Large SUV; Built in Japan
  • 2-door wagon
  • 4-door wagon
  • longitudinal front-engine/rear- or 4-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $1,100 – $4,500*

1995 Isuzu Trooper 4-door wagon

1992 Isuzu Trooper RS 2-door wagon

1992 Isuzu Trooper 4-door wagon

1997 Isuzu Trooper

1997 Isuzu Trooper

  • Antilock brakes
  • 4WD traction
  • Passenger and cargo room
  • Entry/exit
  • Fuel economy
  • Lack of shift-on-the-fly (pre ’96)

Rating high on our list of upscale 4x4s, early Troopers trail such rivals as the Ford Explorer and Jeep Grand Cherokee mainly in their omission of shift-on-the-fly 4WD (on 1992-95 models) and an airbag (1992-94 models).


Larger and plusher than its predecessor, the second-generation 4-door sport-utility wagon debuted in March 1991 in base S and luxury LS trim. Base models got a 175-horsepower, single-cam 3.2-liter V6 engine. The LS earned a twin-cam version that made 190 horsepower. Antilock rear braking was standard; 4-wheel ABS optional, but only on the LS. A 5-speed manual gearbox was standard; electronic 4-speed automatic optional. Part-time 4-wheel drive included a floor-mounted transfer case lever and automatic-locking hubs, and was not intended for use on dry pavement.

Yearly Updates

1993 Trooper
A 2-door RS wagon joined for 1993 on a wheelbase 17 inches shorter and measuring a foot shorter overall. Trim and equipment for the RS were similar to that of the 4-door LS.
1994 Trooper
Four-wheel antilock braking became available on S and RS models this year, and standard on the top-of-the-line LS. Rear-wheel ABS remained standard on the lower-priced models.
1995 Trooper
Trooper added dual airbags for 1995, as the 2-door wagon disappeared. All models now had four doors and Isuzu’s unique 70/30 split rear doors. The new instrument panel featured stalk controls for headlights and wipers.
1996 Trooper
For 1996, Troopers finally got a new 4WD system for shifting in and out of 4WD High while on the move. All models now had a single-cam V6 engine, but rated at 190 horsepower instead of 175.
1997 Trooper
Four-wheel antilock braking was standard on all Troopers for ’97.
1998 Trooper
Isuzu made two important changes to the Trooper for 1998. First, they added a bigger and more-powerful V6 engine. Displacing 3.5 liters, the new V6 made 25 more horsepower and 42 more pound-feet of torque than last year’s 3.2-liter. Second, they made standard a new full-time 4WD system. Called Torque-On-Demand, the system normally operated in rear-wheel drive, but automatically sent power to the front wheels when wheel slip was detected.
1999 Trooper
Changes were few this year. A first-aid kit became standard and the Performance Package added fog lamps and available gold trim. This would be the last year for Acura’s Trooper-clone, the SLX.
2000 Trooper
Rear-wheel-drive models became available, as part of an expanded lineup. Previously, Troopers had been 4WD only. S, LS, and Limited models replaced the lone S model of ’99. Troopers gained a new grille and taillights, and automatic climate control became standard. Automatic transmissions were revised in an attempt to minimize gear changes on inclines. Isuzu stretched its powertrain warranty to 10 years/120,000 miles.
2001 Trooper
An Anniversary Edition was added in celebration of Isuzu’s 85th year.
2002 Trooper
Trooper closed out its run unchanged, to be replaced for 2003 by the Chevrolet TrailBlazer-based Ascender.


longitudinal front-engine/rear- or 4-wheel drive

Two versions of the initial 3.2-liter V6 engine were produced. A single-overhead-cam rendition, installed in the base (S) model, developed 175 horsepower. The dual-overhead-cam V6, standard in the LS and RS, made 190 horsepower. A 5-speed manual transmission was standard. The optional 4-speed automatic had Normal, Power, and Winter modes. Starting in 1996, Troopers got a stronger (190-horsepower) version of the single-cam engine. Then, in 1998, the 3.2 was replaced by a dual-cam 3.5-liter V6. It had 215 horsepower and 230 pound-feet of torque.

ohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.2/193
Engine HP 175-190
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 188
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
dohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.2/193
Engine HP 190
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 195
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
dohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.5/213
Engine HP 215
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 230
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
4-speed automatic

Road Test

All three V6 engines are silky and quiet, if not quite frisky. An early automatic LS wagon accelerated to 60 mph in a wholly adequate 11.7 seconds, but speed trails off fast on steep grades. Although the automatic transmission hunts busily between gears in urban driving, it’s smooth and responsive. Gas mileage isn’t great–we averaged just 15.8 mpg.

The 4-door has a stable, pleasantly supple ride, dealing with most bumps in a manner comparable to a large station wagon. It fails to soak up big bumps well, though, and feels somewhat harsh on rough pavement. A Trooper easily tackles tough off-road terrain. Quick highway cornering induces mild body lean, but little of the typical tall-4WD queasiness. Tire roar is low, but wind noise high. Braking is above average for the sport-utility class.

Troopers rank among the roomiest sport-utility vehicles, though getting inside can be a chore due to the tall step-up. Head room is bountiful, and the back seats three adults comfortably. Visibility is great. The driver’s area is attractive and convenient. Isuzu’s 70/30 rear cargo door opens onto a tall, long cargo area.


Model Tested: 1996 Isuzu Trooper LS auto

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 - 4
Fuel Economy - 2
Ride Quality - 4
Steering/Handling - 3
Quietness - 4


Controls/Materials - 5
Room/Comfort Front - 5
Room/Comfort Rear - 5
Cargo Room - 7


Value - 4

Total: 43


2-door wagon
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
91.7 166.5 68.7 72.8
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
68.3 22.5 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.8 39.8 40.8 32.2
4-door wagon
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
108.7 183.5 68.7 72.8
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
90.0 22.5 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.8 39.8 40.8 39.1
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 1999 Trooper 4-door wagon


(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 3
Front Passenger Injury - 3

Side Impact Test

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


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

Collision 100
Injury 75
Theft 138

Trouble Spots

Dashboard lights
Description: Vacuum solenoid-valve problems might cause the 4WD lamp to illuminate while in two-wheel-drive mode. (1996)
Engine noise
Description: Ticking noise from the top of 3.2L V6 engine may be due to hydraulic lash adjuster failure caused by varnish deposits and using 0W-30 Mobil I synthetic oil has been successful in cleaning them. (1997-earlier)
Description: The ignition key can be hard to remove because the lens over the shift lever interferes with the shift cable. (1992)
Suspension noise
Description: The differential may chatter in turns requiring the oil to be drained and refilled including a bottle of limited-slip additive. (1992-93)
Description: The fuse for the power windows, cruise control, and instrument panel may blow due to an intermittent short in the three-four gear switch for the transmission. (1994)

Recall History

Description: Camshaft plug can become dislodged from cylinder head, allowing oil to leak; can cause engine damage and fire.
Description: The accelerator cable may stick, causing a delay of vehicle speed reduction upon release of the gas pedal. Dealers will inspect and replace affected parts.
Description: Accelerator cable may stick, so engine speed will not immediately drop when gas pedal is released; delay could total several seconds.
Description: Certain vehicles have incorrect rear center-seatbelt buckle; tongue cannot be inserted.
Description: Left front brake line can be damaged, resulting in fluid leakage, reduced brake effectiveness, and longer stopping distance.
Description: Improperly installed transfer-gearbox nuts may loosen; propeller shaft can then separate, resulting in sudden loss of drive to wheels and possible damage to critical components.
2000-01 w/TOD
Description: In certain high-speed frontal crashes, movement of engine-compartment components can cause the potential for fuel leakage.

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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