Sporty/performance car; Built in Japan
  • 4-door sedan
  • transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $1,000 – $1,300*

1992 Isuzu Stylus

1991 Isuzu Stylus

1991 Isuzu Stylus

1993 Isuzu Stylus

1993 Isuzu Stylus

  • Fuel economy
  • Handling (XS)
  • Airbag
  • Noise
  • Rear-seat room

All told, there was little to set the Stylus apart from its competitors when it was new. The same is true today. Though better than Isuzu models of the 1980s, Stylus did not reach the level of the best competitors of its time.


Replacing the old I-Mark, Isuzu’s subcompact Stylus sedan arrived in late spring of 1990, as a late ’90 model. In the same year, Isuzu launched a sporty Impulse coupe, built on the same front-drive chassis. A 95-horsepower, 1.6-liter 4 cylinder engine went into the base S model, with either 5-speed manual shift or a 3-speed automatic transmission. Stepping up to the XS sedan brought a 125 horsepower dual-overhead-cam engine, as in the Impulse coupe. Only manual shift was offered in the XS. The Stylus S sedan had 13-inch tires, standard manual steering, and front-disc/rear-drum brakes. Power steering, all-disc brakes, 14-inch tires and a firmer Lotus-tuned suspension went into the XS sedan.

Yearly Updates

1991 Stylus
No significant change was evident for the Stylus’s second season.
1992 Stylus
Although the base Stylus kept its 95-horsepower engine, the XS sedan got a new engine. A twin-cam, 1.8-liter 4-cylinder, making 140 horsepower, replaced the prior 130-horsepower, 1.6-liter powerplant. With the new engine, the optional automatic transmission was a four-speed unit rather than a three-speed.
1993 Stylus
Isuzu’s subcompact passenger cars changed little for 1993, before fading away. However, the sporty XS version already was gone. That left only a single front drive model for ’93.


transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive

In 1990-91, both models had 1.6-liter engines: 95 horsepower for the Stylus S, and 125 horsepower from the dual-cam version in the Stylus XS. A bigger (1.8 liter) and more-powerful 4-cylinder went into the XS version for 1992, but lasted only a single season. A 3-speed automatic transmission could replace the standard 5-speed manual gearbox with the 95-horsepower engine. Four-speed automatic was the optional choice with the 1.8-liter engine of 1992.

dohc I4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 1.6/97
Engine HP 125-130
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 102
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual


dohc I4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 1.6/97
Engine HP 125-130
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 102
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual


dohc I4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 1.8/109
Engine HP 140
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 120
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
ohc I4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 1.6/97
Engine HP 95
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 97
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
3-speed automatic

Road Test

Their front-drive chassis might have been shared, but the Stylus sedan and the Impulse coupe were very different automobiles. Both suffered from insufficient low-end torque. Road and engine noise are bothersome, as is exhaust noise at high engine rpm.

The basic 95-horsepower engine is, quite simply, woefully short on power–especially with the 3-speed automatic transmission. It struggles to maintain speed on hills, though standing-start acceleration isn’t bad. We managed a respectable 12.4 seconds to 60 mph. Fuel economy is competitive, as our test Stylus achieved better than 24 mpg overall. An overdrive fourth gear for the automatic transmission would be needed to yield quieter highway running and better gas mileage.

The larger 1.8-liter engine introduced for 1992 offers the low- and mid-range torque that had been lacking in the 1.6-liter, so you don’t have to rev above 4000 rpm to get at the usable power. Better yet, the added horsepower was not accompanied by undue torque steer–an undesirable condition in which the front tires of some powerful front drive cars are jerked to the side during hard acceleration.

In braking tests, a Stylus suffered abrupt rear-wheel lockup as well as disturbing front-end clunks and groans. Not the sort of thing one likes to hear when the need to halt is urgent.


Model Tested: 1992 Isuzu Stylus S w/automatic

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.


Acceleration - 3
Fuel Economy - 6
Ride Quality - 3
Steering/Handling - 3
Quietness - 2


Controls/Materials - 3
Room/Comfort Front - 3
Room/Comfort Rear - 3
Cargo Room - 2


Value - 2

Total: 30


4-door sedan
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
96.5 165.1 66.1 54
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
11.4 12.4 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39 37.9 43.3 31.9
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 1993 Stylus 4-door sedan


(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 3
Front Passenger Injury - N/A

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
Rear Passenger Injury - N/A


(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Cold-starting problems
Description: The 1.6L engine may be hard to start when cold unless a revised ECM (computer) was installed. (1991)
Engine stalling
Description: The engine idles rough or even stalls after deceleration unless a revised ECM (computer) was installed. (1990-91)
Manual transmission
Description: Difficulty shifting, especially into second gear, is caused by a worn rubber stopper on the shifter allowing it to flop from side to side, but adjusting the shifter often overcomes this. (1990-91)
Suspension noise
Description: Clicking from the rear suspension is corrected by replacing the rear stabilizer-bar brackets. (1990-92)

Recall History

1990-92 Stylus
Description: Steering-wheel center hub can fracture during certain frontal and near-frontal collisions.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.


Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.

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