. On my test drive I was shocked at how smooth the Axiom was. The screen is distracting at first, but I now find it very convenient.

    I laughed when I first read the Edmunds review of the Axiom when I was researching cars. Usually when reviews are that bad, the writer has some kind of bias against the vehicle even before they drive it. I just reread the article, the writer was so nitpicky that he complained about superficial things like having an underneath mounted spare. If he prefers the spare tire to be mounted inside, he has obviously never had to change a tire when his cargo area was completely full of luggage, not too fun trying to displace all that stuff to get a tire out and then having to put a wet or muddy tire back in so the luggage can rest upon it. Ridiculous.

    He also commented on the way the Axiom bucked in comfort mode while breaking. The first thing I did when I test drove the Axiom was to try this 60-0 stop to see if this was true. The Axiom front end did dive in, but in know way did it bounce up and down like the reviewer said.

    The reviewer didn't like the amber screen, I didn't either when I first drove it but I really like it now.

    He also said anyone who is over 6 feet tall and a 33 inseam would be extremely uncomfortable, that is amazing that he can predict everbody's comfort in the axiom. Wait, he can't, I am 6'3" with a 36 inseam, I would not have bought it if I was "extremely" uncomfortable in it. I have taken it on several long trips and I am more than comfortable in it.

    I could go on, but this post is getting long enough. You do need to test drive everything, a reviewer's opinion is just that, an opinion. I read almost everything I could about the Axiom before I bought and I would say most reviewers liked the Axiom, but a few disliked it very much like the edmunds reviewer.

    I have had mine for 3 months now and I find the Axiom to be a great vehicle. When I was looking for vehicles, I decided I wanted a real 4WD (body on frame with rear drive) so I narrowed it down to the Axiom, Liberty, or Trailblazer. The Axiom was the only vehicle I got excited about and it definitely gave more bang for the buck (after financing and dealer discounts), it made my decision very easy. I don't regret my decision one bit and actually, I feel pretty wise about my decision.
  • scoobyaxscoobyax Posts: 51
    The Edmunds review was way off base for the Axiom. Edmunds list Pros as: Strong V6, Distinctive Styling & Unique Features. (Don't know what you want in your truck, but that works just fine with me) Cons: Limited Drivetrain Choices & Old Tech Underpinnings. Well if your looking for a manual tranny, sorry, but at least this drivetrain is backed with a 10 year/120,000 mile warranty. As for old tech underpinnings, Isuzu took what works for the Trooper and Rodeo and combined them on a real truck frame. No Unibody here.

    If that's not enough, consider this...
    Edmund's Rating... 5.2
    Consumer Rating... 9.0 out of 18 reviews

    Now let's look at the competition
    Envoy (Motor Trend SUV of the Year)... 8.7 / 25
    Chevy Trailblazer...7.2 / 27
    Toyota Highlander... 8.3 / 3
    Toyota 4Runner... 7.3 / 3
    Ford Explorer... 6.6 / 20
    Ford Escape... 7.4 / 8
    Honda CRV... 7.5 / 17
    Jeep Liberty... 8.6 / 27
    Nissan Xterra... 10.0 / 1!

    Judging by these numbers seems like Isuzu is doing something right here. The only problem is not enough people know about this truck but blame Isuzu's marketing people for that.

    I'm not saying that the Axiom is for everyone, and for that matter the same could be said for ANY truck, but if your looking for a new truck with power, handling and a few extras here and there, take one for a test drive. I was very surprised and actually had some money left over for a few "necessities".
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Well you see, the Edmunds reviewer tipped his hand right there. He obviously was biased against the Axiom, because you can't buy any SUV, except for a few (less than 5) with an outside mounted tire, and none inside. Had he reviewed the trooper he would have said "rear mounted tire is long in the tooth, and provides poor reward visibility, should have mounted it underneath"

  • and if it had been mounted inside the reviewer would have said "spare tire takes up valuable cargo space"

    and if it had been mounted on the roof the reviewer would have said "increases center of gravity and will flip easily"

    and if it had been a mini spare the reviewer would have said "I love economy cars...Ahhhhhhhh"

    and if it had been under the hood the reviewer would have said "Just like on expensive sports cars and the classic VW bug"
  • k2rmk2rm Posts: 205
    You guys probably have it right on, a no win situation regarding the spare.

    The reviewer probably got rescued by an Isuzu in the back country and his ego has been hurt ever since :) Maybe an Isuzu cut him off one day and he still holds a grudge. There could be many reasons why he felt justified to pick on the Axiom. I wonder what he would have said if it had a Toyota emblem instead of Isuzu's.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Isuzu probably didn't make a little donation ;) You know like the Big 3 do and the Big 2 from japan.... Same reason that CR tests the Monty, Sidekick, and Trooper and rolls em, yet never flips an Explorer.

  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059

    You left one out! And if the spare tires were mounted underneath, it would have reduced the ground clearance! :-)

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Underneath would NOT reduce ground clearance, the pumpkin would be lower. Underneath changes angle of departure.

