Minivan; Built in Japan
  • 4-door wagon
  • transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $1,200 – $2,900*

1998 Isuzu Oasis

1996 Isuzu Oasis

1996 Isuzu Oasis

1998 Isuzu Oasis interior

1997 Isuzu Oasis

  • Build quality
  • Entry/exit
  • Fuel economy
  • Ride
  • Steering/handling
  • Engine noise
  • Road noise

If you don’t need the greater interior space of a bigger minivan, or if you prefer swing-out rear doors to sliding side doors, an Oasis (or the nearly identical Honda Odyssey) can be a good choice.


Basically a clone of the Honda Odyssey, which went on sale in the U.S. in 1995, the Oasis was built in Japan by Honda. Both models differed from the minivan pack by featuring four conventional swing-open side doors. Oasis used the same 140-horsepower, 2.2-liter 4-cylinder engine as the Odyssey, driving a 4-speed automatic transmission. Dual airbags and all-disc antilock braking were standard. The base S model seated seven with two front buckets, a 3-place middle bench, and a 2-place rear bench. An LS Oasis seated six, replacing the middle bench with two bucket-type captain’s chairs. On both models, the middle seats could be removed. The 2-place back seat folded flush into the floor for additional cargo space.

Yearly Updates

1997 Oasis
Oasis was unchanged except for new body-colored outside mirrors, replacing the former black units.
1998 Oasis
Oasis gained power this season, trading its 2.2-liter 4-cylinder engine for a 2.3-liter that produced 10 more horsepower. A restyled dashboard now incorporated a tachometer. The horn now was activated at the steering-wheel-hub pad, rather than by spoke buttons.
1999 Oasis
Honda redesigned its Odyssey for 1999, making it larger and more mainstream in conception. Isuzu continued to market the Oasis, related to the prior-generation Odyssey, but it faded away after 1999.


transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive

All Oasis minivans initially had the same powertrain: a 2.2-liter, single-overhead-cam 4-cylinder that made 140 horsepower. That unit was replaced in 1998 by a 2.3-liter, dual-overhead-cam 4-cylinder engine that produced 150 horsepower. Both engines drove a 4-speed automatic transmission.

ohc I4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.2/132
Engine HP 140
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 145
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic



dohc I4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.3/137
Engine HP 150
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 152
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic



Road Test

Oasis delivers a firm and stable ride, exhibiting little body lean in turns. You can expect an absorbent and comfortable experience, even when rolling through bumpy urban streets. More agile and surefooted than most competitors, it feels more solid than the typical minivan.

Acceleration is fairly brisk, but the 4-cylinder engine tends to get loud during hard acceleration. Road noise is excessive at highway speeds too, though wind noise is minimal for a minivan. Fuel economy ranks markedly above the minivan norm. We got mileage in the low 20s for city/highway driving. Interior dimensions are adequate but not great. For one thing, Oasis and Odyssey are narrower than the usual minivan. Three-across seating is especially cramped, and back-row leg room is tight. Front-to-rear walk-through space is limited, too. Even so, there’s ample space for six in an Oasis, accompanied by sufficient cargo room for most people’s requirements. The rear seat folds flush to the floor, serving as a clever alternative to removable seats. Plenty of storage areas are provided inside, too.

Because the Oasis is smaller than most minivans, and stands about 3 inches lower than a Nissan Quest or Mercury Villager, getting aboard and exiting are exceptionally easy. The driving position is car-like, facing a well-organized dashboard. Visibility is good to all directions.


Model Tested: 1998 Isuzu Oasis

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 - 4
Ride Quality - 5
Steering/Handling - 3
Quietness - 5


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


Value - 5

Total: 47


4-door wagon
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
111.4 187.2 70.6 64.6
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
102.5 17.2 7n1
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
40.1 39.3 40.7 40.2
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 1997 Oasis 4-door wagon


(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 4
Front Passenger Injury - 4

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

Engine misfire
Description: If the EGR port in the intake manifold clogs, drivability and/or emissions problems may result. (1999)
Fuel gauge
Description: The fuel gauge on some vehicles does not go all the way to “F” because the arm on the sending unit is too long. (1996)
Vehicle noise
Description: A problem with the power-brake vacuum check valve causes a buzzing noise in the instrument panel when stopped and in gear. A revised check valve is available. (1996)
Description: Seatbelts may not retract or may retract slowly. Also, the button that keeps the seatbelt tongue (male half of seatbelt) from sliding down, breaks. (1996-97)
Description: The glovebox door pops off because the latch assembly falls apart. (1996)
Cigarette lighter
Description: The cigarette-lighter socket can become loose or fall out due to a loose ring nut on the back. (1996)
Fuel door
Description: The fuel door may not stay closed because the locking clip fails. (1999)

Recall History

Description: Certain ball joints can wear out prematurely and, in worst case, would separate, causing front suspension to collapse.
Description: Engine may stall without warning due to degrading electrical contacts in the ignition switch.

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.