The Isuzu Trooper was a mid-size SUV produced by Isuzu Motors Limited between 1981 and 2005. Unlike most SUVs, the Trooper was always more spartan than its competition, even as it began to gain many luxury items and softer styling. The Trooper is well known for its off-roading ability, especially in its 4-wheel drive variant. The Trooper was also rebadged and sold in the United States as the Acura SLX from 1996 to 1999.
The sole engine offering for the Trooper in the U.S. market was the 3.5-liter V6. This engine produced 215 horsepower at 5400 rpm and 230 horsepower at 3000 rpm. A 4-speed automatic transmission with overdrive and Grade Logic" for slowing down on steep grades and a 5-speed manual transmission were available. EPA fuel economy estimates for the Trooper were 15 miles per gallon in city driving and 19 miles per gallon on the highway. The Trooper also used the "Torque on Demand" all-wheel drive system, manufactured by Borg Warner. This system used 12 sensors to detect wheel spin and helped shift power to other wheels with grip.
The Trooper was introduced to the US market in 1981. Initially available as a 2-door SUV, a 4-door variant quickly followed. The second generation Trooper became infamous after Consumers Union rated the 1995 through 1997 models as "Not Acceptable" in their "Consumer Reports" magazine due to their tendency to roll over during testing. However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration could not replicate the results gained by Consumers Union, resulting in Isuzu bringing a lawsuit against the organization. In 2002, the Trooper was discontinued in the US and subsequently replaced by the Isuzu Axiom and Ascender.
In 2002, the last year for production of the Trooper, trim levels included the S, LS, and Limited, with 4-wheel drive offered on all trims. Options included front heated seats, driver and passenger power seats, leather interior, CD player with changer and a leather wrapped steering wheel. Safety features included anti-lock brakes and dual air bags. Both power and manual sunroofs were available on the Trooper. Keyless entry, power windows and door locks were standard across the board.
The Isuzu Trooper's base retail price started at $28,105 for the 2-wheel drive Trooper S, with the 4-wheel drive Trooper Limited exceeding $35,000. Cash rebates and incentives were available to bring the price of the Trooper below manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP).
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