  • k2rmk2rm Posts: 205
    There are actually 3 positions for the seat back, I kept missing the middle position and didn't notice it until carefully looking at the locking mechanism. In the middle position, the rattle is completely gone.

    I finally got a roof rack on the Axiom. I decided to stick with Thule since I already had a Thule ski rack. I had permanent 54" roof rails installed just inside and next to the roof seams. Since the rails follow the seams they aren't parallel but it doesn't matter. I then bought Thule's Tracker II system to mount to the rails. It is a very solid design and will definitely hold more than the dealer installed rack. It gives the Axiom a rugged look. The great thing is that it comes off extremely easy, just unlock the 4 posts and the entire rack lifts off leaving just the foot kit.
  • hjerrodhjerrod Posts: 9
    My Axiom has 1450 miles on it and when I check the oil level recently, I noticed it was creeping down towards the "add" level. Is it normal for a new engine to consume oil? Anyone else with this problem? I think I read once where Troopers had a tendency to consume oil as well. Should I just add oil and write it off as a nuisance, or should I be concerned about this? Thanks.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I found for the first 10K miles I burned about 1Q ever 3K miles. After that I went to Mobil 1 and burn about 1Q ever 7500 miles now, which is pretty accepatable. I would just keep an eye on it and make sure it's full.

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    March 17 Pine Barrens Monthly Trail Ride

    Info on a gently off-road experience in the Pine Barrens of Central/Southern NJ. Come on out for a day of adventure, fun, and comradre with fellow SUV/Off-road/Rally/Car Nuts! Info at


  • scoobyaxscoobyax Posts: 51
    For anyone looking for an Axiom hitch,

    Decided to go with the OEM hitch. It's a direct bolt on, no drilling required and has a step plate. In my search I found that the Hidden Hitch is not designed for the Axiom and there is a difference in bumper height, the Draw-Tite also is not designed for the Axiom and requires drilling plus repositioning the spare tire.

    Best price I found ($230) was at St. Charles Auto (and free shipping!). Here's the link.

    Next, anyone have any recommendations on a hitch mounted bike rack? Looking at Yakima TerraFirma, Super Roc or maybe Roc N' Gate.


  • k2rmk2rm Posts: 205
    I just turned over 1500 miles on Axiom and the oil mark was just below the full mark.

    Scoobyax, as a word of advice, try to get a hitch rack that actually locks down the bikes so if you carry multiple bikes they can't rub against each other and do damage. I borrowed a hitch rack that didn't lock down the bikes and when we go to our destination, one of my chain links was bent and the bikes were all scratched up. The best design I have seen is at

    it locks the bikes down in a verticle position which is good since the Axiom is narrow, the bikes would not stick out on the sides like the more conventional designs.

  • build character :) How the heck did it bend the chain link? That's not an easy thing to do and I can't imagine another bike causing that damage!
  • k2rmk2rm Posts: 205
    If I had an aluminum bike, scratches wouldn't be a problem, at the time I had a chromoly bike living in the great wet Pacific NW and scratches lead to rust. As for the chain link, I figure a crank from one of the other bikes was rubbing against the chain ring of my bike, and after several hundred miles of driving, it bent the link just enough so it wouldn't pivot around the sprockets and gears anymore. It only set us back about 30 minutes though.

    Another reason why I like the draftmaster design, maybe the main reason, is because the bikes aren't in the path of the tire wash. Another time we used the rack on the back of a Suburban drving between Seattle and Tahoe. We were on some lonely Oregon highway around sunrise in which we hadn't seen another car for a hundred miles when we came upon a cattle herd being driven on the highway. We came to the back of the heard and asked the cowboy what to do, he said just drive slow, the cows will move out of your way. So there we were, driving the Suburbun through a herd of cattle on a two lane highway at 5:00 in the morning. When we reached our destination, our bikes were covered with "you know what." I know this doesn't happen everyday, but once was enough to sway my opinion :)
  • axiomloveraxiomlover Posts: 216
    Isuzu Lovers!
    I do not own an Axiom just yet, but I am working hard on getting one. I recently went to my local dealership to get some pleasure from looking at new Axioms. When I arrived I saw five, most beautiful cars/trucks a man could have. The Ebony Black colors are in!!! And they have gray interior, which would be my choice over tan (I like to get dirty when biking). They look so cool(they remind me of Robocop up front). I don't know, there may be something wrong with me because if everybody else was like me, there would be a 6-month waiting list for these vehicles. If there is such a thing as falling in love with objects, I am a perfect example. I am hoping to post a message about purchasing my Axiom soon.
    By the way, I think that these trucks are a little overpriced. At $32,040 for an XS 4WD it goes beyond my budget, but I haven't seen any blacks at any other version. What sort of target purchase price should I count on, considering I don't take the 0% financing? How hard can I press the dealer? Are any of you leasing your Axioms? Any thoughts will be appreciated.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Haven't seen that yet. That was one thing that I didn't like was the tan interior!

  • k2rmk2rm Posts: 205
    I haven't seen the grey interior either. I had heard that Isuzu would come out with one when they first came out, but nothing since. I would prefer grey myself, I have to clean my tan often. The black Axiom does look sharp.

    I know here in California dealers are still discounting to just under $28,000 without 0% financing and $29,500 with 0% for Axiom XS 4WDs. Check out that is where I found mine and they seem to be very competitive.

    I agree that $32,000 is a little steep considering that is where all of the other competition is hovering around for similarly equipped vehicles, but with discounted Axioms, you get a lot of value for your buck.
  • k2rmk2rm Posts: 205
    I finally got the Axiom to the Mountains last weekend and the Axiom was great. It carried 4 adults in comfort, the cargo area was packed to the brim, and a ski rack was on top. Round trip was 570 miles with two 50 mile trips up the mountain pass and the Axiom averaged 19.1 mpg. I was very impressed by that figure, I was expecting below 17 mpg.

    The 3.5L had plenty of power for passing in the hills and the TOD was amazing. At one point I pulled off the road into deep snow without losing traction and when I was backing out, a 4WD suburbun could barely make it to the same spot and was spinning all 4 wheels like crazy. That surprised me. The only time I spun the tires is when I tried to break loose the tires from a standstill going up hill on packed snow, but TOD quickly responded and the wheel spin stopped. I tested the brakes and had to try very hard for the antilocks to respond. On the curvy mountain roads, it handled like a dream, practically no body roll.

    I was very impressed at how well the Axiom handled the trip. It is very capable in the snow.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I know there are 2 of you in NJ. Come out this sunday to our monthly trail ride!


  • Geez, the tan interior was what kept us from buying for so long (that and we couldn't find any other exterior color at first but blonde gray and that funky metallic mustard color). I remember the first test drive at Lithia in Walnut Creek, they kept pushing that mustard one on us - wife and I thought the vehicle was great but the color of puke. Finally, on a whim we went to the Isuzu dealer in Oakland and found an anthracite XS that we ended up buying.

    My Axiom spottings so far in a year of ownership:
    1 Anthracite XS (identical to ours) parked at Sizzler in Pinole - we just had to park next to it while we ate!
    1 Metallic Green at Mcdonalds drive thru in Pleasant Hill
    1 Anthracite driving down San Pablo in Richmond
    oh, and I forgot the first one I've ever seen up close was bought from Walnut Creek Lithia by my coworker for his wife. He takes it to work every now and then.

    Now understand this is from someone who sees a lot of cars every day. I'm on the road (in my Amigo) covering the whole SF bay area as a field technician for a computer company. So I NOTICE when there's an Axiom around!

    Neat thing to see is when me and one of my partners is in from the field and our sales manager has driven his wife's Axiom to work. We'll be all parked together : a black '99 Amigo 4WD, a silver 2000 Amigo 4WD, and an Anthracite XS. It looks like we work for Isuzu or something!
  • axiomloveraxiomlover Posts: 216
    Yep, black and grey are a great combination. I've also seen a blond grey with grey interior. I know what you mean "revolve360." I am always on a look out for Axioms, but I don't see too many on the streets of Chicago.
    Did any of you try to raise the back hatch any higher? I am 6' tall and I noticed that unless I bend, I am hitting my head on the open hatch. How about installing longer hydraulic supports?
    Recently, I've seen an ad in the newspaper from one of Isuzu dealers, that they will discount any new Axiom by $6,700 from MSRP. That means I could get an XS 4WD for $25,300. Now, that's a great price!
  • scoobyaxscoobyax Posts: 51
    Just for the hell of it, went to to check out where the gray interior Axioms are...
    seems like California is a little ahead of the rest of the US when it comes to getting an Axiom with gray interior. There is a dealer in Sacramento that lists gray interiors with Anthracite, Canal Blue & Blond Gray exterior colors, as well as Ebony Black. however, still lists tan as the only available interior, guess the people at Isuzu need to wake up and update a few web pages!
    Hitch update, got the hitch FedEx'ed to my house last night from St. Charles Isuzu, total wait: 3 days, not bad for free shipping. Thanks k2rm for the hitch info and paisan for the dealer info on! Much appreciated!
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Like to see happy Isuzu owners. I think the Axiom may be my next purchase if they actually come with grey interior.

  • scoobyaxscoobyax Posts: 51
    I also have seen a dealer ad about the great "discounted" prices. Seemed like a good deal until I noticed the very fine (& blurry) print that said you had to finance 90% of the vehicle with them at an interest rate of 8.9 to 12.9% depending on your credit rating. Maybe you could pay it off early with no pre-payment penalty, but make sure you ask first. Do your own calculations before you go to the dealer. For me, getting my Axiom at $300 below invoice and 0% was the best deal. I put the minimum down and I am leaving the rest in the bank.
  • jbkennedyjbkennedy Posts: 70
    I heard a "Joe Isuzu" ad on the radio, advertising 0.0% financing for 60 months or $3,000 cash back, on the Axiom.
  • ryanendresryanendres Posts: 122
    Wow here is one heck of a deal. OEM Axiom roof rack. No reserve! Starts at 25.00!

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